Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year: Rick Porcello

New Jersey standout named nation's top high school performer

May 31, 2007, 01:00 ET from Gatorade

    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
 this season.
     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
      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.
                                Dallas, TX
     2004-05 Justin Upton      Great Bridge/       Arizona Diamondbacks Org.
                                Chesapeake, VA
     2003-04 Mark Rogers       Mt. Ararat/         Milwaukee Brewers Org.
                                Topsham, Maine
     2002-03 Chris Lubanski    Kennedy-Kenrick     Kansas City Royals Org.
                                Norristown, PA
     2001-02 Zack Greinke      Apopka/             Kansas City Royals
                                Apopka, FL
     2000-01 Casey Kotchman    Seminole/           Anaheim Angels
                                Seminole, FL
     1999-00 Jason Stokes      Coppell/            Florida Marlins Org.
                                Coppell, TX
     1998-99 B.J. Garbe        Moses Lake/         Minnesota Twins Org.
                                Moses Lake, WA
     1997-98 Drew Henson       Brighton/           Dallas Cowboys
                                Brighton, MI
     1996-97 Darnell McDonald  Cherry Creek/       Tampa Bay Devil Rays Org.
                                Englewood, CO
     1995-96 Matt White        Waynesboro/         Tampa Bay Devil Rays Org.
                                Waynesboro, PA
     1994-95 Chad Hutchinson   Torrey Pines/       Retired
                                San Diego, CA
     1993-94 Doug Million      Sarasota/           Deceased
                                Sarasota, FL
     1992-93 Alex Rodriguez    Westminster         New York Yankees
                                Miami, FL
     1991-92 A.J. Hinch        Midwest City/       Arizona Diamondbacks Mgmt.
                                Midwest City, OK
     1990-91 Brian Barber      Dr. Phillips/       Retired
                                Orlando, FL
     1989-90 Todd VanPoppel    James Martin/       Retired
                                Arlington, TX
     1988-89 Jeff Jackson      Simeon/             Retired
                                Chicago, IL
     1987-88 Mark Lewis        Hamilton/           Retired
                                Hamilton, OH
     1986-87 Willie Banks      St. Anthony's/      Retired
                                Jersey City, NJ
     1985-86 Gary Sheffield    Hillsborough/       Detroit Tigers
                                Tampa, FL

SOURCE Gatorade