The Road to Omaha has officially begun. Yesterday was an action packed day from start to finish. Tristan Beck looks to be back, the Bash Brother of Wichita State went bananas, and LSU -- despite a new look squad — is still pretty good at baseball, exciting at the very least.
That all means that the Golden Spikes Award watch has also commenced. USA Baseball announced its first 55 players to watch on February 9. I sat down with Anthony Chiusano and Andrew Cyr, my baseball cohorts at NCAA.com, and discussed who we thought had the best chance to be amongst the final ten standing.
Here’s the list we came up with (in alphabetical order):
|Luken Baker||DH/ 1B||Big 12||TCU|
|Seth Beer||1B/ OF||ACC||Clemson|
|Jeremy Eierman||SS||MVC||Missouri State|
|Nick Madrigal||2B||Pac-12||Oregon State|
|Travis Swaggerty||OF||Sun Belt||South Alabama|
|Matt Wallner||OF/RHP||C-USA||Southern Miss|
So, how did we come up with our list? The three of us came up with 13 or 14 names and in roundtable fashion were able to narrow it down. Anthony spent all of the College World Series in Omaha, so between non-stop regional coverage and his time there, he’s seen a few of these guys up close and personal. Andrew is new this season, but a baseball junkie, more knowledgable than simple stat sheet looks. And then there’s opinionated me, who still thinks this is Travis Swaggerty’s year, so judge me as you will.
Five players — Seth Beer, Jeremy Eierman, Nick Madrigal, Casey Mize, and Brady Singer were unanimous. Four other had two of us agree and the third have said player on his alternate list. Matt Wallner was only on Anthony’s, but through some convincing debate, he rounded out our list.
Here’s what we came up with, player by player and we even included some thoughts on the six players who just missed the cut. You can get our full thoughts by clicking on the link below.