Four Mississippi standouts have been named to the preseason watchlist for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the top amateur player in the nation.
On the collegiate level, three players with Mississippi ties were featured on the 55-player list: Dakota Jordan (Mississippi State/Jackson Academy), Braden Montgomery (Texas A&M/Madison Central), and Brett Sanchez (Belhaven). Looking to become the first high school player to win the award since Bryce Harper did it in 2010 is Jackson Prep’s Konnor Griffin.
Jordan, who heads into his sophomore season with the Bulldogs, batted .307 with 10 home runs and 40 RBI during a Freshman All-American campaign in 2023. The outfielder played his best ball during conference play, hitting .333 and belting eight of his 10 homers against SEC opponents.
Montgomery, who was joined by fellow Aggie Jace LaViolette on the list, will be in his first season with Texas A&M after a stellar career with Stanford. A serious dual-threat, Montgomery hit .364 with 17 home runs and 61 RBI while striking out 19 hitters in 14 innings of relief work on the mound.
Sanchez looks to pick up where he left off last season after being named Region VI Pitcher of the Year by D3baseball.com. In 2023, the right-hander led the Blazers with a 6-2 record across 11 starts with a 1.81 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. The Slidell, La., native held batters to a .185 average and is the only Division III player featured on the Golden Spikes preseason watchlist.
Last but not least, Griffin is in his senior season at Jackson Prep and has made waves as a potential top 10 pick in this year’s MLB Draft. Currently listed as the No. 8 overall prospect, the LSU commit has been playing varsity since eighth grade and has a .508 career batting average with 16 home runs and 64 RBI. Three games into his final high school season, Griffin is hitting .667 with two home runs. He also has one win on the mound to make for a 14-3 career record when pitching.
With the season already underway across high school, Division II, and Division III and Division I play beginning on Feb. 16, the Golden Spikes Advisory Board will maintain the award’s watchlist on a rolling basis before releasing a midseason watchlist on April 4. Semifinalists will be revealed on May 20 and finalists on June 5 before the winner is announced on June 23.
The full preseason watchlist for the 2024 Golden Spikes Award can be viewed here.