Florida first baseman and left-handed pitcher Jac Caglianone leads the 55-man 2024 Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List released on Friday by USA Baseball.
Caglianone finished as a finalist for the award in 2023, but LSU‘s Dylan Crews was named the best amateur baseball player in the nation. Naturally, Caglianone returns as a favorite to win the award in 2024, with Crews and the other finalist, Paul Skenes, now turned pro.
A year ago, Caglianone set the BBCOR-era record for home runs in a season with 33. He won’t have to top his own number to win the Golden Spikes, but doing so might lock things up for him without much debate. The other path to winning the award involves Caglianone taking a step forward on the mound and becoming a realistic two-way prospect in the pros.
High velocity from the left side is coveted at any level of baseball, but pitching in the majors (or minors) requires accuracy. If Caglianone can prove to scouts that he has control of his 98-99 mph fastball, a slight dip offensively won’t matter at all.
It won’t be easy to beat out some of nation’s best, though. Several SEC stars made the list, including Georgia‘s Charlie Condon, South Carolina’s Ethan Petry, Arkansas‘ Hagen Smith and LSU’s Tommy White — all of whom were semifinalists a year ago.
Perhaps the biggest threat to Caglianone’s Golden Spikes pursuit is Wake Forest first baseman Nick Kurtz. He plays the same position and is expected to be a top-5 pick in the upcoming draft. North Carolina‘s Vance Honeycutt is another name to watch from the ACC.
The 2024 Golden Spikes Award timeline is as follows:
April 4: Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List announced.
May 20: Golden Spikes Award semifinalists announced, and fan voting begins.
June 3: Golden Spikes Award semifinalists fan voting ends.
June 5: Golden Spikes Award…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/jac-caglianone-named-2024-golden-154544012.html
Author : Gators Wire
Publish date : 2024-02-12 15:45:44
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