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High School  | General  | 7/2/2021

2021 High School Players of the Year

Tyler Russo     
Photo: Perfect Game
2021 Perfect Game/Rawlings National High School Player of the Year:
Daylen Lile, Trinity HS (Ky.)

A long-time star on the travel ball circuit from being a 14u Select Festival Player all the way up to becoming an All-American, Lile was undoubtedly a major piece in the success of this year’s Kentucky state champion and No. 11 nationally ranked Trinity High School. Leading them to a 41-2 record, Lile was outstanding on the offensive side of the ball all spring long finishing the year hitting .550 in those 43 games. Of his 61 hits, he managed to rack up 42 extra-base hits with 12 doubles, 12 triples and 18 home runs while also walking 41 times which put his OPS up above 2.000. While scoring 66 times himself and racking up 60 RBI, one of the most impressive stats of the year is the fact that he struck out only seven times in almost 160 plate appearances.

2021 Perfect Game/Rawlings National High School Pitcher of the Year:
Jack Walker, Alfred M. Barbe HS (La.)

Walker missed his junior year due to injury, but his senior campaign on the mound is one that will never be forgotten in the state of Louisiana. The ace of a Barbe team that finished the year at No. 3 nationally, Walker went 13-0 with a 0.48 ERA while striking out 121 batters in his 84 innings, which included allowing just 24 hits and 22 walks and not a single extra-base hit all season long. His dominance continued all the way through the semifinal round of the playoffs where he threw 10 no-hit and shutout innings to help Barbe to the state title game with a 1-0 win where they would eventually take home the 5A State Title.

2021 Perfect Game/Rawlings National High School Two-Way Player of the Year:
Braden Montgomery, Madison Central HS (Miss.)

Montgomery has long been touted for his two-way ability and it continues all the way into draft discussions as teams have split opinions on where he will end up long-term, but this season he made his impact felt heavily on both sides of the ball for Mississippi’s 6A State Champion and No. 4 nationally ranked Madison Central. Offensively, he hit to the tune of a .479 average, which includes seven doubles, five triples and seven bombs while he also drove in 50 and added 31 walks. On the mound he finished 9-0 posting a 0.74 ERA over 56 innings of work while only allowing 17 hits and striking out 116. A leader on and off the field for the Jaguars, he’ll be missed throughout their program, but there’s a bright future ahead on either side of the ball.

2021 Perfect Game/Rawlings High School State Players of the Year

Alabama | Maddux Bruns, UMS-Wright Prep
A PG All-American who can run the fastball into the upper-90s from the left side, Bruns was dominant this spring on his way to a 7-0 record where he posted a 0.86 ERA and struck out 102 hitters and walked just 19 in 49 innings. While he’s bound for Mississippi State, or the draft, for his stuff on the mound, he did add a .337 batting average with three bombs to his big spring.

Alaska | Dylan Maltby, South Anchorage HS
The starting catcher on Alaska’s Division I state champion, Maltby helped lead South Anchorage to a 17-0 record this spring by posting a .410 average and .625 on-base percentage to go with 17 runs driven in and 15 runs scored, all while reaching base in 16 of the 17 games played.

Arizona | Wes Kath, Desert Mountain HS
One of the bigger draft risers via the high school season out west, Kath put up strong numbers in helping Desert Mountain to a 5A State Title in Arizona. Posting a .486 average, he racked up 11 home runs to go with nine doubles and four triples putting his OPS over an impressive 1.800, while finishing his prep career with a home run in his final at-bat during the state championship.

Arkansas | Connor Johnson, Van Buren HS
A Central Arkansas-bound right-hander, Johnson was mightily impressive all season long for the 5A State Champion Van Buren Pointers as he finished the spring 14-0 on the mound, throwing over 82 innings and striking out 121 while allowing just 10 walks and posting a 0.76 ERA. His dominance went all the way through the state tournament where he picked up wins in both the semifinal and championship game.

