Eye on POY: Minnesota baseball

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.

Mitch Brown

Senior Pitcher, Rochester Century High (Rochester, MN)

2012 Team record: 13-4

2012 Team standing: Sectional tournament begins May 25

2012 W-L record: 7-1

2012 ERA: 0.56

2012 Strikeouts: 103

Academics: B-plus average

Collegiate destination: San Diego

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: First Team All-State; All-State Tournament Team in 2011; Ranked No. 44 draft prospect by Baseball America.

Logan Shore

Junior Pitcher, Coon Rapids High (Coon Rapids, MN)

2012 Team record: 14-4

2012 Team standing: Sectional Tournament begins May 24

2012 W-L record: 5-0

2012 ERA: 0.62

2012 Strikeouts: 43

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Florida (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Perfect Game Underclass All-American; Second Team All-State.

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.

Matt Fiedler: Junior Shortstop/Pitcher, St. Paul Academy and Summit School (St. Paul, MN)

Kasey Ralston: Senior Pitcher/Shortstop, Holy Family Catholic High (Victoria, MN)

Dalton Sawyer: Senior Pitcher, Waconia High (Waconia, MN)

Dan Motl: Senior Outfielder, Burnsville High (Burnsville, MN)

Troy Traxler: Senior Catcher, La Crescent High (La Crescent, MN)

Brent Strong: Senior Pitcher/First Baseman, Andover High (Andover, MN)

Blake Molitor: Senior Catcher, West Lutheran High (Plymouth, MN)

Ryan Boldt: Junior Outfielder, Red Wing High (Red Wing, MN)

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.