The window on the Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.
Senior catcher/right-handed pitcher, Nitro (Nitro, W.Va.)
2012 Team record: 22-9 (Class AAA)
2012 Team standing: Class AAA regional semifinals begin May 22
2012 Batting average: .440
2012 RBI: 31
2012 Runs: 33
2012 W-L-S record: 2-2-8
2012 ERA: 0.53
2012 Strikeouts: 70
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: University of North Carolina
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Produced a 5.4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, recorded 1.7 strikeouts per inning and held opponents to a .188 batting average. No. 1 ranked prospect in Class of 2012 as rated by Perfect Game USA. 2012 Mountain State Athletic Conference Player of the Year. 2012 Preseason Second Team All-Region selection as named by Perfect Game USA. 2012 Preseason First Team All-State selection as named by ESPNHS. 2011 Continental Amateur Baseball Association 18U Wooden Bat World Series national champion. 2011 Class AAA First Team All-State selection. 2010 and 2011 Perfect Game USA Preseason Underclassmen Honorable Mention All-American.
Senior shortstop, St. Albans (St. Albans, W.Va.)
2012 Team record: 24-7 (Class AAA)
2012 Team standing: Lost Class AAA Region 4 Section 1 final to Nitro, 6-1 and 6-2
2012 Batting average: .550
2012 RBI: 30
2012 Runs: 43
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: West Virginia State University
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Produced an .890 slugging percentage and .588 on-base percentage. Owned a .970 fielding percentage. 2012 First Team All-Mountain State Athletic Conference selection.
Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.
Fraser Brown: Senior infielder/right-handed pitcher, Jefferson (Harpers Ferry, W.Va.)
Corey Quick: Senior catcher, Princeton (W.Va.)
Todd Schmidt: Senior outfielder/right-handed pitcher, John Marshall (Glen Dale, W.Va.)
Evan Woolum: Senior infielder/right-handed pitcher, Musselman (Inwood, W.Va.)
Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.