OCALA-- College of Central Florida baseball player Nate Pearson was named the Rawlings JUCO Pitcher of the Year on Monday by Perfect Game.
The sophomore right-hander from Tampa, Fla., who is projected to be drafted No. 13 overall in the latest Baseball America Mock Draft, was also named one of 25 semifinalists for the prestigious USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award this past week.
The Golden Spikes Award is awarded annually to the top amateur baseball player in the United States and is presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation. Pearson is the only junior college nominee amongst the pool of NCAA Division I semifinalists that include University of Florida's Alex Faedo and Mississippi State's Brent Rooker.
Pearson was a force on the mound in 2017. The LSU signee dominated opponents, allowing one earned run or less in nine of his 13 starts. His 1.56 ERA (0.85 in conference) ranked Top 3 in the state this season and second all-time in Patriot history.
Pearson held opponents to a .194 batting average while striking out 118 in 81 innings, good for Top 3 in the state and NJCAA. The MFC All-Conference and All-State honoree also had nine or more strikeouts in nine of his 13 starts as his fastball sat from 94-98 MPH.
Pearson held a bullpen session for MLB scouts on Memorial Day at Tigertown in Lakeland where he topped out at 102 MPH, with some scouts clocking him at 103. His slider sat 85-89, with a changeup between 90-92.
Fan voting will play a role in the Golden Spikes Award. CLICK HERE to cast your vote for Nate. Voting will be open until June 9. USA Baseball will announce the finalists on June 14.