Cowser named to Golden Spikes Award Watch List

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DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced its 55-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Thursday, with Sam Houston State sophomore outfielder Colton Cowser landing on the list.

This announcement begins the process of identifying the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2020 season. The 43rd Golden Spikes Award will be presented on June 11 in Omaha, Neb., for the second consecutive year.

Cowser is the first player in the history of Sam Houston State baseball to earn a spot on the preseason watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, and just the second player in the history of the Southland Conference to do so. UT Arlington’s Michael Choice was the first to do so in 2010.

The Cy Ranch High School product is coming off a breakout freshman campaign in 2019 that saw him earn Southland Conference Hitter of the Year honors and a spot on the Team USA Collegiate National Team where he was teammates with 20 of the other 54 preseason watch list selections.

He and the rest of the Bearkats kick off the 2020 season on Friday night at Don Sanders Stadium against Saint Mary’s. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN3.

The preseason watch list features 55 of the nation’s top amateur players, from high school and college baseball. The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will maintain a rolling list of players, allowing athletes to play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the season.

Joining Cowser on the watch list is two-time Golden Spikes Award semifinalist Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State). In 2019, Torkelson became one of 29 athletes since 2007 to be named a semifinalist more than once, including past Golden Spikes Award winners Strephen Strasburg (2009), Trevor Bauer (2011), Mike Zunino (2012), Kris Bryant (2013), Brendan McKay (2017) and Andrew Vaughn (2019).

Joining Torkelson are six additional 2019 Golden Spikes Award semifinalists, including Reid Detmers (Louisville), Nick Gonzalez (New Mexico State), Emerson Hancock (Georgia), Asa Lacy (Texas A&M) and Austin Martin (Vanderbilt). Additionally, Patrick Bailey (NC State), Tanner Burns (Auburn), Heston Kjerstad (Arkansas), Casey Martin (Arkansas), Max Meyer (Minnesota) and Torkelson have all been named to the Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list for the second consecutive year in 2020.

“We are thrilled to kick off the 2020 amateur baseball season and the forty-third year of the Golden Spikes Award with the fifty-five-player preseason watch list,” said Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball. “This year’s initial list features an incredible amount of talent and we cannot wait to follow each player’s journey throughout what is sure to be a highly competitive and exciting season.”

The 2020 Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list features five athletes that will look to become just the third player from a non-NCAA Division I school to win the award, following in the footsteps of Alex Fernandez (1990) and Bryce Harper (2010). Josh Elvir (Angelo State) and Luke Summers (Fontbonne) represent NCAA Divisions II and III, respectively, while Josh Sears (Freed-Hardeman) represents the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA) on the preseason list.

Pete Crow-Armstrong (Harvard-Westlake High School) and Robert Hassell (Independence High School) are the only amateur high school baseball players recognized by the advisory board in 2020. Crow-Armstrong is the second Harvard-Westlake High School player to be named to the preseason watch list, following Jack Flaherty, who was named to the preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list as a high school athlete at Harvard-Westlake in 2014.

Eighteen different collegiate athletic conferences are represented on the 2020 preseason watch list with six of those conferences boasting multiple selections, including the American Athletic, Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conferences.

Arizona State and Vanderbilt lead the list of schools represented on the 2020 list with each school boasting three players, while Arkansas, Georgia, Louisville, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Tennessee, UCLA and Wake Forest are all represented by a pair of athletes.

Oregon State’s Adley Rutschman took home the prestigious award last year, joining a group of recent winners that include Andrew Vaughn (2018), Brendan McKay (2017), Kyle Lewis (2016), Andrew Benintendi (2015), A.J. Reed (2014), Kris Bryant (2013), Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Buster Posey (2008) and David Price (2007).

Fan nominations and voting will once again play a part in the Golden Spikes Award in 2020. Amateur baseball fans will be able to nominate their favorite players to be in consideration for the 2020 award starting February 14 until April 6 on GoldenSpikesAward.com, prior to the announcement of the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list. In addition, fans will once again be able to vote for their favorite players, starting on May 14 with the naming of the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists.

