Former Vanderbilt star Price named nation's top amateur player
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Former Vanderbilt pitcher David Price won the Golden Spikes Award on Saturday as the nation's best amateur baseball player.
Taken first in the draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Price was a finalist in 2006 for the award, given out annually by USA Baseball.
Price, the first Golden Spikes Award winner from Vanderbilt, finished his junior season with an 11-1 record, a 2.63 ERA and 194 strikeouts. He broke the school's career strikeout record with 441 in just three seasons and 313 innings of work.
The pinch-hit homer he gave up to Michigan's Alan Oaks in an NCAA regional knocked the Commodores out of the tournament and kept them from reaching the College World Series.
"It's always great to get an award like this," he said. "I would have loved to go to Omaha and win that, but this is a good personal accomplishment."
The four other finalists were Price's Vanderbilt teammate Pedro Alvarez, Florida's Matt LaPorta, Florida State's Tony Thomas and Texas' Kyle Russell.
Price also won the Dick Howser Trophy for athletic and scholastic achievements and was named collegiate player of the year by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Baseball America.
Some notable former winners of the Golden Spikes include Bob Horner (1978), Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Ben McDonald (1989), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001) and Jered Weaver (2004).2004
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press