The Gatorade Player of the Year Program honors athletes who meet comprehensive and exacting criteria in high school sports. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders also must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of Perfect Game USA's prospect rankings.
That being said, the state’s top recruits as ranked by Perfect Game USA are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …
1. Davis County (Bloomfield, Iowa) senior right-handed pitcher/third baseman Calvin Mathews
Perfect Game USA class rank: 183
Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 200 pounds
College: University of Iowa (verbal)
Perfect Game USA scouting report: "Athletic, projectable body with strength and room to fill. Pitches from high 3/4 arm slot with plus arm speed. High leg kick, online delivery with extension out front and downhill extension. Fastball sat in high 80s, up to 89 and he projects for more velocity in future. Changeup is very good pitch with sink and good arm action at 82. Curveball with 11/5 break is another good off-speed pitch. Big potential."
2. Roosevelt (Des Moines, Iowa) senior first baseman/left-handed pitcher Sam Norman
Height/Weight: 6-foot-5, 200 pounds
College: Creighton University (verbal)
Perfect Game USA scouting report: "Tall well proportioned athletic build, starting to fill out. Straight stance hitting, busy load, limited flow towards contact, some back side collapse, loose extension out front, creates very good bat speed at times, shows power potential, length creates inconsistent swing mechanics. 7.48 runner, athletic actions at first base."
A dedicated POY team at ESPNHS manages the Gatorade Player of the Year program selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the award program’s behalf.