From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Senior left-handed pitcher/outfielder, Waiakea (Hilo, Hawaii)
Greatness Present: Given his reputation as a five-tool outfielder, Medeiros’ baseball future has always been reasonably bright. But his pitching arm, one of the nation’s most powerful, makes his chances of playing professional baseball a whole lot brighter.
In fact, some observers believe the 6-foot-1, 195-pound lefty is so good on the mound he could get Major League hitters out right now. With a mid-90s fastball, a Bugs Bunny change-up and a nasty splitter, Medeiros has a chance to become the first Hawaiian ever to be selected in the first round of the Major League BaseballFirst-Year Player Draft.
He has been befuddling hitters this season for Waiakea (9-1), compiling a 3-0 record with a 1.42 ERA and 48 strikeouts in just 22.2 innings. Ranked as the nation’s No. 6 prospect in the Class of 2014 by Perfect Game USA, he was at his best earlier this month, tossing a complete-game five-hitter with 14 strikeouts in a 2-1 win over Hilo.
And, yes, Medeiros is getting it done at the plate, too. The 6-foot, 185-pound senior is sporting a robust .524 batting average (11-for-21) with 11 RBI and a 1.048 slugging percentage this spring.
Greatness Past: Medeiros’ accomplishments venture beyond baseball. As an 8-year-old, he captured a silver medal at the 2004 U.S. Judo Federation Junior Nationals. Since then, however, he has switched his focus to the diamond. He was a standout at the 2013 WWBA U17 National Championships and subsequently became the first Hawaiian to earn Perfect Game All-American honors.
Greatness Future: Medeiros has signed with Pepperdine, but is projected as an early round selection in this June’s draft.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.