UVA left-handed pitchers Nathan Kirby (Jr., Midlothian, Va.) and Brandon Waddell (Jr., Houston, Texas) have been named to the preseason USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list, announced Tuesday by USA Baseball. The list consists of 50 players in amateur baseball.
Virginia is one of seven schools who have multiple players on the list, joining Cal State Fullerton, Florida, Miami, TCU, UCLA and Vanderbilt. The duo form two-thirds of Virginia’s starting pitching rotation heading into the 2015 season.
A 2015 preseason First-Team All-American, Kirby was a semifinalist for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award.
The reigning ACC Co-Pitcher of the Year, Kirby was a consensus first-team All-American last season when he went 9-3 with a 2.06 ERA. In 113 1/3 innings, the left-hander allowed just 68 hits and 33 walks while striking out 112. On April 4, he recorded just the fourth no-hitter in program history when he no-hit Pittsburgh; Kirby struck out 18 in the dominating performance, the second-most strikeouts in program history. He recorded a quality start in 15 of his 18 starts (at least six innings pitched and three runs or fewer allowed).
A left-handed pitcher, Waddell was 10-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 18 starts as he became the 11th pitcher in program history to record at least 10 wins in a season. In a team-high 114 innings, Waddell limited opponents to 98 hits and just 19 walks with a .236 batting average. A Third-Team All-ACC honoree, Waddell had a huge postseason, going 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in four starts, including a complete-game victory in Game 2 of the College World Series Finals. He also was named to the All-College World Series Team.
On April 9, USA Baseball will release its 60-man midseason watch list, shaped by the Golden Spikes Award committee. On May 22, USA Baseball will announce the semifinalists for the 2015 Golden Spikes Award. The semifinalists list will be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that follow the amateur game closely, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the 37 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters.
Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2015. Friday, May 22, marks the day when amateur baseball fans across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalists at GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process, all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list. On Tuesday, June 3, USA Baseball will announce the finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.
The 2015 Golden Spikes Award winner will be named on Tuesday, June 23, at a presentation in Los Angeles. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner that evening at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.
Ranked as high as second nationally in the preseason, Virginia opens its 2015 season on Friday (Feb. 13) with a three-game series at East Carolina. The Cavaliers’ home opener is Feb. 17 against VCU.