LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior first baseman Evan White was named a 2017 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist, it was announced Wednesday.
This award honors the top amateur baseball player in the nation for their performance on the field. The semifinalists are 25 of the nation’s most elite players and White is one of four players from the Southeastern Conference on the list. 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.
White, from Gahanna, Ohio, recently was named Second-Team All-SEC and All-SEC Defensive Team by the league’s coaches. It was the third consecutive season White earned All-SEC Defensive Team honors and his defensive prowess earned him a Rawlings Gold Glove in 2016.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder is hitting .366 in 46 games. He leads the team in doubles with 23 and slugging percentage (.629) this season. He’s scored 39 runs, driven in 38, hit eight home runs and stolen six bases. He now has 222 career hits, ranking him ninth on Kentucky’s all-time career hit list, and his career batting average of .353 is sixth highest in school history.
In 2016, he led the team in average (.376), at bats (226), hits (85), runs (44), doubles (15), triples (3), runs batted in (40), total bases (121) and stolen bases (10). White’s career .348 batting average ranks No. 7 on UK’s all-time list (min. 300 at bats). White’s .376 batting average in 2016 ranks him tied with Terry Shumpert (1987) for the 11thhighest single-season mark in school history and his 85 hits rank him 11th on the single-season hits list.
White spent last summer playing for the United States Collegiate National Team, which traveled to Cuba, Japan and Taiwan. White was the team’s primary first baseman, starting 15 of 19 games and hitting .250 with eight runs scored.
Finalists for the prestigious honor will be announced on June 14 and the winner crowned on Thursday, June 29.