February 18, 2010
Wates named to Golden Spikes Award Watch list
Hokies to open season on Friday at noon

DURHAM, N.C. – Virginia Tech’s Austin Wates appears on the USA Baseball preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List, an award bestowed upon the top amateur baseball player in the country annually at the end of the season. Sponsored by Major League Baseball, the list was announced on Thursday and the award will be presented in 2010 for the 33rd time.

Wates has been named a third-team preseason All-American by two publications: Baseball American and Collegiate Baseball.The outfielder/first baseman ranked fourth in the ACC last season with a .397 batting average. He led the team with 77 hits, 20 doubles, 118 total bases and a .608 slugging percentage, while adding 50 runs scored, three triples and five homers. He also swiped 16 bases in 17 attempts.

Wates, a junior, then tore it up in the Cape Cod League over the summer, where he was ranked as the 15th best pro prospect byBaseball America. He was named an all-league team outfielder after finishing the season fourth in the league with a .312 batting average. In 40 games for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, he tallied eight doubles, two triples, 21 RBIs and 12 steals. He was a starter in the mid-season all-star game at Fenway Park.

Wates and the Hokies will open the 2010 season on Friday at the Caravelle Resort Tournament in Conway, S.C. Game notes for the weekend are available here.

The watch list features 50 of the nation’s top amateur talents, and it will be a “rolling” list to ensure that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the Golden Spikes Award, to be presented live on Tuesday, July 13, at the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest in Anaheim, Calif.

“We’re very pleased to announce the 50 members of the preseason watch list for the 2010 Golden Spikes Award,” said Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball. “The level of amateur baseball talent in our country continues to rise each year, and there is no greater evidence of this than seeing six 2009 semifinalists named to the 2010 watch list.”

On Tuesday, June 1, USA Baseball officials will cut the watch list of players to 30 names. The final list of 30 will then be sent to a voting body consisting of select professional baseball personnel, past USA Baseball National Team coaches, select members of the media, former USA Baseball sports information directors, and current USA Baseball staff - close to 150 voters in total.

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), David Price (2007), Buster Posey (2008) and last year’s winner, Stephen Strasburg.

The complete 2010 preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List is as follows:

1. Chad Bettis, RHP, Junior, Texas Tech

2. Daniel Bibona, LHP, Senior, UC Irvine

3. Bryce Brentz, OF/RHP, Junior, Middle Tennessee

4. Michael Choice, OF, Junior, Texas-Arlington

5. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Sophomore, UCLA

6. Christian Colon, SS, Junior, Cal State Fullerton

7. Zack Cox, 3B/RHP, Sophomore, Arkansas

8. Todd Cunningham, OF, Junior, Jacksonville State

9. Blake Dean, 1B/OF, Senior, Louisiana State

10. Sam Dyson, RHP, Junior, South Carolina

11. Brett Eibner, RHP/OF, Junior, Arkansas

12. Micah Gibbs, C, Junior, Louisiana State

13. Sean Gilmartin, LHP, Sophomore, Florida State

14. Yasmani Grandal, C, Junior, Miami (Fla.)

15. Sonny Gray, RHP, Sophomore, Vanderbilt

16. Justin Grimm, RHP, Junior, Georgia

17. Jedd Gyorko, 2B/3B, Junior, West Virginia

18. Rick Hague, SS, Junior, Rice

19. Bryce Harper, C/3B/OF, Freshman, Southern Nevada

20. Cody Hawn, 1B, Junior, Tennessee

21. Chris Hernandez, LHP, Junior, Miami (Fla.)

22. Tyler Holt, OF, Junior, Florida State

23. Danny Hultzen, LHP/1B, Sophomore, Virginia

24. Kevin Jacob, RHP, Junior, Georgia Tech

25. Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Sophomore, Texas

26. Leon Landry, OF, Junior, Louisiana State

27. Deck McGuire, RHP, Junior, Georgia Tech

28. Hunter Morris, 1B/OF, Junior, Auburn

29. Jarrett Parker, OF, Junior, Virginia

30. Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Junior, Mississippi

31. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Junior, Louisiana State

32. Addison Reed, RHP, Junior, San Diego State

33. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Sophomore, Rice

34. Daniel Renken, RHP, Junior, Cal State Fullerton

35. Kyle Roller, 1B, Senior, East Carolina

36. Cameron Rupp, C, Junior, Texas

37. Chris Sale, LHP, Junior, Florida Gulf Coast

38. Jake Smith, 3B/RHP, Senior, Alabama

39. Josh Spence, LHP, Senior, Arizona State

40. Tony Thompson, 3B, Junior, Kansas

41. Preston Tucker, 1B, Sophomore, Florida

42. Kolbrin Vitek, 3B/RHP, Junior, Ball State

43. Austin Wates, OF, Junior, Virginia Tech

44. Cody Wheeler, LHP, Junior, Coastal Carolina

45. Ross Wilson, 2B/SS, Junior, Alabama

46. Alex Wimmers, RHP, Junior, Ohio State

47. Mickey Wiswall, 3B/1B, Junior, Boston College

48. Kolten Wong, 2B, Sophomore, Hawaii

49. Scott Woodward, 3B, Junior, Coastal Carolina

50. Brandon Workman, RHP, Junior, Texas

For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).

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