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: Bo Bichette
School: Lakewood (Saint Petersburg, Fla.)
Weight: 186 pounds
Athletic achievement: He batted .574 with 13 home runs and 41 RBI this past season, leading the Spartans (13-14) to the Class 5A regional semifinals. An American Family Insurance ALL-USA Preseason Baseball Team selection as named by USA TODAY, Bichette scored 46 runs, worked 32 walks, belted 25 extra-base hits and stole 21 bases in just 61 official at-bats, recording a .707 on-base percentage and 1.424 slugging percentage. The son of Dante Bichette, a four-time Major League Baseball All-Star who led the National League in home runs (40) and RBI (128) while hitting .340 in 1995, the younger Bichette hit 10 home runs in the final round of the Eastbay Home Run Derby at the 2015 Under Armour All-America Baseball Game.
Academic excellence: Bichette has maintained a B average.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth baseball instructor, he has volunteered locally on behalf of his church’s youth outreach program and at a homeless shelter.
“His work ethic is unbelievable, and he has most certainly earned everything, despite having the name Bichette,” said Nolan Lofgren, head coach at rival Bayshore High. “Even without that last name, he is one of the top high school hitters I have ever seen, and that list includes Billy Butler, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Javier Baez, Eric Hosmer, Casey Kotchman and many more.”
THE FUTURE: Bichette has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Arizona State University this fall, but is projected as an early round selection in June’s Major League Baseball draft.