USA Baseball unveiled its 50-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list recently, beginning the process of identifying the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2016 season. Sponsored by Major League Baseball, and presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the 39th Golden Spikes Award will be presented on June 30 in Los Angeles.
Keiser University junior designated hitter/pitcher Keivan Berges was among the names included on the list. Berges is the lone player from the NAIA and one of seven non-NCAA Division 1 players on the list. Wellington is his hometown.
The preseason watch list features 50 of the nation’s top amateur players, from high school and college baseball. The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will maintain a rolling list of athletes, allowing players to play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the season. “This is a huge honor for Keivan,” head coach Jeremy Kennedy said. “The Golden Spikes Award is a who’s who list of players in amateur baseball, and to even be mentioned is a big deal for him and for our program. I am very proud of Keivan for the work he has done to get to this point. He has put in a lot of work on and off the field in order to get to where he is today as a player and a person. I am very happy for him and proud of him. I am also very appreciative to the Golden Spikes Award committee for recognizing a college player who isn’t at a major Division 1 program.”
This season, Berges is batting a team leading .438 with 14 hits including three doubles, one homerun and 10 runs batted in. A season ago, he was named First Team All-American, Sun Conference Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference. Berges led the team in doubles (20), home runs (15), RBIs (73) and slugging percentage (.652).
The winner of the 39th Golden Spikes Award will be named on Thursday, June 30 at a presentation in Los Angeles. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner that evening at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.