High School : : Rankings
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gatorade Players of the Year Released

Perfect Game Staff        
How did the recently released Gatorade list compare to the PGCrosschecker list that was released last week?
High School Player of the Year in Each State (5/23/07)

In 31 states Gatorade and Perfect Game Crosschecker named the exact same player.
In 15 states Gatorade and PGCrosschecker named different players.
There were 4 states that either Gatorade or PGCrosschecker did not select a player.
PGCrosschecker also selected West and East Canada and Puerto Rico.

Of the 51 Gatorade Player’s of the Year, all but six players have attended Perfect Game events. In fact, about half of the Gatorade selections attended last year’s Perfect Game National Showcase held in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

There’s not much to talk about in the states where the two lists agreed, which is the vast majority of states. So we will look at the 15 states where the two lists differed.

Alabama - Gatorade selection, Hunter Morris – Perfect Game selection,
Kentrail Davis
Comment – We certainly don’t have a problem with the Gatorade selection. Both Hunter and Kentrail were players we named to the Aflac All American team last year. Our poll showed the voting in Alabama went like this… 1 – Kentrail Davis, 2 – Hunter Morris, 3 – Kevin Patterson, 4 – DJ Jones. Any one of them would have been a good choice based on a combination of tools and performance. All four attended the PG National. We selected Davis and Morris to the Aflac All American team.

Arkansas – Gatorade selection, Scott Sammons – Perfect Game selection, Delta Cleary
Comment – Absolutely no argument with Gatorade’s choice here. Scott Sammons is one of our favorites. He attended both the PG National and played extremely well for PGCrosschecker’s team in the WWBA Championship in Jupiter. But he finished second in our voting to the super athlete Cleary. I wish we would have picked Scott, he’s an outstanding hitter with power and plays for keeps, with great passion. Both Cleary and Sammons were named to the Rawlings All Regional team.

Delaware – Gatorade selection, Derrik Gibson – Perfect Game selection, Brett Oberholtzer.
Comment – We like Gibson a lot, but he is an 08 and our rules were to select 07’s only. Oberholtzer is a LHP who made the PG/Rawlings All Region team and threw well at the PG WWBA World Championship last fall.

Wash. DC – Gatorade selection, LJ Hoes – Perfect Game selection, Connor Hoehn
Comment – Hoes is a great choice, we’ve seen him play a lot and he is an outstanding talent, but he is an 08 and once again, our rules were to pick 07’s only. Connor Hoehn is one of those rare two location types who could be named in DC or in Maryland. He is an outstanding pitching prospect and we have seen him up around the mid 90s.

Hawaii – Gatorade selection, Harrison Ishada – Perfect Game selection, Reece Alnas
Comment – We actually do some events in Hawaii and we liked Alnas. The 08 class in Hawaii is one of their best in years in our opinion. We might have named an 08 here if it weren’t for our rules. We don’t know much about Ishida, unfortunately, so it’s hard to comment.

Illinois – Gatorade selection, Jake Smolinski – Perfect Game selection, Casey Crosby
Comment – We absolutely love Smolinski, he is an outstanding choice by Gatorade, but we feel the PG selection of Crosby was the correct one. Illinois is loaded with good 07’s and 08’s, but the big LHP Crosby was a unanimous choice by our people. Both Smolinski and Crosby have attended PG events over the past year.

Maryland – Gatorade selection, Joseph Yermal – Perfect Game selection, Steve Lombardozzi
Comment – We are very happy for Joseph, we’ve seen him a lot including at our National showcase in Arkansas last June. He’s a good pick for Gatorade, but so is Steve and he got more votes from our staff. Both are deserving players. Lombardozzi (son of former MLB player by the same name) played very well at the PG WWBA World Championship last fall and just keeps getting better.

Minnesota – Gatorade selection, Mike Kvasnicka – Perfect Game selection, Dustin Klabunde
Comment – There was actually a three way tie in our voting and we named Klabunde over Kvasnicka and Rank. We’ve seen Klabunde up to 92 and liked him a lot at a PG event last year.

Mississippi – Gatorade selection, Paxton Pace – Perfect Game selection, Wendall Fairly
Comment – There were two nominee’s from MS. The multi talented Fairly was the unanimous choice of our staff. This pick we feel fairly certain about. Check out the draft next month!

Nebraska – Gatorade selection, Matt Freeman – Perfect Game selection, Ben Kline
Comment – Another state with split votes for our staff. Kline got the most votes and 6’5 RHP Sean Yost got a couple votes as well. Should be interesting as all three have signed with U of Nebraska.

New Mexico – Gatorade selection, Richard Bohlken – Perfect Game selection, Matt Moore
Comment – Oddly enough we had Bohlken listed as the top guy when our list was first released. We like him a lot and he attended our PG National last year. This was another state that ended in a tie between those two. We changed it to the lefty Moore based on the fact we think he is likely to be a higher draft pick. Either one is a good choice.

New York – Gatorade selection, Brian Dupra – Perfect Game selection, Greg Holle
Comment – Great pick by Gatorade. We definitely wrestled between Dupra and Holle in NY. It is likely that Dupra the hard throwing RHP will be the higher draft pick, but the unbelievably high ceiling of Holle swayed us just enough to name him. We could have gone either way and there were some other legitimate candidates as well.

New Hampshire – Gatorade selection, Ryan Westmoreland – Perfect Game selection, Gary Gilheeney
Comment – We have no problem with Gatorade’s choice here, but Gilheeney got all the votes from our staff. Westmoreland is very good, but he is an 08, we only selected 07 players. Gilheeney is a lanky RHP that we’ve seen in the 90s before.

Tennessee – Gatorade selection, Taylor Hill – Perfect Game selection, Drew Pomeranz
Comment – Good choice by Gatorade, and we’ve seen Hill up to 92 at the PG WWBA Championships last year and he can pitch. We just picked the talented 6’5 lefty Pomeranz who creates a bigger draft buzz.

Washington – Gatorade selection, Greg Peavey – Perfect Game selection, Julian Sampson
Comment – How can we argue with Peavey, we selected him to the Aflac All American team last year and he was outstanding at the PG National. We flipped a coin between these two very talented pitchers and went with Sampson, who stood out in the PG WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Florida last fall. We’ve seen them both and they both are among the best in the country.

Oddly enough we expected there to be many more differences between the two lists. We had a very difficult time naming just one player in many of the states. Next month there will be first round picks that are not mentioned in either the Gatorade or PG lists. There will probably be players that actually are listed who go undrafted.

The next article regarding these lists will come out sometime after the draft. Then we will compare… The Gatorade list, the PG list and the MLB Draft list. Should be very interesting!
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