LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior first baseman Evan White was named to the 2017 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List, it was announced Wednesday.
This award honors the top amateur baseball player in the nation for their performance on the field. The midseason watch list features 40 of the nation’s most elite players. The Southeastern Conference placed 11 individuals on the watch 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, was voted to the Coaches’ Preseason All-Southeastern Conference Team and also received preseason honors from Collegiate Baseball, D1 Baseball, PerfectGame.org and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association coming off a stellar 2016 season where he earned Second Team All-SEC honors. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder’s defensive prowess earned him a Rawlings Gold Glove in 2016 and All-SEC Defensive Team honors for the second consecutive season. As a freshman in 2015, White earned Freshman All-SEC honors.
Despite injuries that caused him to miss 13 games earlier this season he still leads the team with a .373 batting average in 20 games. He has scored 15 runs, and hit eight doubles, one triple and three home runs while driving in 11 this season. He owns a team-high .627 slugging percentage and .473 on-base percentage. White now has 182 career hits, ranking him 18th on Kentucky’s all-time career hit list, and his career batting average of .351 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 11th highest 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.