Pitchers Jason Groome and Riley Pint are the lone high school players on the preseason watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation’s top amateur baseball player.
The award, to be given June 30 in Los Angeles, is sponsored by Major League Baseball and presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation.
There are 50 players on the list with nine different conferences from the NIAA and NCAA represented. The Southeastern Conference has 11 players. The Atlantic Coast Conference has nine and the Pac-12 has six.
Groome, a lefthander from Barnegat High in New Jersey, is projected by many to be the top draft pick in the MLB draft in June. A Vanderbilt commit, he returns to South Jersey after spending last season at IMG Academy.
The 6-6, 220-pound Groome was 5-0 this past season with a 1.22 ERA and 81 strikeouts and only nine walks in 43 innings for the Ascenders. He was 6-2 with a 0.57 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 61.1 innings as a sophomore at Barnegat. Groome’s fastball has an easy motion that belies its speed, which reached 97 mph this season and consistently was between 92-95 mph.
Pint, an LSU commit, is from St. Thomas Aquinas in Overland Park, Kan. Pint’s junior season finished with a 5-2 record on the mound with a 2.20 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 35 innings. He was just as good at the plate, racking up a .362 average, with one homer and 15 RBI while leading St. Thomas Aquinas to Kansas’ Class 5A regional tournament.
The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder packs serious punch with his fastball, topping out at 96 miles-per-hour, and he mixes in two plus breaking pitches; an 84 mile-per-hour changeup and 82 mile-per-hour curveball.