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 candidates.
Senior left-handed pitcher, Sulphur (La.)
Greatness Present: How awesome is Kale Breaux? Well, he certainly must be popular with the vegetarian crowd. If he just had a brother named Quinoa, we can only imagine how long the line for their autographs would be at a Whole Foods Market signing event.
Then again, when it comes to grass-fed success, Breaux’s triumphs have come not in the organic foods aisle but rather on the baseball field, where he has helped Sulphur to a top-five spot in USA TODAY’s national Super 25 Expert Rankings.
In his most recent start, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound right-hander further increased his stock, scattering two hits and striking out 14 in a complete-game 1-0 shutout of Acadiana earlier this month. The win improved Breaux’s record to a perfect 6-0 and lowered his ERA to 0.14, as the Golden Tors moved to 29-1 on the season.
But Breaux’s most impressive performance to date may have come against perennial national heavyweight and reigning Class 5A state champion Lake Charles Barbe last month, when he befuddled the Buccaneers through seven innings in Sulphur’s 6-1 victory.
What does this all mean for Breaux? In context of the Gatorade Player of the Year award, his performance certainly hasn’t hurt his chances. Do Gatorade and Kale actually go together? Only time will tell.
Greatness Past: As a junior, Breaux compiled an 8-3 record with 114 strikeouts against just 16 walks, leading Sulphur to the Class 5A regional tournament. He was also a member of USA Baseball’s 18U National Team that finished 8-0 and captured a gold medal at the 2014 COPABE Pan American Championship this past summer.
Greatness Future: Breaux has signed with Mississippi State, but is projected as a selection in June’s Major League Baseball 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.