Gatorade® National Baseball Player Of The Year: Justus Sheffield Member of the 2004 Red Sox World Champion team and 1993 Gatorade North Carolina Baseball Player of the Year Trot Nixon surprises standout with elite honor

TULLAHOMA, Tenn., June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 29th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Justus Sheffield of Tullahoma High School (Tullahoma, Tenn.) as its 2013-14 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year. Sheffield was surprised with the news by 1993 Gatorade North Carolina Baseball Player of the Year, Trot Nixon.

"Justus really deserves to be this year's Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year because he embodies everything the award stands for," said Trot Nixon. "Not only has Justus excelled on the field, but he's also a stellar student and is a positive influence in the community. I'm excited to follow his career and watch all the things he will accomplish in the future."

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Sheffield as the nation's best high school baseball player.  A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Sheffield from more than 470,000 baseball players nationwide. Sheffield is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior left-handed pitcher compiled a 10-0 record with a 0.34 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 61.2 innings this past season, leading the Wildcats (24-15) to the sectional round of the Class AAA state tournament. A First Team All-American as named by Perfect Game USA, Sheffield, also a center fielder, batted .405 with three home runs, 13 doubles, 16 RBI and 22 runs scored. A returning First Team All-State selection as named by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association, he recorded a .478 on-base percentage and .620 slugging percentage.

Sheffield has maintained an A average in the classroom. An office aide at his school's Counseling Center and a Tullahoma Homecoming King, he has donated his time locally as a student-teacher at Bel-Aire Elementary School in addition to volunteering as a youth baseball instructor.

"Justus Sheffield is a strong, athletic lefthander who has combined plus stuff with natural strike-throwing ability and mound maturity to produce a dominating season," said Clint Longenecker, MLB Draft Writer for Baseball America. "The quick-armed Sheffield has a fastball that sits 90-92 and touches 95 with downhill plane and late run. Both his curveball and changeup show the makings of above-average weapons, in addition to advanced control, which projects as potentially becoming plus. He is a quality young man with a very bright future."

Sheffield has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Vanderbilt University this fall, but is projected as an early round selection in the upcoming Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

"Justus is an exceptional student-athlete who has earned recognition as the nation's best high school baseball player while also excelling in the classroom and making a difference in his community," said Gatorade Vice President, Brand Marketing Morgan Flatley. "Justus's statistics on the field speak for themselves, but even more impressive is the impact he has had on his teammates and the example he sets for younger student-athletes. Justus represents everything we look to celebrate in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:

  • Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
  • WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie
  • NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith
  • Two-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh
  • Three-time 200-meter World Champion Allyson Felix

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year Web site at http://www.gatorade.com/poy, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.

ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL BASEBALL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR


YEAR

NAME

HIGH SCHOOL

STATUS

2013-14

2012-13

2011-12

2010-11

2009-10

2008-09

2007-08

Justus Sheffield

Clint Frazier

Lance McCullers

Dylan Bundy

Kaleb Cowart

Matt Hobgood

Kyle Skipworth

Tullahoma/Tullahoma, TN

Loganville/Loganville, GA

Jesuit/Tampa, FL

Owasso/Owasso, OK

Cook/Adel, GA

Norco/Norco, CA

Patriot/Riverside, CA

High School Senior

Cleveland Indians Org.

Houston Astros Org.

Baltimore Orioles

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Baltimore Orioles Org.

Miami Marlins

2006-07

Rick Porcello

Seton Hall Prep/West Orange,  NJ

Detroit Tigers

2005-06

Clayton Kershaw

Highland Park/Dallas, TX

Los Angeles Dodgers

2004-05

Justin Upton

Great Bridge/Chesapeake, VA

Atlanta Braves

2003-04

Mark Rogers

Mt. Ararat/Topsham, Maine

Milwaukee Brewers

2002-03

Chris Lubanski

Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic/Norristown, PA

Free Agent 

2001-02

Zack Greinke

Apopka/Apopka, FL

Los Angeles Dodgers

2000-01

Casey Kotchman

Seminole/Seminole, FL

Miami Marlins

1999-00

Jason Stokes

Coppell/Coppell, TX

Retired from MLB

1998-99

B.J. Garbe

Moses Lake/Moses Lake, WA

Retired from MLB

1997-98

Drew Henson

Brighton/Brighton, MI

Retired from NFL and MLB

1996-97

Darnell McDonald

Cherry Creek/Englewood, CO

Boston Red Sox

1995-96

Matt White

Waynesboro/Waynesboro, PA

Retired from MLB  

1994-95

Chad Hutchinson

Torrey Pines/San Diego, CA

Retired from NFL and MLB

1993-94

Doug Million

Sarasota/Sarasota, FL

Deceased

1992-93

Alex Rodriguez

Westminster Christian/Miami, FL

New York Yankees

1991-92

A.J. Hinch

Midwest City/Midwest City, OK

San Diego Padres Front Office

1990-91

Brian Barber

Dr. Phillips/Orlando, FL

Retired from MLB

1989-90

Todd VanPoppel

James Martin/Arlington, TX

Retired from MLB

1988-89

Jeff Jackson

Simeon/Chicago, IL

Retired from MLB

1987-88

Mark Lewis

Hamilton/Hamilton, OH

Retired from MLB

1986-87

Willie Banks

St. Anthony's/Jersey City, NJ

Retired from MLB

1985-86

Gary Sheffield

Hillsborough/Tampa, FL

Retired from MLB

SOURCE The Gatorade Company



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