California | Cameron Butler, Big Valley Christian HS
Posting absurd numbers this spring, the Cal Poly-bound senior hit .741 over 22 games, racking up an OPS of over 2.400, which included 20 doubles, four triples and 15 home runs. While those numbers themselves paint a wild picture, he also drove in 61 runs, scored 59 times himself and racked up 32 stolen bases to go with 13 walks that placed his on-base percentage at .779.

Colorado | Radek Birkholz, Valor Christian HS
Signed with Notre Dame, Birkholz looked the part of one of the state’s top draft prospect this spring as he finished 6-0 on the mound, posting a 0.79 ERA and racking up 71 strikeouts in just 35 innings of work against 10 walks. For good measure, he also hit .473 and racked up 18 extra-base hits in 22 games, which included seven home runs.

Connecticut | Frank Mozzicato, East Catholic HS
Mozzicato, a low-90s left-hander signed with UConn, was flat-out dominant this spring and was firmly in the discussion for National Pitcher of the Year given his numbers. At 9-0 on the season and leading his team to a 25-0 record and state title, he posted a stellar 0.13 ERA in 55 innings and allowed just nine hits while striking out a whopping 135.

Delaware | Lorenzo Carrier, Appoquinimink HS
Carrier is a very physical and toolsy prospect signed with Miami and his strong senior spring led Appoquinimik to a state runner-up finish. Finishing with an average of .535 on the season, he showed the combination of power and speed as he picked up four home runs with a 1.698 OPS while also stealing 26 bases. Add in that he drove in 40 and scored 31 times himself and you have a deserving Player of the Year for the state of Delaware.

Florida | Sal Stewart, Westminster Christian HS
As one of the premier underclass bats in the state of Florida, Stewart is very well known and his junior spring was as impressive any underclassman’s in the country. Finishing the year hitting at a .534 clip, he racked up 32 extra-base hits, which includes 13 doubles and 17 home runs and put his OPS at 1.974. Add in that he walked 31 times and only struck out 12 times in 123 plate appearances and you have someone that was also discussed for National Player of the Year.

Georgia | Brady House, Winder-Barrow HS
A sure-fire bet to be selected in the first round of the MLB Draft here in just under two weeks, House got the job done for Winder-Barrow this spring hitting to the tune of .549, which saw 14 doubles and eight home runs pair with scoring 52 times himself. While the stats themselves are astounding and deserving of this award, the fact that they were against the talented arms that make up the northern part of Georgia is even more impressive.

Hawaii | Caleb Lomavita, Saint Louis School
Playing for the champion of the Interscholastic Honolulu League, Lomavita, signed with UC-Berkeley, put up strong numbers in a limited number of games. He pitched his way to a 4-0 record, posting a 1.71 ERA and striking out 30 in 28 innings, while also slugging his way to a .414 average with a couple of home runs.

Idaho | Jaxon Sorenson, Idaho Falls HS
Sorenson, an important piece in the lineup of a 25-6 Idaho Falls team, posted strong numbers that made him an easy candidate for the state Player of the Year in Idaho. Hitting .514 with an OPS of over 1.600, he racked up 22 extra-base hits in 25 games, three of which went for home runs. While leading the team in RBI at 28, he also only struck out 10 times in his 100 at-bats.

Illinois | Owen Murphy, Riverside-Brookfield HS
A talented underclassman in the state of Illinois committed to Notre Dame, Murphy had a big junior year on both sides of the ball. Offensively he hit .453 with 19 extra-base hits, nine of which were home runs, while on the mound he posted a 0.33 ERA over 42 innings of work and racked up 97 strikeouts against just 16 hits and five walks.

Indiana | Carter Mathison, Homestead HS
Mathison, an outfielder signed with Indiana, was as impressive as any player across the country this spring as he hit .515 over 33 games and 132 plate appearances. Among his 51 hits, 34 went for extra-bases including 12 doubles, six triples and a state-leading 16 home runs. While very impressive, he also added 25 walks and only struck out 15 times in those 33 games.

