May 2, 2013
DURHAM, N.C. -- Marshall right-handed pitcher Aaron Blair has been named to USA Baseball’s midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list for the 2013 season.
The 60-man watch list, released Thursday, is the second list of candidates released by USA Baseball for determining the top amateur baseball player in the country.
Blair, who was also named to the preseason watch list on Feb. 14, has since been honored with two national pitcher of the week nods and two Conference USA pitcher of the week nods. After a standout performance in which he kept rival West Virginia hitless over six innings, Blair was named the C-USA pitcher of the week for the first time in his career (March 25). Two week later, the junior from Las Vegas, Nev., was named the Louisville Slugger and NCBWA national pitcher of the week along with the C-USA pitcher of the week when he struck out 11 in an eight-inning two-hitter against No. 19 Houston.
Blair is 5-3 with a 2.53 ERA on the season. He has thrown quality starts in each of his last eight outings and has struck out 10 or more three times.
Blair has 70 strikeouts in 64.0 innings pitched this season and 186 K’s over 184.0 innings for his career. He currently ranks ninth all-time among Marshall’s strikeouts leaders.
Sponsored by Major League Baseball, the Golden Spikes Award will be presented on July 19 for the 36th time.
USA Baseball officials will announce the 30 semifinalists for the 2013 Golden Spikes Award on Tuesday, May 28. The list of 30 will then be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.
Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2013. Tuesday, May 28, marks the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalist on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process, all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of 30 names. On Tuesday, June 4, USA Baseball will announce the three finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.
USA Baseball partnered with MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) to create GoldenSpikesAward.com in 2008. Later that year, Florida State's Buster Posey was presented the award at MLB All-Star FanFest in New York City. Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State won the award in 2009 in St. Louis, and Bryce Harper of Southern Nevada took home the trophy from Anaheim, Calif., in 2010. UCLA's Trevor Bauer was the 2011 winner and Florida's Mike Zunino won the 2012 award. Bauer and Zunino accepted their trophies as part of live presentations from MLB Network's Studio 42.
Other past winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006) and David Price (2007).