The Gatorade State Baseball Players of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For a list of the other Gatorade State Baseball Players of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Nick Brueser
School: Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)
Position: First baseman
Weight: 190 pounds
Athletic achievement: He led the Huskies (27-7) to the Division I state championship this past season. Brueser went 2-for-5 with an RBI in the 12-3, title-clinching victory against Mountain Ridge. A returning First Team All-Arizona selection as named by The Arizona Republic, Brueser batted .442 with nine home runs, 32 runs scored and 47 RBI. Also a participant in the 2015 USA Baseball 17U National Team Development Program, he worked 23 walks and belted 25 extra-base hits, recording a .533 on-base percentage and .884 slugging percentage in 2016.
Academic excellence: Brueser has maintained a 4.48 weighted GPA.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time to painting a local elderly couple’s home, he has volunteered extensively as a youth baseball and soccer instructor.
“What Nick has done on the baseball field over the last three years has been remarkable,” said David Lopez, head coach at rival Chandler High. “He is a leader on and off the field for one of the top teams in the state and arguably the nation. Nick is a great competitor who is always getting the opponent’s best stuff each and every game.”
THE FUTURE: Brueser has verbally committed to play baseball on scholarship at Stanford University in the fall of 2017.