* 3B Conor Panas (Toronto, Ont.) of the Canisius Golden Griffins and RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) are the two Canadians to make the pre-season 50-player USA Baseball Golden Spikes award watch list. Panas is a Toronto Mets grad, while Quantrill pitched for the Ontario Terriers.
Canisius’ Connor Panas Named to Golden Spikes Award Watch List
Canisius senior third baseman Connor Panas is one of 50 players to be named to the preseason USA Baseball Golden Spikes award watch list, according to USA Baseball. The Golden Spikes Award is presented annually to the nation’s top amateur player, with the trophy presentation scheduled for Tuesday, June 23, in Los Angeles. Sponsored by Major League Baseball and presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, 2015 marks the 38th year of the USA Golden Spikes Award.
RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) of the Stanford Cardinal also makes the top 50 list, which be paird to 30.
The preseason watch list features 50 of the nation’s top amateur players, and will be a “rolling” list until May 22 when the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists are announced. This policy is set up to ensure that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the collegiate and high school seasons.
Panas, the 2015 MAAC Preseason Player of the Year and the 2014 MAAC Player of the Year, is the first Griff to be named to the Golden Spikes Award watch list since Shane Davis, who earned a spot on the list in 2009. Named a 2015 Louisville Slugger Preseason First-Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, Panas was third in the MAAC in batting average (.362), first in home runs (6), RBI (51) and slugging percentage (.574), second in doubles (16) and fifth in on-base percentage (.443) in 2014. The third baseman was one of four Division I players with a .350 batting average, 50 RBI and 15 stolen bases last season. The Toronto native reached base in 43 of 47 starts, including the final 18 games of the season, and 10 of 19 times in the MAAC Championship. He had a career-long 15-game hitting streak in his junior season and he led the Griffs with 22 multi-hit games and 13 multi-RBI games.
Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2015. Friday, May 22, marks the day when amateur baseball fans across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalists at GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process, all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list. On Tuesday, June 3, USA Baseball will announce the finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.
Past winners of this prestigious award include current Major League Baseball players such as Mike Zunino (’12), Trevor Bauer (’11), Bryce Harper (’10), Stephen Strasburg (‘09), Buster Posey (‘08), David Price (’07), Tim Lincecum (’06), Alex Gordon (’05) and Jered Weaver (’04).
Former Major League stars that have captured the award include Pat Burrell (’98), Mark Kotsay (’95), Robin Ventura (’88), Jim Abbott (’87), Will Clark (’85), Dave Magadan (’83), Terry Francona (’80) and Tim Wallach (’79).
Canisius returns six starting position players (including four of their top five hitters), three of their top four starting pitchers and four of their top-five relievers for the 2015 season. Canisius officially opens the 2015 schedule on Saturday, Feb. 14, when the Blue and Gold meets Maryland at the Seventh Annual Caravelle Resort Tournament, hosted by Coastal Carolina.
Annual Golden Spikes award pre-season list
Name, Position, Class, School, Conference
David Berg, RHP, Senior, UCLA, Pac 12
Phil Bickford, RHP, Sophomore, CC of Southern Nevada, Scenic West (JC)
Alex Bregman, SS, Junior, LSU, SEC
Walker Buehler, RHP, Junior, Vanderbilt, SEC
Austin Byler, 3B, Senior, Nevada, Mountain West
Shaun Chase, C, Senior, Oregon, Pac 12
Zack Collins, C, Sophomore, Miami, ACC
Wil Crowe, RHP, Sophomore, South Carolina, SEC
Tyler Davis, RHP, Senior, Washington, Pac 12
Steven Duggar, OF, Junior, Clemson, ACC
Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Junior, Cal State Fullerton, Big West
Riley Ferrell, RHP, Junior, TCU, Big 12
Blake Fox, LHP, Junior, Rice, C-USA
Carson Fulmer, RHP, Junior, Vanderbilt, SEC
Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Junior, Louisville, ACC
Justin Garza, RHP, Junior, Cal State Fullerton, Big West
Eric Gutierrez, 1B, Junior, Texas Tech, Big 12
Chris Haddeland, RHP, Senior, Linfield, Northwest Athletic (DIII)
Ian Happ, OF, Junior, Cincinnati, American Athletic
Tyler Jay, LHP, Junior, Illinois, Big 10
Casey Jones, OF, Senior, Elon, CAA
James Kaprielian, RHP, Junior, UCLA, Pac 12
Nathan Kirby, LHP, Junior, Virginia, ACC
Jake Lemoine, RHP, Junior, Houston, American Athletic
Brett Lilek, LHP, Junior, Arizona State, Pac 12
Richie Martin, SS, Junior, Florida, SEC
Tate Matheny, OF, Junior, Missouri State, Missouri Valley
Michael Matuella, RHP, Junior, Duke, ACC
Andrew Moore, RHP, Junior, Oregon State, Pac 12
Preston Morrison, RHP, Senior, TCU, Big 12
Michael Murray, RHP, Junior, Florida Gulf Coast, Atlantic Sun
Sheldon Neuse, 3B, Sophomore, Oklahoma, Big 12
Kevin Newman, SS, Junior, Arizona, Pac 12
Connor Panas, 3B, Senior, Canisius, MAAC
Cal Quantrill, RHP, Sophomore, Stanford, Pac 12
Brendan Rodgers, SS, Senior (High School), Lake Mary (Fla.), High School
Chris Shaw, OF, Junior, Boston College, ACC
Logan Shore, RHP, Sophomore, Florida, SEC
DJ Stewart, OF, Junior, Florida State, ACC
Christin Stewart, OF, Junior, Tennessee, SEC
Andrew Suarez, LHP, RS-Junior, Miami, ACC
Dansby Swanson, SS, Junior, Vanderbilt, SEC
Keegan Thompson, RHP, Sophomore, Auburn, SEC
Trent Thornton, RHP, Junior, North Carolina, ACC
Blake Trahan, SS, Junior, Louisiana-Lafayette, Sun Belt
Christian Trent, LHP, Junior, Ole Miss, SEC
Robert Tyler, RHP, Sophomore, Georgia, SEC
Brandon Waddell, LHP, Junior, Virginia, ACC
Colin Welmon, RHP, Senior, Loyola Marymount, West Coast
Mikey White, SS, Junior, Alabama, SEC