Iowa | Brody Brecht, Ankeny HS
A two-sport standout, Brecht led his team to an appearance in the Class 4A state finals last year and did so with good stuff on the mound. Finishing with a 3-0 record, he posted a 2.45 ERA and struck out 69 in 34 innings of work while also hitting .333 with a few home runs and 27 RBIs.

Kansas | Ben Kudrna, Blue Valley Southwest HS
Kudrna, one of the bigger prep risers for the draft this spring, was mightily impressive in leading nationally-ranked Blue Valley Southwest to a 5A state title in Kansas. Finishing with a 9-1 record on the mound, he posted a 0.99 ERA over his 57 innings of work while striking out 100 hitters and surrendering just 11 walks on the year.

Kentucky | Daylen Lile, Trinity HS
Selected as the National Player of the Year.

Louisiana | Jack Walker, Alfred M. Barbe HS
Selected as the National Pitcher of the Year.

Maine | Brady Afthim, Windham HS
Afthim, a right-hander signed with UConn, put together a solid senior spring as the top prospect from the state. In just under 42 innings of work, he accumulated 94 strikeouts while posting a 0.67 ERA, one of the best for starters in the state. Offensively he contributed a few home runs and a .473 average showing some pop with the bat evidenced by his 1.288 OPS.

Maryland | Peter Heubeck, Gilman HS
Heubeck, a talented right-hander who has placed himself among the top-100 draft prospects for this year, was a big piece in the winning of the MIAAC 1A championship this spring and it was from what he did on the mound. Posting a 1.20 ERA, he struck out 101 over 64 innings of work, limiting opposing hitters to a minuscule .115 batting average with limited walks as well.

Massachusetts | Joshua Baez, Dexter Southfield HS
The state’s top draft prospect and in all likelihood high draft pick, Baez showed well in this shortened spring. Offensively he hit .378, picking up three home runs and scoring 25 times himself, while on the mound he managed to strike out 44 in just 18 innings of work where his ERA was a solid 1.94.

Michigan | Alex Mooney, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep
A senior shortstop for Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, who finished the year ranked No. 2 nationally, Mooney was a catalyst for the offense hitting .462 and racking up 24 extra-base hits, 10 of which went for home runs. Only second to Dresselhouse, Mooney also scored 60 of the teams’ runs and drove in 50 himself, numbers that sit near the top of the state. He also managed to only strike out an impressive nine times in over 150 plate appearances.

Minnesota | Josh Kingery, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City HS
Kingery, headed to play at the University of Minnesota, was outstanding doing it all this spring. On the mound, he finished at a 13-1 record and posted a 0.48 ERA in 87 innings while striking out an astronomical 182 hitters against just six walks. For good measure, he also posted a .547 average at the dish where he slugged seven home runs, scored 45 times and drove in 32.

Mississippi | Braden Montgomery, Madison Central HS
Selected as the National Two-Way Player of the Year.

Missouri | Brayden Luikart, Lafayette HS
Luikart did it all this year for Lafayette and he did it all very well. Offensively he hit to the tune of a .589 average while leading the team in doubles with 14, while on the mound he finished a perfect 4-0 with a 0.83 ERA over 48 innings where he struck out 95 hitters and walked only 14.

Nebraska | Drew Christo, Elkhorn HS
Christo, a recent PG All-American, was in peak form this spring for Elkhorn on both sides of the ball. At his primary on the mound, he posted a 0.43 ERA in over 48 innings of work while striking out 92 against just 18 walks and 19 hits. Offensively he wrapped up with a .341 average while racking up 14 extra-base hits, five of which went for home runs while he drove in 39.

