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: Zach Ferntheil
School: Service (Anchorage, Alaska)
Weight: 190 pounds
Athletic achievement: Ferntheil led the Cougars to an 11-2 record entering the Alaska School Activities Association state tournament, scheduled to begin Thursday. He posted a 3-0 record on the mound with two saves, a 1.12 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 18.2 innings through 13 games. A 2011 First Team All-Conference selection, Ferntheil also batted .423 with a 1.014 OPS in 2012.
Academic excellence: Ferntheil has maintained a 3.20 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as a camp counselor, a peer leader in his school community and as a youth baseball coach.
“Zach Ferntheil is hands down the best pitcher in our conference,” said Mark Wisthoff, head coach at West Anchorage (Anchorage, Alaska). “He worked really hard in the offseason and you can tell by the results. In the 10 years that I’ve been coaching here, I don’t know that I’ve seen anyone better.”
THE FUTURE: Ferntheil will begin his senior year of high school this fall.