USA Baseball announced their Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List Friday afternoon, naming Ole Miss’ Jacob Gonzalez and Hunter Elliott to the first iteration of the list of amateur baseball’s best players.
This is the third-consecutive year that Ole Miss has been represented on the list and the fourth time since 2008 that there have been two or more Rebels on the list. Ole Miss has now put 12 total players on the Preseason Watch List over the last 15 seasons.
Gonzalez becomes the first Rebel since 2008 to make the Preseason Watch List twice, having also been named to the list prior to last season. He is also one of just two Rebel position players to make the list during that time with the other being Hayden Dunhurst in 2022.
This caps off an illustrious preseason for Gonzalez who was recently named to the Preseason All-SEC First Team. He was also named a Preseason All-American by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball News, D1Baseball, NCBWA, and Perfect Game. In addition to his All-America honors, Gonzalez has been named the No. 3 MLB prospect in all of college baseball by D1Baseball, the No. 5 MLB Draft prospect by MLB Pipeline heading into the 2023 season, and the second-best college shortstop in the nation by D1Baseball.
Elliott adds this honor to four Preseason All-America honors, as he made lists produced by Collegiate Baseball News, D1Baseball, and Perfect Game. Perfect Game ranked him No. 31 in their Top-100 Sophomores list and D1Baseball ranked him No. 18 in their Top 2024 MLB Draft SEC Prospects list.
Moving forward, the Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will maintain the award’s watchlist on a rolling basis, allowing athletes to play themselves into consideration for the award based on their performances throughout the season. Fan voting will again play a part in the Golden Spikes Award in 2023. Amateur baseball fans can vote for their favorite players on GoldenSpikesAward.com, beginning on May 22 with the naming of the semifinalists. USA Baseball will announce the finalists for the award on June 7, and fan voting will once again open at GoldenSpikesAward.com before closing on June 21.