Georgia Tech junior outfielder Kel Johnson has been named to the Golden Spikes Award watch list, annually given to the nation’s best player.
Junior outfielder Kel Johnson has been named to the Golden Spikes Award watch list for the 2017 collegiate season.
The Palmetto, Georgia native is coming off a tremendous sophomore campaign in 2016. Johnson hit at a .319/.367/.532 slash with 11 homeruns and 54 RBI. His 11 homerun and 54 RBI total were both tied for best on the team with former Yellow Jacket Matt Gonzalez. He was also named first team All-ACC last season.
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With all that being said, Johnson will be a big part of the Yellow Jackets team in 2017. He should be hitting out third or fourth in the lineup this season. With 21 homeruns through his first two seasons, sliding Johnson into the four spot may be the best spot for him and the team.
Johnson will look to become the second Yellow Jacket to win the award in 2017. The only other Georgia Tech baseball player to ever bring home the award? The other winner, was none other than standout catcher and two-time World Series champion Jason Varitek. Varitek won the award in 1994 as part of the best team in school history that finished as national runner ups.
Over the last decade, many of the Golden Spikes winners went on to being drafted in the first round of the MLB Draft and have strong professional careers. Notable winners of the award include Tim Lincecum, David Price, Buster Posey, Bryce Harper, and Kris Bryant.