LAS CRUCES — Nick Gonzales is making history every day.
The New Mexico State infielder was one of 55 players named to the 2020 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List on Thursday. He is the first NMSU baseball player in program history to earn a spot on USA Baseball’s preseason list.
Already the first in school history to achieve unanimous preseason All-America status, Gonzales is now included on a list that features the nation’s top amateur players from both high school and college baseball. The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will maintain a rolling list of players, allowing athletes to play themselves into consideration for the honor throughout the season before the 43rd Golden Spikes Award is presented on June 11 in Omaha, Neb.
A unanimous All-American in 2019, Gonzales put together one of the best offensive seasons in school history, slashing .432/.532/.773 with 16 home runs, 80 RBI, 19 doubles and four triples as a sophomore. He recorded the sixth-most hits (95) in team history for a single season in addition to finishing with the fifth-highest batting average and fifth-most runs scored (80) in school history for a season.
The Vail, Arizona native led the nation in batting average while also ranking in the top ten nationally in slugging percentage (third), hits (fourth), runs (fourth), RBI (fifth), OBP (fifth), total bases (sixth) and sacrifice flies (eighth). He was a finalist for the 2019 Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award and a semifinalist for the 2019 Golden Spikes National Player of the Year Award.
Voted the favorite to take home the 2020 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year award, Gonzales is projected as a top-five pick in the upcoming draft.
Gonzales and the Aggies open the season at home Friday. First pitch against Texas Southern is set for 3 p.m. MT at Presley Askew Field.