WEST ORANGE, N.J., May 31 /PRNewswire/ -- In its third decade of
honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade(R) Thirst
Quencher, in partnership with RISE Magazine, today announced senior pitcher
Rick Porcello of Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, New Jersey) as its 2006-07
Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year.
The award, which recognizes not only athletic performance, but also
meeting high standards of academic achievement while demonstrating
exemplary personal character on and off the field, distinguishes Porcello
as the nation's best high school baseball player. A national advisory board
comprised of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the
country selected Porcello from more than 470,000 high school baseball
players nationwide. Porcello is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade
Male High School Athlete of the Year Award, to be presented at a special
ceremony the afternoon prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
At the time of his selection, the 6-foot-5, 200-pound senior
right-hander with a mid 90s fastball and late-breaking curve was 8-0 with a
0.50 ERA, 96 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 56 innings. A 2006 Aflac
All-American and a projected first-round pick in next month's Major League
Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Porcello has thrown five complete games
in 2007, including a 77-pitch perfect game this season on May 12 against
Newark Academy. Porcello helped lead the Pirates to a 28-1 record and the
top spot in USA TODAY's Super 25 baseball rankings entering the New Jersey
State Non-Public A postseason tournament, which began on May 29.
Porcello recently led the Pirates to a 5-1 victory over East Side High
School in the Greater Newark Tournament championship game, limiting East
Side to just five hits and one unearned run, and striking out 10 to give
Seton Hall Prep its seventh GNT title since 1997. No slouch at the plate,
Porcello has 38 hits, 10 doubles, 10 home runs, 46 RBIs, and a .470 average
Porcello has maintained a 3.94 GPA in the classroom. He is a member of
both the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society and
serves as a volunteer youth coach at local baseball camps and clinics.
"Rick has such a high level of poise and maturity on the mound," said
Seton Hall Prep head coach Mike Sheppard. "He doesn't get rattled, no
matter who he's facing and no matter what the situation is. He's the
consummate hard-worker and his greatest attribute, honestly, is his
personal makeup. He possesses tremendous integrity and humility."
Porcello will attend the University of North Carolina on a baseball
scholarship this fall, pending the outcome of the Major League Baseball
First-Year Player Draft next month.
"Without question, Rick is deserving of recognition as the nation's
best high school boys baseball player based on his statistics on the field
and the impact his play had on Seton Hall Prep's success," said Gatorade
Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jeff Urban. "But he is also a
shining example to peers and aspiring young players of what a leader and a
student-athlete should be. He represents everything we hope for in a
Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."
The Gatorade Player of the Year program recognizes one winner in each
of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in football, girls
volleyball, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, baseball,
softball, and boys and girls track & field. The selection process is
administered by RISE Magazine, which works with top sport-specific experts
and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists
to determine the state winners in each sport.
For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including
nomination information and lists of past winners and future announcement
dates, visit http://www.gatorade.com/playeroftheyear.
ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR HONOREES
Year Name High School/Location Status
2006-07 Rick Porcello Seton Hall Prep/ High School Senior
West Orange, NJ
2005-06 Clayton Kershaw Highland Park/ Los Angeles Dodgers Org.
2004-05 Justin Upton Great Bridge/ Arizona Diamondbacks Org.
2003-04 Mark Rogers Mt. Ararat/ Milwaukee Brewers Org.
2002-03 Chris Lubanski Kennedy-Kenrick Kansas City Royals Org.
2001-02 Zack Greinke Apopka/ Kansas City Royals
2000-01 Casey Kotchman Seminole/ Anaheim Angels
1999-00 Jason Stokes Coppell/ Florida Marlins Org.
1998-99 B.J. Garbe Moses Lake/ Minnesota Twins Org.
Moses Lake, WA
1997-98 Drew Henson Brighton/ Dallas Cowboys
1996-97 Darnell McDonald Cherry Creek/ Tampa Bay Devil Rays Org.
1995-96 Matt White Waynesboro/ Tampa Bay Devil Rays Org.
1994-95 Chad Hutchinson Torrey Pines/ Retired
San Diego, CA
1993-94 Doug Million Sarasota/ Deceased
1992-93 Alex Rodriguez Westminster New York Yankees
1991-92 A.J. Hinch Midwest City/ Arizona Diamondbacks Mgmt.
Midwest City, OK
1990-91 Brian Barber Dr. Phillips/ Retired
1989-90 Todd VanPoppel James Martin/ Retired
1988-89 Jeff Jackson Simeon/ Retired
1987-88 Mark Lewis Hamilton/ Retired
1986-87 Willie Banks St. Anthony's/ Retired
Jersey City, NJ
1985-86 Gary Sheffield Hillsborough/ Detroit Tigers