Arkansas star and Boston Red Sox first-round draft choice Andrew Benintendi added to his hardware collection on Tuesday night during a live presentation on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
Benintendi was tabbed the winner of the 38th recipient of the Golden Spikes Award, which is presented to the top amateur baseball player in the country.
The SEC Player of the Year had already pocketed the Dick Howser Award and well as being named the winner of the nation’s best player by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
“I’ve had a lot of help getting to where I am, a lot of support and I am very honored,” Benintendi said.
The four finalists were all SEC players as he joined Vanderbilt’s Dansby Swanson and LSU’s Alex Bergman, who were the top two picks in the recent Major League Draft and Vanderbilt pitcher Carson Fulmer.
Benintendi batted .376, had a nation’s leading 20 homers, had 57 RBIs and also stole 24 bases while leading the Razorbacks (40-25) to the College World Series.
ESPN host and former LSU and MLB pitcher Ben McDonald asked Benintendi how his game would play at Boston’s Fenway Park.
“I’ve got a long way until there so right now I can just focus on the little things,” Benintendi said.
Benintendi led the SEC in batting average, home runs, slugging percentage and walks and was the only player in the country to rank in the top 25 nationally in all those categories.
He was the first college player with 20-plus homers and 20 plus stolen bases since Western Kentucky’s Wade Gaynor and the first SEC player since Vanderbilt’s Dominic de la Osa in 2007.
Golden Spikes Award Winners
1978: Bob Horner Arizona State University
1979: Tim Wallach, Cal State Fullerton
1980: Terry Francona, University of Arizona
1981: Mike Fuentes, Florida State University
1982: Augie Schmidt, University of New Orleans
1983: Dave Magadan, University of Alabama
1984: Oddibe McDowell, Arizona State University
1985: Will Clark, Mississippi State University
1986: Mike Loynd, Florida State University
1987: Jim Abbott, University of Michigan
1988: Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State University
1989: Ben McDonald, LSU
1990: Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College
1991: Mike Kelly, Arizona State University
1992: Phil Nevin, Cal State Fullerton
1993: Darren Dreifort, Wichita State University
1994: Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech
1995: Mark Kotsay, Cal State Fullerton
1996: Travis Lee, San Diego State University
1997: J.D. Drew, Florida State University
1998: Pat Burrell, University of Miami
1999: Jason Jennings, Baylor University
2000: Kip Bouknight, University of South Carolina
2001: Mark Prior, University of Southern California
2002: Khalil Greene, Clemson University
2003: Rickie Weeks, Southern University
2004: Jered Weaver, Long Beach State University
2005: Alex Gordon, University of Nebraska
2006: Tim Lincecum, University of Washington
2007: David Price, Vanderbilt University
2008: Buster Posey, Florida State University
2009: Stephen Strasburg, San Diego State University
2010: Bryce Harper, College of Southern Nevada
2011: Trevor Bauer, UCLA
2012: Mike Zunino, University of Florida
2013: Kris Bryant, University of San Diego
2014: A.J. Reed, University of Kentucky
2015: Andrew Benintendi, University of Arkansas
Benintendi Captures Golden Spikes Award
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