USA Baseball will announce the finalists for the award on May 28 and fan voting will open at GoldenSpikesAward.com concurrently, remaining open through June 7.

The Winner of the 43rd Golden Spikes Award will be named Thursday, June 11. To stay up-to-date on the 2020 Golden Spikes Award visit GoldenSpikesAward.com and follow @USAGoldenSpikes on Twitter and Instagram.

The 2020 Golden Spikes Award timeline:

February 14: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award fan nominations begin

April 6: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award fan nominations end

April 9: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list announced

May 14: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists announced, fan voting begins

May 24: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists fan voting ends

May 28: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists announced, fan voting begins

June 7: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists fan voting ends

June 11: USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award trophy presentation

A complete list of the 55-player USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list is as follows:

Name; Class; Position; School

Logan Allen; Jr.; LHP; Florida International

Patrick Bailey; Jr.; C; NC State

Ian Bedell; Jr.; RHP; Missouri

Alex Binelas; So.; IF; Louisville

Tyler Brown; Jr.; RHP; Vanderbilt

Alec Burleson; Jr.; LHP/IF; East Carolina

Tanner Burns; Jr.; RHP; Auburn

Daniel Cabrera; Jr.; OF; LSU

Burl Carraway; Jr.; LHP; Dallas Baptist

Cade Cavalli; Jr.; RHP/IF; Oklahoma

Colton Cowser; So.; OF; Sam Houston State

Jeff Criswell; Jr.; RHP; Michigan

Garrett Crochet; Jr.; LHP; Tennessee

Pete Crow-Armstrong; Sr.; OF; Harvard-Westlake High School

Adrian Del Castillo; So.; C; Miami

Trenton Denholm; Jr.; RHP; UC Irvine

Reid Detmers; Jr.; LHP; Louisville

Blake Dunn; Jr.; OF; Central Michigan

Josh Elvir; Sr.; OF; Angelo State

Justin Foscue; Jr.; IF; Mississippi State

Nick Frasso; Jr.; RHP; Loyola Marymount

JT Ginn; So.; RHP; Mississippi State

Nick Gonzales; Jr.; IF; New Mexico State

Emerson Hancock; Jr.; RHP; Georgia

Hudson Haskin; So.; OF; Tulane

Robert Hassell; Sr.; OF/1B/LHP; Independence High School

Cole Henry; So.; RHP; LSU

Bryce Jarvis; Jr.; RHP/IF; Duke

Heston Kjerstad; Jr.; OF; Arkansas

Brian Klein; Sr.; IF; Texas Tech

Asa Lacy; Jr.; LHP; Texas A&M

Chris Lanzilli; Jr.; OF; Wake Forest

Nick Loftin; Jr.; IF; Baylor

Austin Martin; Jr.; IF; Vanderbilt

Casey Martin; Jr.; IF; Arkansas

Chris McMahon; Jr.; RHP; Miami

Max Meyer; Jr.; RHP; Minnesota

Garrett Mitchell; Jr.; OF; UCLA

Carmen Mlodzinski; R-Jr.; RHP; South Carolina

Jordan Nwogu; Jr.; OF; Michigan

Holden Powell; Jr.; RHP; UCLA

Kumar Rocker; So.; RHP; Vanderbilt

Aaron Sabato; So.; IF; North Carolina

Casey Schmitt; Jr.; IF; San Diego State

Josh Sears; R-Fr.; INF; Freed-Hardeman

Bobby Seymour; Jr.; IF; Wake Forest

Alerick Soularie; Jr.; OF; Tennessee

Luke Summers; Jr.; RHP/OF; Fontbonne

Spencer Torkelson; Jr.; IF; Arizona State

CJ Van Eyk; Jr.; RHP; Florida State

Austin Wells; So.; C; Arizona

Cole Wilcox; So.; RHP; Georgia

Alika Williams; Jr.; IF; Arizona State

Ethan Wilson; So.; OF; South Alabama

Gage Workman; Jr.; IF; Arizona State