Uhh, so yeah, what I’m about to write here has pretty much nothing to do with … anything. I’m just going to list off some of the past Golden Spikes Award winners – the award given to the best amateur baseball player of a given year – and how awesome (or not awesome) they have been.
2011’s winner, Trevor Bauer, has only made two recent starts in the Major Leagues for Arizona. I’d say the jury is still out. However, 2010’s winner, Bryce Harper, has been one of the most exciting rookies in all of baseball this year for the Nationals.
I think everyone’s aware of 2009’s winner – Stephen Strasburg – the guy we missed out on by drafting #2 overall. I think the Nationals are pretty happy with their All Star so far. As I think the Giants are pretty happy with 2008’s winner, Buster Posey. Hell, here’s another catcher! He wins the award in 2008, he makes his Major Legue debut in 2009, and in the middle of their World Series run in 2010 he takes over as their starting backstop!
I’d say 2007’s winner, David Price, has carved out a nice career for himself with the Rays. He came in 2nd to Felix in the Cy Young race in 2010. 2006’s winner, Tim Lincecum, has famously won back-to-back Cy Young awards while not playing for the Seattle Mariners Who Could Have Drafted Him (the official title of the team, apparently).
The first guy on this list (going backward from the present) who has been kind of a dud thus far in his career is 2005’s Alex Gordon, third baseman for Kansas City. Yes, he’s been in the show since 2007, but until 2011’s breakthrough (23 homers, 45 doubles), he has been subpar at best. But, bouncing right back is 2004’s winner, Jered Weaver. He’s only been one of the AL’s best starting pitchers since forever.
Before that, you’ve got 2003’s Rickie Weeks, second baseman out of Milwaukee. While has made one All Star Game, I wouldn’t put him as high as everyone else. Nevertheless, hes’ been a starter for a long time, and fairly productive. Before that, we have Khalil Greene in 2002, short stop for San Diego. I’ve never heard of him, and for good reason, because he hasn’t been too great.
I’ll stop with 2001’s winner, Mark Prior. He was going to be a Hall of Fame type flame-thrower until injuries killed his blossoming career. And I’ll stop there because going back any further is going to make me less and less excited about Mike Zunino winning this award.
For the record, if you JUST look at recent past winners of the Golden Spikes Award, you’ve got to like our chances. But, if you take a step back and look at the fact that this is the SEATTLE Mariners, then your expectations will be tempered accordingly. Still, I’d bet that the Golden Spikes Award Winner goes on to greater things – on average – than the Heisman Trophy Winner in football. We’ll see, I guess.