Luken Baker is good at baseball. This is not news. What is news, though, is that TCU’s slugger/first baseman is a midseason nominee for the most prestigious awards in college baseball, the Golden Spikes Award.
Given to the best amateur baseball player in the United States annually, the Golden Spikes Award is a partnership between USA Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. It has been given each year since 1978, highlighting collegiate athletes who exhibit and combine “exceptional on-field ability and exemplary sportsmanship.”
Baker, who is in his third season at TCU after being named the Gatorade Player of the Year as a high school senior, is hitting .297 on the season with seven home runs and 18 RBI. In 142 career games, he has 26 home runs, 121 RBI, and 107 walks. He is batting over .300 for his career and is a likely early-round draft pick this summer.
Joining Baker on the midseason watch list from the Big 12 are Kody Clemens (Texas), Jake Irvin (Oklahoma), and Davis Martin (Texas Tech). The semifinalists will be announced on Monday, May 21st by USA Baseball, with the winner being voted on by a combination of media members, professional baseball personnel, USA Baseball staff members, and the previous award winners - a list that includes Brendan McKay, Kris Bryant, Trevor Bauer, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey, and David Price. Also invited to participate in the voting are the fans, who can cast their lot at GoldenSpikesAward.com.
The winner of the 41st Golden Spikes Award will be named on Thursday, June 28, at a presentation in Los Angeles. Vote early and often for Luken!