Apr 10, 2014 9:27 PM by UL Sports Information
DURHAM, N.C. - With the top-ranked Ragin' Cajuns baseball team off to a great start and several players putting up outstanding offensive numbers, senior Seth Harrison was named to the 50-man midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list, USA Baseball announced on Thursday.
"I think it's an honor and a privilege to be narrowed down as one of the top 50 players in the country at the collegiate level," head coach Tony Robichaux said. "I think it's not only great for Seth, but also for our program to have a player considered for this honor. At the end of the day the reason that he is on this list isn't just because he is a great ball player. Seth has put in a lot of work in the offseason and this just recognizes all the hard work he has put in."
Harrison is hitting .365 on the season and leads one of the best offensive teams in the nation in hits (50), doubles (11), home runs (8) total bases (91), sac bunts (5) and sacrifice flies (6). The senior outfielder is also second on the squad in triples (3), RBI (38) and slugging (.664).
"What has made our team so good this year is that each player pushes each other," Robichaux added. "When you do that you are going to raise your game. That's been a huge benefit for Seth because he has those other guys in the lineup pushing him every night out. Not only has he been able to reach his best, but this has pushed him past his best."
Currently, Harrison ranks top 50 in the country in six categories, as he is sixth in total bases and seventh in sac flies. Harrison is one of three Louisiana players with double-digit hit and on base streaks. He has reached in 21 straight games and is on a 10-game hit streak.
Harrison leads the Cajuns with 16 multi-hit games and nine multi-RBI game. A native of Cypress, Texas, Harrison tied the school record for hits in a game with five on the road at Troy in the series finale. He has also recorded a season-best four RBI twice this year.
"The thing with Seth is that on days when he isn't at his best he is able to make up for it with his speed. He can use his speed to beat out a ground ball. He can lay a bunt down and outrun it. When you can do that, it helps you keep your average up. It's extremely hard when you are failing 70-percent of the time to get there on hits alone. Hits aren't going to show up every day, but his speed will."
Harrison is part of a squad that ranks in the top 10 nationally in 13 categories. The Ragin' Cajuns are first in home runs (45), runs (301), slugging percentage (.541), triples (21) and sacrifice flies (28).
"This is testament to assistant coach Matt Deggs and our hitting coaches in being able to develop hitters," Robichaux said. " We have been very fortunate through the years to develop a lot of pitchers, but now we are developing hitters. When you put those two together it makes for a great team. I think that's one of the biggest reasons why we are where we are at right now."
Danny Farquhar was the last Cajuns player to be named to the Golden Spikes Watch List back in 2008.
The watch list will continue to be a "rolling" list until May 27 -- when the semifinalists for the award are announced -- ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award. The Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live in Los Angeles on July 17.
Twenty-three new players including Harrison were added to the list since its initial release on February 14, joining 27 others from the preseason watch list.
USA Baseball officials will announce the 30-man watch list for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award on Thursday, May 8. USA Baseball will then release the semifinalists on Tuesday, May 27. The list of athletes will then be sent to a voting body consisting of Golden Spikes Award winners, past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.
Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2014. Tuesday, May 27, marks the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalist on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of names.
Last year, University of San Diego infielder, Kris Bryant, took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that includes Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Buster Posey (2008).
Other past winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006) and David Price (2007).
Important 2014 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award dates include:
Friday, Feb. 14: 60-man preseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Thursday, April 10: 50-man midseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Thursday, May 8: 30-man watch list, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Tuesday, May 27: Semifinalists announced, selected by USA Baseball officials; semifinalist voting begins; voters to select three
Friday, May 30: Deadline to vote for finalists, 5 p.m. ET
Tuesday, June 3: Finalists announced; finalist voting begins; voters to select one
Friday, June 13: Deadline to vote for winner, 5 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 17: Golden Spikes Award presentation
The complete 2014 Midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List is as follows:
Name, Position, Class, School (in order of last name, new players bolded)
Brady Aiken, LHP, Senior, Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) HS
Brian Anderson, IF, Junior, Arkansas
Brett Austin, C, Junior, NC State
Tyler Beede, RHP, Junior, Vanderbilt
Aaron Brown, OF/LHP, Junior, Pepperdine
Nick Burdi, RHP, Junior, Louisville
Michael Conforto, OF, Junior, Oregon State
Austin Cousino, OF, Junior, Kentucky
J.D. Davis, OF/RHP, Junior, Cal State Fullerton
Tyler Davis, RHP, Junior, Washington
Chris Ellis, RHP, Junior, Mississippi
Joey Epperson, OF/IF, RS-Senior, UC Santa Barbara
Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Sophomore, Cal State Fullerton
Erick Fedde, RHP, Junior, UNLV
Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Junior, TCU
Blake Fox, LHP, Sophomore, Rice
Kyle Freeland, LHP, Junior, Evansville
Clinton Freeman, OF, Sophomore, East Tennessee State
Jeff Gardner, OF, Senior, Louisville
Aaron Garza, RHP, Junior, Houston
Casey Gillaspie, IF, Junior, Wichita State
Grayson Greiner, C, Junior, South Carolina
Chris Haddeland, RHP, Junior, Linfield
Ian Happ, IF, Sophomore, Cincinnati
Seth Harrison, OF, Senior, Louisiana Lafayette
Matt Imhof, LHP, Junior, Cal Poly
Michael Katz, IF, Junior, William & Mary
Nathan Kirby, LHP, Sophomore, Virginia
Ross Kivett, IF, Senior, Kansas State
Ryan McBroom, OF, Senior, West Virginia
Daniel Miles, IF, Junior, Tennessee Tech
DJ Miller, IF, Senior, Delaware State
Corey Miller, RHP, Senior, Pepperdine
Andrew Morales, RHP, Senior, UC Irvine
Michael Murray, RHP, Sophomore, Florida Gulf Coast
Aaron Nola, RHP, Junior, LSU
Mike Papi, OF, Junior, Virginia
Mark Payton, OF, Senior, Texas
Max Pentecost, C, Junior, Kennesaw State
A.J. Reed, LHP/IF, Junior, Kentucky
Kyle Schwarber, C, Junior, Indiana
Kade Scivicque, C, Junior, LSU
Austen Smith, IF, Senior, Alabama
D.J. Stewart, OF, Sophomore, Florida State
Ryan Thompson, RHP, Senior, Campbell
Trent Thornton, RHP, Sophomore, North Carolina
Sam Travis, IF, Junior, Indiana
Luke Weaver, RHP, Sophomore, Florida State
Ben Wetzler, LHP, Senior, Oregon State
Bradley Zimmer, OF, Junior, San Francisco
About the Golden Spikes Award
Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the Golden Spikes Award. Following the first-ever presentation of the Award to Bob Horner of Arizona State, the Golden Spikes Award has been presented each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship. The 2012 Golden Spikes Award winner was Mike Zunino of the University of Florida. Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball players such as Bryce Harper ('10), Stephen Strasburg ('09), Buster Posey ('08), David Price ('07), Tim Lincecum ('06), Alex Gordon ('05), Jered Weaver ('04), Rickie Weeks ('03) and Mark Kotsay ('95). Former Major League stars that have captured the award include Pat Burrell ('98), Robin Ventura ('88), Jim Abbott ('87), Will Clark ('85), Dave Magadan ('83), Terry Francona ('80), Tim Wallach ('79), and Horner ('78). For more information, please visit GoldenSpikesAward.com. Fans can follow the Golden Spikes Award on Twitter @USAGoldenSpikes.
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