Cincinnati native named finalist for Golden Spikes Award
MADEIRA, OH (FOX19) -
By: Seth Graham
Arkansas Razorback and Cincinnati native, Andrew Benintendi, was named among four finalists for the USA Golden Spikes Award. The Golden Spikes award is presented to the nation's top amateur baseball player.
The Arkansas outfielder leads the Southeastern Conference in batting average (.379), slugging percentage (.737), on base percentage (.498), homeruns (18) and walks (42).
He ranks third in the nation in home runs and slugging percentage and one of only two players in the country with over 15 home runs and over 20 stolen bases. Benintendi also ranks second in the SEC for total bases (154) and fifth in stolen bases (22).
He was named national player of the year by collegiate baseball and also earned SEC Player of the Year honors. He was the first player in Razorback baseball to earn both of those awards.
Benintendi, who attended Madeira High School, became Ohio's hit king in 2013. As a senior at Medeira he batted .564 with 12 home runs, 57 RBIs and 38 stolen bases and was the ABCA/Rawlings National High School Player of the Year and Ohio Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year.
He was drafted by the Reds in round 31 in the 2013 MLB Draft, but decided to play college baseball instead.
Benintendi is one of four finalists that are projected to be first-round choices in the MLB draft. The other candidates are Alex Bregman, a shortstop from Louisiana State, Carson Fulmer, a right-handed pitcher from Vanderbilt, and Dansby Swanson, a shortstop from Vanderbilt.
Ian Happ, a junior at the University of Cincinnati, did not make the final cut as he was one of the 21 Golden Spikes semifinalists. Happ is also projected as a first-round draft choice.
Happ, the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, batted .369 this year with 14 homeruns, 44 RBI, 49 walks and 12 stolen bases.