Cal Poly freshman shortstop Brooks Lee was added to USA Baseball's 2021 Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list last week.
The midseason watch list for the award, which goes to the top amateur baseball player in the country, features 45 of the nation's top amateur players from the high school and college ranks and includes 34 athletes who have played their way onto the watch list since the preseason list was announced on Feb. 18.
The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will continue to maintain a rolling list of athletes, allowing players to play themselves into consideration for the award before announcing the semifinalists on June 8. The winner of the 43rd Golden Spikes Award will be announced in July.
Lee is the first baseball player from Cal Poly on the Golden Spikes Award watch list.
"We are happy to recognize forty-five amateur athletes on the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list who put together stellar performances throughout the first half of the season," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director and CEO. "Each of these athletes have proven themselves worthy of consideration for this prestigious award and we cannot wait to watch the rest of this exciting season unfold before announcing our semifinalists in June."
Twice named Big West Conference Field Player of the Week earlier this season, Lee currently was hitting .363 and leads the Mustangs with 15 doubles, six home runs and 33 RBIs in 27 games played.
Lee went 7-for-12 with two doubles, a pair of home runs and seven RBIs versus Utah Valley and, the following week, was 7-for-14 with seven RBIs against UCLA in earning back-to-back Big West Field Player of the Week honors.
A 2019 San Luis Obispo High School graduate, Lee is No. 1 in the Big West this week in doubles (15), RBIs (33), total bases (78), sacrifice flies (4) and slugging percentage (.690) and is second in home runs (6) and hits (41), third in runs scored (28) and seventh with his .363 batting average.
In NCAA Division I statistics released Wednesday, Lee is No. 2 in doubles (15), third in doubles per game (0.56), 13th in sacrifice flies (4), 25th in total bases (78), No. 36 in RBIs (33), 40th in RBIs per game (1.22), 48th in hits per game (1.52), No. 51 in slugging percentage (.690) and 53rd in hits (41).
The watch list is headlined by Adrian Del Castillo (Miami) and Kumar Rocker (Vanderbilt), who both appeared on consecutive preseason watch lists in 2020 and 2021. Additionally, Kenyon Yovan (Oregon) was named to the 2021 midseason watch list after appearing on the preseason list in 2019.
Vanderbilt University leads all 40 schools represented with three athletes on the 2021 midseason watch list while Arizona, Mississippi State, and Texas Tech each placed two athletes on the list.
In total, 17 different NCAA conferences have at least one athlete on the list. The Southeastern Conference leads all conferences represented on the midseason watch list with nine athletes, while seven players represent the Atlantic Coast Conference and five hail from the Big 12 Conference.
In addition to Lee, the other watch list member from the Big West Conference is UC Santa Barbara pitcher Rodney Boone.
Oregon State's Adley Rutschman took home the prestigious award most recently in 2019, joining a group of recent winners that include Andrew Vaughn (2018), Brendan McKay (2017), Kyle Lewis (2016), Andrew Benintendi (2015), A.J. Reed (2014), Kris Bryant (2013), Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Buster Posey (2008), and David Price (2007).
After the semifinalists are announced June 8, the list will be sent to a voting body consisting of baseball media members, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters. As part of this selection process, all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of semifinalists. On June 24, USA Baseball will announce the finalists, and voting for the winner will begin that same day.
Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2021. Beginning with the semifinalist announcement and continuing through the finalist round voting deadline, fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite player on GoldenSpikesAward.com. The winner will be announced in July.