Crochet and Soularie up for top honor

Al Soularie bats for Tennessee against Missouri
Al Soularie bats for Tennessee against Missouri(WVLT)
Published: Feb. 13, 2020 at 5:21 PM EST
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Tennessee had two players named to the 2020 Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list, as announced by USA Baseball on Thursday afternoon.

The junior duo of left-handed pitcher Garrett Crochet and outfielder Alerick Soularie was named to the 55-player preseason watch list for amateur baseball's most prestigious award, joining 15 other players from the Southeastern Conference.

Arizona State and Vanderbilt led all schools with three players each on the list, while Tennessee was one of 10 programs to have two players represented.

The Golden Spikes Award is given annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country and consists of players from amateur levels ranging from high school to NCAA Division I.

Crochet and Soularie join Nick Senzel (2016), Christin Stewart (2015), Cody Hawn (2010) and Kentrall Davis (2009) as the only Tennessee players to be named to the award's preseason watch list.

Crochet has been tabbed as a potential top-10 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft and enters this season with high expectations after showing flashes of dominance during his first two years on Rocky Top. The Ocean Springs, Mississippi native, made 18 appearances and struck out 81 batters in 65.0 innings pitched in 2019. Crochet started the season in the bullpen before eventually working his way into the weekend rotation during SEC play, finishing the year with a 5-3 record as well as three saves.

During his two seasons at Tennessee, Crochet has appeared in 35 games while making 12 starts and has recorded 10 wins, four saves and 143 strikeouts. He was tabbed as a first-team preseason All-American by Baseball America and third-team preseason All-American by Perfect Game.

Soularie burst onto the scene as a sophomore last season after playing his freshman year at San Jacinto College. The Houston native led the Vols in batting average (.357), slugging percentage (.602), on-base percentage (.466) and runs scored (52) while ranking second on the team in hits (70), home runs (11), runs batted in (46) and total bases (118).

Soularie earned numerous postseason honors in 2019, including first-team All-SEC recognition after finishing the year ranked in the top five in the SEC in batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. He was also named a third-team All-American by and an All-America Honorable Mention by Perfect Game and has earned preseason All-America honors by (first team), Baseball America (second team), the NCBWA (second team) and Perfect Game (third team).

Fan nominations and voting will once again play a part in the Golden Spikes Award in 2020. Amateur baseball fans will be able to nominate their favorite players to be in consideration for the 2020 award starting February 14 until April 6 on, prior to the announcement of the Golden Spikes Award mid-season watch list. In addition, fans will once again be able to vote for their favorite players, starting on May 14 with the naming of the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists.

USA Baseball will announce the finalists for the award on May 28 and fan voting will open at concurrently, remaining open through June 7.

The Winner of the 43rd Golden Spikes Award will be named Thursday, June 11. To stay up-to-date on the 2020 Golden Spikes Award

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