Feb. 16, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – Buster Posey and Jack Rye were named to the preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List as announced by USA Baseball. This year’s watch list features 75 of the nation’s top collegiate talents, as nominated by baseball Sports Information Directors across the nation.
The Golden Spikes Award is sponsored by Major League Baseball and has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country for the past 30 years. The award is presented each year to the play who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship. Since the inception of the award back in 1978, a Florida State student-athlete has received the Golden Spikes award three times as Mike Fuentes (1981), Mike Loynd (1986) and J.D. Drew (1997) have all won the award. No school in America has produced more winners of this prestigious award than Florida State. Last year, second baseman Tony Thomas, Jr. was a finalist for the award.
The preseason has been rewarding for Posey and Rye has both have earned All-America accolades by various publications. Posey was named a first team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America and Rivals.com. He was also named to the Brooks Wallace Award watch list. Rye has been honored as a second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and Rivals.com.
Posey, a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award a season ago, is coming off a spectacular sophomore campaign which featured first-team All-America and All-ACC accolades in his first year as a catcher. The Leesburg, Ga., native started all 62 games from behind the plate for the Seminoles in 2007 posting a .994 fielding percentage, committing just three errors in 478 total chances. He also kept opposing runners at bay a year ago throwing out 40.9 percent of attempted base stealers.
Last year, Posey ranked fifth in the ACC in hitting (.382), second in doubles (21), third in hits (94) and RBI (65) and fourth in runs scored with 66. He registered a hit in 51 of 62 games, while recording multi-hits in 32 games. His 65 RBI’s led the team and surpassed his RBI total of 48 as a freshman. Posey successfully advanced runners 101 times out of 171 opportunities at the plate, good for the second highest rating on the team.
“This is a great honor to be on the Golden Spikes Award Watch List,” said Posey. “With the season just around the corner, you have to go out and have the same approach following each game and that is to win ballgames and hopefully everything will be alright.”
Rye is coming off one of his finest seasons in a Seminole uniform where he posted career-highs in batting average, at-bats, hits, RBI and fielding percentage. As a junior, Rye ranked third on the team with a .372 average collecting 87 hits in 234 at-bats. He hit 12 doubles and 10 home runs while driving in 61 runs en route to earning first-team All-ACC honors. Rye also tied his career-high with six stolen bases last year.
The Irvine, Calif., native was also impressive out on the field as he started 61 games in right field posting a career-high fielding percentage of .991. Rye committed just one error in 117 chances while recording two outfield assists.
“This is great news,” said Rye. “It’s exciting because there are some really great players on that list. I have really worked hard during the offseason and I hope it translates into helping this team in my last year here at Florida State”
Florida State will open the 2008 campaign on Friday, February 22 as they host Duquesne in the first of a three-game set on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
2008 Florida State Preseason Accolades
Buster Posey – Brooks Wallace Award Watch List; Golden Spike Award Watch List; 1st team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, Rivals.com; 3rd team All-American by NCBWA
Jack Rye – Golden Spikes Award Watch List; 2nd team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, Rivals.com
Jason Stidham – Brooks Wallace Award Watch List
Ryan Strauss – Brooks Wallace Award Watch List