A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011-12 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For his 47 fellow Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Jonathan King
School: Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
Weight: 185 pounds
Athletic achievement: King posted an 11-1 record with a 0.65 ERA and 91 strikeouts against just 17 walks in 65 innings pitched this past season, leading the Warriors (32-11) to the Class AAA state semifinals. A Perfect Game USA Preseason Honorable Mention All-Region selection, he batted .398 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI. King produced a .759 slugging percentage and .535 on-base percentage.
Academic excellence: King has maintained a 3.98 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth baseball instructor, he has volunteered as a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and mentors children as part of Riverdale’s early childhood studies program.
“He’s a two-way guy,” said Craig Reavis, head coach at rival Siegel (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). “He’s the toughest out in our district, as well as the best pitcher in our district. Coaches in our area agreed that if we could have one kid on our team, it would be him. His attitude is great. He’s just a great kid. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, and he’ll have a great career down there at Georgia Tech.”
THE FUTURE: King has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Georgia Tech this fall.