SAN DIEGO, Calif., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Four of the nation's most dominant young pitchers join a power-hitting, defensively sound catcher in the field of nominees for the seventh annual Aflac National High School Baseball Player of the Year Award, given each year to the country's top prep baseball player.
The award will be presented at the Aflac All-American Awards dinner to be held at the San Diego Hall of Champions on Aug. 14. Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and 2010 Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic honorary chairman Andre Dawson will also attend the ceremony.
Named in honor of the late Hall of Famer and first man to break Major League Baseball's color barrier, the Jackie Robinson Award recognizes the nation's top high school player entering his senior year who demonstrates outstanding character, exhibits leadership and embodies the values of being a student athlete in both his schoolwork and community affairs.
"Jackie Robinson's legacy on and off the field resonates throughout baseball at every level, and this year's Player of the Year Award nominees reflect the same character and love of baseball that he displayed," said Danny Fleishman, vice president of sponsorships and emerging markets at Aflac. "The Player of the Year Award and the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic showcase the best in high school baseball both on the diamond and in the community, and we are honored to recognize such an elite group of young players."
The 2010 Aflac National High School Player of the Year nominees are:
- Dylan Bundy, RHP, Owasso High School - Owasso, Okla.
- Dillon Howard, RHP, Searcy High School - Searcy, Ark.
- Michael Kelly, RHP, West Boca Raton High School - Boynton Beach, Fla.
- Daniel Norris, LHP, Science Hill High School - Johnson City, Tenn.
- Blake Swihart, C, V. Sue Cleveland High School - Rio Rancho, N.M.
In 2009, Jackie Robinson Award recipient Bryce Harper, a catcher from Las Vegas High School (Las Vegas, Nev.), joined Aflac All-American alumnus Justin Upton (2004) as an Aflac National High School Player of the Year and No. 1 overall pick when he was selected by the Washington Nationals in June.
Other previous winners include Cody Johnson, a first baseman/outfielder from Mosley High School (Panama City, Fla.) in 2005; Michael Burgess, an outfielder/pitcher from Hillsborough High School (Tampa, Fla.) in 2006; Tim Melville, a pitcher/outfielder from Wentzville High School (Wentzville, Mo.) in 2007; and Mychal Givens, a pitcher/infielder from Plant High School (Tampa, Fla.) in 2008. Player of the Year nominees are determined by official Aflac All-American Baseball Classic selection partner Perfect Game.
The eighth annual Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic will be played Sunday, Aug. 15, at PETCO Park in San Diego. The nation's elite high school baseball showcase features the top 38 rising high school senior baseball players in an East vs. West matchup. The game will be televised live nationally on FOX Sports Net at 5 p.m. Pacific time (8 p.m. Eastern time).
The Aflac All-American Baseball Classic is more than just a game. It is part of Aflac's ongoing commitment to the fight against childhood cancer, with ticket proceeds benefiting Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. Since 2003, the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic has generated nearly $805,000 for charity.
To learn more about the Aflac National High School Player of the Year nominees and the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic, visit aflacallamerican.com.
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