Nevada | Tyler Whitaker, Bishop Gorman HS
Whitaker, playing for one of the region’s top high school programs, had a great spring and impressed in only 18 games. Hitting .508, he averaged just under two hits a game and had an OPS of over 1.500 with 16 extra-base hits, including five bombs. He struck out only six times on the season and managed to drive in 32 and score 29 times in only 18 games.

New Hampshire | Cam MacDonald, Winnacunnet HS
MacDonald, signed to play with the University of Maine this fall, helped Winnacunnet get to the Division I final with his play at the dish and behind the dish. At the plate, he hit .484 while slugging eight home runs, among a large number of extra-base hits, and driving in 28 all while handling a pitching staff that posted a team ERA of 1.89.

New Jersey | Sean Hard, St. Joseph (Mont.)
Hard, signed with Boston College, was stellar this spring both at his primary position on the mound and as the everyday first baseman when he wasn’t pitching. In 50 innings of work, he allowed just three total runs, two of which were earned, and punched out 87 against just 14 walks and 29 hits. While impressive on the mound, he also hit .419 with six home runs while driving in 32 and scoring 26 times himself.

New Mexico | Matthew Cornelius, St. Pius X HS
Cornelius was big on both sides of the ball this spring posting strong numbers in a 17-game spring season. On the mound he went 5-0 with a 0.80 ERA posting 79 strikeouts in just 44 innings of work, while at the dish he hit .463 with seven extra-base hits and 19 runs scored.

New York | Dylan Johnson, Newfield HS
Johnson, a senior right-hander signed with St. Johns, has come along over the last year and put up some of the more impressive numbers in the state this spring. On the mound he was 7-0 posting a 0.65 ERA while striking out 78 against just 10 walks. He brought some help to the offensive end as well as he hit .447 with 23 RBIs and turned in 16 stolen bases.

North Carolina | Josh Hartle, Reagan HS
Hartle, who recently announced he will be enrolling at Wake Forest and not participating in the MLB Draft, was stellar this season. With a 9-0 record in helping Reagan reach the three-game state championship series, he posted a 0.52 ERA on the year in over 53 innings while striking out 88 against a very impressive only eight walks and 15 hits.

Ohio | Logan Maxwell, Shawnee HS
Maxwell, a senior signed with TCU, was outstanding in the state of Ohio’s second-toughest division. Finishing with a .600 average on the year, he racked up 28 extra-base hits in the form of nine doubles, nine triple and 10 home runs to go with 27 walks, 39 RBI and 24 stolen bases. For good measure, he also went 5-0 on the mound and didn’t give up a single run in 28 innings.

Oklahoma | Jackson Jobe, Heritage Hall HS
As Jobe prepares to likely be the first prep arm selected in this year’s draft, the spring he had was one for the ages and had him firmly in the running for all three national awards. On the mound, he finished 9-0 with a 0.14 ERA over 60 innings of works, punching out 89 against only 23 walks. Offensively he hit .430 with numerous extra-base hits, 27 runs scored and 24 RBIs.

Oregon | Mason Guerra, Westview HS
Guerra, a senior signed with Oregon State, put up strong numbers in what was a shortened spring. In 17 games, he posted a .592 average which included six doubles and six home runs to go with his 20 RBI, 28 runs scored and on-base percentage up over .700.

Pennsylvania | Paxton Kling, Central HS
Another underclassman on this list, Kling was outstanding in showing his versatile skill set this spring. He hit .482 over 25 games, racking up six home runs while scoring an impressive 53 times due to his 37 stolen bases. He added 19 walks to push his on-base percentage over .600 and only struck out eight times in well over 100 plate appearances.

Rhode Island | Brandyn Durand, Bishop Hendricken HS
Durand, an underclassman at one of the state’s top high school programs, was good for the Hawks over their short 15-game season in which they went 11-4 in Division I. Hitting .463 for the year with an OPS over 1.400, he slugged three home runs and picked up 20 RBI while handling a talented pitching staff in the state’s toughest division.

