The Golden Spikes Award is comparable to the Heisman Trophy, awarding the best overall player from their respective games in collegiate – or sometimes prep in the case of baseball – athletics.
But in the history of the prestigious honor, no player from a D2 school has ever won the award, and only three players have ever been a finalist for the honor. But the last time someone made it to the final part of voting was in 1992 when Michael Tucker of Longwood was named a finalist.
When looking at the crop of 2018 candidates however, we may finally have a player ready to break through and break the streak of D2 losing out on national recognition. We of course are talking about Zack Shannon, a senior first baseman for Delta State.
Widely regarded as the best player at the D2 level regardless of position, this towering slugger is a leader among multiplle offensive categories in the nation, including home runs (29), RBI (86), and SLG% (.989).
When comparing those above numbers to that of D1 players, they are at the top as well with no player currently supplanting those totals as of May 20. D1 Baseball does go on for longer though, so there is a chance those numbers could be trounced.
Besides being the best power hitter in the game across all levels, Shannon also received the support of ESPN broadcaster Ben McDonald during a telecast over the last weekend when the former LSU star was announcing a contest between Florida and Mississippi State.
We ???? you @zack_shannon!
— Delta State Baseball (@DeltaStateBSB) May 20, 2018
The ESPN broadcaster listed the Shannon among his seven 'favorites' for the Golden Spikes Award, including the Statesmen star among names such as Casey Mize of Auburn, Jonathan India of Florida, and Bren Spillane of Illinois.
But what are the chances we actually see the former Wabash Valley CC player get included on the list of semifinalists when they are announced May 21 before the final round of voting gets going? In this writer's opinion, it would be blasphemous if he did not at least make it to the penultimate round.
There has been no better player over D2 in the last two seasons with the DSU star garnering nearly every honor you can off the field including the Tino Martinez Award for D2's Most Outstanding Player.
But the fate of advancing into the final rounds of voting now lay in the hands of the Golden Spikes committee. Hopefully though they make the right decision and send through the best talent in D2 Baseball to be recognized on the national scene.