Louisville junior outfielder Corey Ray was among four finalists named Monday for the 2016 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award sponsored by Major League Baseball and presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation. The 2016 edition marks the 39th consecutive year the Golden Spikes Award has been awarded to the top amateur baseball player in the United States.

Ray becomes the first Louisville player to be selected as a finalist for the prestigious award and is joined by Clemson’s Seth Beer, Mercer’s Kyle Lewis and Florida’s Logan Shore. The award presentation will air on ESPN’s SportsCenter for the third consecutive year during the 7 p.m. EDT show on Friday, June 30. Following the announcement of the award, all four finalists will be celebrated at the Jonathan Club Los Angeles as part of the 2016 Rod Dedeaux Award Dinner. Hosted by the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the dinner will honor the Golden Spikes Award finalists, the Rod Dedeaux Award winner and the Rod Dedeaux USA Baseball Coach of the Year award winner, Willie Randolph.

An All-American and All-ACC First Team honoree for the second straight season in 2016, Ray closed the season with .310 batting average, 15 home runs, 60 RBI and 55 runs scored. Last week, Ray became the highest MLB Draft selection in school history going fifth overall to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Chicago native finished second in the nation in stolen bases with 44 and started all 64 games for Louisville. During his first three seasons at Louisville, Ray had .318 batting average with 27 home runs, 133 RBI and 82 stolen bases in 172 games played, including 148 starts.

In 2007, USA Baseball instituted a new selection and balloting procedure for the most prestigious award in amateur baseball, and it follows the same model again in 2016. After working closely with sports information directors and amateur baseball media across the country to determine watch lists and the top-performing athletes, a list of 25 semifinalists, which included Ray and Louisville sophomore Brendan McKay, was sent to the Golden Spikes Award voting committee last week. The four players that received the most votes advanced to the finalist round, and beginning today, the committee will have the opportunity to vote for the winner.

Fans will once again be able to vote for the 2016 award by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com and selecting their favorite finalist. Voting for fans and the voting body ends at 5 p.m. EDT onFriday, June 24.

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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of TheCrunchZone.com

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