This morning, ESPNHS and Gatorade announced the Gatorade Players of the Year for baseball across each of the 50 states and District of Columbia. BB&N's Rhett Wiseman took the honors in Massachusetts; below are the winners for the five other New England states.
CONNECTICUT: BRYAN DANIELLO, BRIEN MCMAHON
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound senior shortstop/right-handed pitcher led the Senators to a 16-7 record entering the Class LL playoffs against New Milford, scheduled for May 29. Daniello owned a 7-1 record and a 1.35 ERA on the mound along with a .400 batting average with six home runs and 18 RBI at the plate through 23 games. He was a First Team All-State selection and the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a junior.
Daniello has maintained a B average in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of an area soup kitchen, youth baseball camps and his church’s Bible camp.
“Daniello is fast, he plays a great shortstop and he has tremendous power,” said Mark Caron, head coach at Fairfield Warde High. “I think he’s the best player we’ve seen all year.”
Daniello has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Connecticut this fall.
RHODE ISLAND: DAVID HOPKINS, EAST GREENWICH
The 5-foot-9, 170-pound junior shortstop led the Avengers to a 9-10 record and a berth in the Division 1 state tournament, scheduled to begin May 29. A returning First Team All-State and two-time First Team All-Division selection, Hopkins batted .370 with one home run and 18 RBI through his first 19 games. He collected 20 walks and scored 19 runs while producing a .551 on-base percentage and .537 slugging percentage. Also a right-handed pitcher, Hopkins owned a 4-4 record with a 3.50 ERA and 51 strikeouts against 14 walks in 48 innings pitched.
A survivor of leukemia, Hopkins has maintained a 3.16 GPA in the classroom and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade Award’s broad criteria. He has donated his time as a youth sports instructor for the past two summers.
“He’s a pretty special kid,” said East Greenwich head coach Bob Downey. “He’s our best player and our best hitter. He’s a better shortstop than he is a pitcher, and he’s a pretty good pitcher. He carries us at times. He does all the little things. He gives us a chance to win every time he takes the field, and we’ve faced some wicked competition. Our guys really look up to him.”
Hopkins has verbally committed to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Rhode Island beginning in the fall of 2013.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: JORDAN BEAN, ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
The 5-foot-9, 175-pound senior right-handed pitcher led the Saints to a 15-1 record entering the Div. 2 playoffs, scheduled for May 31. Through 16 games, Bean owned a 5-0 record and a 1.29 ERA on the mound along with a .463 batting average with 14 RBI at the plate. He is a three-time All-State selection.
Bean has maintained a 4.30 GPA in the classroom. A peer tutor in his school, he has volunteered locally on behalf of food drives to benefit the needy, youth baseball programs and in association with his church’s vacation Bible school.
“Bean is a clutch player who just doesn’t make mistakes,” said Eddy Coulombe, head coach at Goffstown High. “He throws a fastball, curve, slider, change and he has uncanny control. He’s also a good hitter and he’s solid defensively. He’s been dominant.”
Bean will attend Tufts University this fall, where he will play baseball.
MAINE: LUKE FERNANDES, MARSHWOOD
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound senior right-handed pitcher/shortstop led the Hawks to a 13-2 record entering the regular-season finale against Sanford, scheduled for May 29. Through 15 games, Fernandes owned a 4-1 record and a 1.83 ERA on the mound along with a .404 batting average with 14 RBI at the plate. He recorded 47 strikeouts against just four walks in 30.2 innings pitched. A three-time First Team All-State honoree, he was also a Rawlings/Perfect Game First Team All-Region selection.
Fernandes has maintained a B average in the classroom. A member of his school’s wellness council, he has volunteered locally on behalf of youth baseball and basketball programs.
“Fernandes has an above-average fastball, a very good breaking ball and he understands what pitching is all about,” said Marc Boissonneault, head coach at Sanford High. “When he’s on the mound he’s in command of everything around him. He’s also one of the tougher outs in the league; just a good, solid, all-around ballplayer.”
Fernandes has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Boston College this fall.
VERMONT: CODY SHARROW, MT. MANSFIELD UNION
The 6-foot, 170-pound senior shortstop/right-handed pitcher led the Cougars to a 12-4 record entering the Div. I state playoffs against St. Johnsbury, scheduled for May 30. Through 16 games, Sharrow owned a .538 batting average with 21 RBI at the plate along with a 5-1 record and a 1.75 ERA on the mound. Sharrow is a two-time All-Metro selection.
Sharrow has maintained a 3.29 GPA in the classroom. Also a basketball standout, he has volunteered locally on behalf of athletic programs for special needs students.
“Sharrow is a great all-around player,” said John Learned, head coach at Milton High. “He’s a very, very solid shortstop who hits well, and he’s a well-rounded pitcher too. He’s pretty masterful when he’s on his game, which is most of the time.”
Sharrow has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at South Dakota State University this fall.