Cal sophomore Andrew Vaughn wins Golden Spikes Award

June 28, 2018, 7:06 PM

Cal first baseman Andrew Vaughn was named the winner of the 41st Golden Spikes Award on Thursday as the nation's top amateur baseball player.

The award is presented annually by USA Baseball in conjunction with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation.

Vaughn led the Pac-12 with a .402 batting average and finished second with 23 home runs and tied for third with 63 RBIs. He is the first sophomore to win the award since Andrew Benintendi of Arkansas in 2015 and the first winner from the Pac-12 since UCLA's Trevor Bauer in 2011.

Vaughn is also the first player from the Pac-12 to hit .400 since 2009.

Other finalists included Auburn pitcher Casey Mize, the No. 1 overall pick of the Detroit Tigers in the recent MLB draft, Florida pitcher Brady Singer and Texas second baseman Kody Clemens.

College underclassmen to win the award before Vaughn and Benintendi included Bryce Harper, Mark Kotsay, Alex Fernandez and Jim Abbott.

Each recipient from Mark Prior in 2001 to Benintendi made his big league debut within two years of winning. Ten of those 15 players reached the majors by the end of the next season.

Vaughn, the Pac-12 player of the year as a sophomore and the freshman of the year in 2017, is set to return to Cal in 2019. He is playing this summer for the USA Baseball collegiate national team.

Brendan McKay of Louisville won the award last year. He is playing first base and pitching in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. Other past winners include Kris Bryant, Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey, David Price, Tim Lincecum, Robin Ventura, Will Clark and Bob Horner.

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