LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky senior infielder/outfielder Luke Heyer and junior outfielder Tristan Pompey have been named to the 2018 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list, it was announced Tuesday.
The award honors the top amateur baseball player in the nation for their performance on the field. There are 40 players on the list, including nine from the Southeastern Conference. Former Wildcat A.J. Reed claimed the award in 2014 and joined the likes of Major League Baseball stars Kris Bryant, Trevor Bauer, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey, and David Price, who also won the award.
Pompey, from Toronto, Ontario, is a holdover from the preseason watch list and has done nothing this season to tarnish his reputation as one of the nation’s top players. In 27 games he is hitting .358 with 18 runs, a team-high 11 doubles, five home runs, 28 RBI and four stolen bases, along with a 1.087 OPS. The preseason All-American recently moved into the top 25 on UK’s all-time career hits list and was named SEC Player of the Week on April 9.
Heyer, from Lithia, Fla., has burst onto the scene this season after spending 2017 as a platoon player. He has twice been named SEC Player of the Week and also earned National Player of the Week honors earlier this season. Playing three positions defensively has not hindered his bat, as he leads the Cats with a .365 average and has stolen seven bases. He ranks fourth nationally in home runs (13), fourth in slugging percentage (.791), sixth in RBI (40) and 10th in total bases (91).
Heyer and Pompey become the seventh and eighth players recognized by the award since 2012, joining Austin Cousino (2012), Trevor Gott (2012), Luke Maile (2012), Reed (2014), Dustin Beggs (2016) and Evan White (2017).
Semifinalists for the prestigious award will be named May 21, finalists on June 6 and the winner crowned on Thursday, June 28.