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: Grant Judkins
School: Pella (Iowa)
Position: Right-handed pitcher and infielder
Weight: 192 pounds
Athletic achievement: He posted an 11-1 record with a 0.56 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 74.2 innings, leading the Dutch (34-5) to the Class 3A semifinals this past season. A 2015 First Team All-State selection, Judkins also batted .520 with 13 home runs, 57 RBI and 51 runs scored.
Academic excellence: Judkins has maintained a 3.95 GPA.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally with the Salvation Army in addition to donating his time assisting the elderly and on behalf of his church youth group.
“Grant Judkins has worked hard to make himself a standout in the state of Iowa,” said Chris Coffman, head coach at Grinnell High. “As a competitor, he is respectful and showed good sportsmanship every time we have played him.”
THE FUTURE: Judkins has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Iowa this fall.
Iowa–distinct from the other 46 states sanctioning baseball–begins its high school season in conjunction with Memorial Day, which results in the annual Gatorade honor being based upon candidates’ previous scholastic season and offseason club/showcase performance, if applicable.