Arizona junior first baseman JJ Matijevic has been named one of 25 semifinalists for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, USA Baseball announced.
The Golden Spikes Award is given to the top player in the country and is presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation. Matijevic is the first Arizona player to be named a semifinalist since Pac-12 Player of the Year Scott Kingery made the cut in 2015.
Matijevic had a banner regular season for the Wildcats, batting .389 with 29 doubles, 10 home runs and 64 RBI. He also scored 54 runs and was a perfect 9 for 9 in stolen bases. The North Huntingdon, Pa., native led the Pac-12 in average, slugging percentage (.650), hits (88), RBI, doubles and total bases (147).
The first baseman has 27 multi-hit games this season, including five of four or more. He has 14 multi-RBI games and has driven in five or more runs in a game four different times this season. Matijevic also had a 21-game on base streak earlier this season.
He’s produced at least one RBI in 10 of his last 11 games and had a 10-game RBI streak until the final game of the regular season. He’s gone hitless in back-to-back games just once this season and hasn’t gone longer than four games without a multi-hit game.
Matijevic’s 29 doubles are the second most in school history in a single season. He’s one away from tying Dave Stegman for the single-season school record. He has 59 career doubles, which ranks sixth all-time at Arizona.
The finalists for the Golden Spike Award will be announced on June 14.
Fan voting is also part of the award this year. As of May 31, fans can vote for Matjevic to win on GoldenSpikesAward.com. The live presentation of the ward will be announced on ESPN’s SportsCenter on June 29.
Arizona’s communications office provided the content for this story.