South Carolina | Will Taylor, Dutch Fork HS
Taylor has been a name climbing draft boards all spring and he has moved himself into first-round discussion with the production he has had. Hitting .450, he racked up seven home runs this spring to help the OPS push up to 1.455. In addition, he walked 25 times, stole 21 bases, scored 34 times and drove in 33 runs to help Dutch Fork to an 18-6 record.

South Dakota | Will Simmons, Harrisburg HS
Simmons, a UNC commit, was dominant all season for the Class A state champion Harrisburg Tigers and he’s established himself as the state’s top underclass prospect. He’ll work around 90 mph with the fastball and has an attack mentality which he talked about after an 18-strikeout no-hitter, one of his many dominant performances.

Tennessee | Cooper Kinney, Baylor HS
Playing for one of the top high school teams in the entire country, Kinney led the charge offensively for Baylor on their way to a state title and did so in big fashion. Hitting .480 on the year, he managed to rack up 30 extra-base hits out of his 48, 19 of which went for doubles and 10 of which went for home runs to go with scoring 35 times and driving in an impressive 50.

Texas | Hagen Smith, Bullard HS
Smith made no-hitters the norm this spring as he managed to rack up seven of them to go with four more outings where he allowed only a single hit. Going 11-0 on the year, he finished with a minuscule 0.19 ERA, allowing just two runs over 73 innings, and racked up an astronomical 168 strikeouts against a single-digit hit total for the entire season.

Utah | Janzen Keisel, Gunnison Valley HS
Keisel put up some loud numbers this spring on his way to this selection, both on the mound at his primary position and on the offensive end. Going 7-0 on the year, he finished with a 0.68 ERA and struck out 100 against just 13 hits in 51 innings of work equating to a .090 BAA. He also managed to hit .672 over 23 games and slugged 11 of his 23 extra-base hits for home runs.

Vermont | Owen Kellington, U32 HS
Kellington has a chance to be one of the highest draft picks in Vermont history here soon and it is due to the stellar spring he had in leading his team to a state title. Putting together a 7-0 record, he posted a 0.22 ERA in which he struck out an insane 133 in 49 innings of work against just eight walks. He also hit .667 at the dish with seven home runs, just adding to the impressive body of work he had this spring season.

Virginia | James Triantos, Madison HS
A reclass up into the 2021 class, Triantos made his final season at Madison count as he led them to a Class 6 state title in the state of Virginia with big play on both sides of the ball. Offensively, he hit .712 on the year, slugging 11 home runs in 52 at-bats while also scoring 44 times himself and swiping 23 bags. On the mound it was equally impressive as he finished 9-0 with a 1.18 ERA over 47 innings where he struck out 62 and only allowed 15 hits and 14 walks.

Washington | David Grewe, Tri-Cities Prep
A player that has come a long way from his early years, Grewe put together one of the more impressive seasons in Washington state memory with big numbers on both sides of the ball to help Tri-Cities to a 17-0 record. At his primary position on the mound, he didn’t allow a single earned run over 36 innings, surrendering just nine hits and four walks while striking out 75. Offensively he hit .729 picking up 19 extra-base hits in 48 at-bats and only struck out twice.

West Virginia | Cullen Horowicz, Jefferson HS
Horowicz, signed to head to Army this fall, had a big spring from a power standpoint and was a major leader in helping his team to a 27-4 finish. Ended the year at a .438 average, the most impressive number he put up was 16 home runs, which paired with his 12 doubles and 29 walks gave him an OPS of almost 1.700, easily up near the top of the state.

Wisconsin | Owen Washburn, Webster HS
Washburn is one the most talented prospects in the state and the numbers he put up this spring were impressive as he led his team to a near perfect season. Offensively he hit to the tune of a .746 average while hitting nine home runs, racking up 71 RBIs and scoring 50 times. On the mound, he finished a perfect 7-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 39 innings while striking out 94 against only two walks.