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: Tyler Fitzgerald
School: Rochester (Ill.)
Weight: 190 pounds
Athletic achievement: He had led the Rockets to a 20-10 record at the time of his selection. Fitzgerald owned a .482 batting average with five home runs, 23 RBI and 36 stolen bases through 30 games. He also scored 48 runs and posted a .639 on-base percentage. A Second Team All-State selection as a junior, Fitzgerald was a Rawlings/Perfect Game First Team Preseason All-American.
Academic excellence: Fitzgerald has maintained a 4.21 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society and a junior high school mentor, he has volunteered locally on behalf of special needs students and youth baseball camps.
“Fitzgerald is a nightmare to play against because there is no good way to attack him,” said Danny Midiri, head coach at Lanphier High. “He’s extremely patient at the plate, and when he gets a pitch to hit, he takes full advantage of it. In the field, he’s a smooth defender with an incredible arm.”
THE FUTURE: Fitzgerald has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Louisville this fall.