USA Baseball announced that Virginia outfielder Jake McCarthy (Scranton, Pa.) is on its preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list. The award is annually bestowed on the nation’s top amateur baseball player.
Liberty outfielder D.J. Artis is also among the 55 players listed on the 2018 Golden Spikes Award watch list.
The 41st Golden Spikes Award will be presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation onJune 28 in Los Angeles, Calif.
The award is sponsored by Major League Baseball and presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation. It is presented each year to the player who best exhibits exceptional on-field ability and exemplary sportsmanship.
McCarthy is a unanimous preseason All-American, receiving First Team honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and D1Baseball.com. Baseball America tabbed McCarthy as a Second Team honoree and also listed him as the “fastest runner” on its list of players across the country with the best tools.
The junior outfielder headlines a talented crop of returners leftover from last year’s 43-win team. McCarthy racked up 80 hits and batted .338 with five home runs and 36 RBI as a sophomore last season. He led the ACC and ranked ninth in the nation after being successful on 27 of his 29 stolen bases attempts.
Artis has already been selected to two preseason All-America teams for 2018. The outfielder was named to both D1baseball.com and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) teams. In addition, he was selected the Big South Conference Preseason Player of the Year by the league’s coaches.
Last season, Artis was named to three All-America teams following a stellar sophomore season. The outfielder garnered selections to the D1baseball.com All-America second team and the Baseball America and NCBWA All-America third teams.
The 2017 Big South Player of the Year, Artis, who also earned all-conference first team honors for the second consecutive season, finished the year second in the nation with a .532 on base percentage and as the national leader in walks with 62. Artis’ base on balls total eclipsed his own single-season program record of 52 walks, which he set in 2016. In addition, he led the Big South Conference with a .359 batting average and 58 runs scored, while finishing second with 23 stolen bases.
Artis, who patrolled center field for the Flames, also completed 2017 among the conference leaders in hits (ninth – 65), RBI (ninth – 45) and slugging percentage (third – .552). He collected 13 doubles, two triples and six home runs.
The Greensboro, N.C., native was named the Big South Player of the Week three times in 2017. He was tabbed the league’s Player of the Week for March 20, April 24 and May 1. Artis
finished the year with tied for the team-lead with 19 multi-hit games, nine of which were three-hit contests, and had 11 multiple RBI games.