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 Hanson
School: Prior Lake (Savage, Minn.)
Position: Right-handed pitcher and infielder
Weight: 210 pounds
Athletic achievement: He had led the Lakers to a 10-5 record at the time of his selection. Hanson owned a 5-0 record with a 0.68 ERA through 15 games, along with a .417 batting average. An All-Conference and All-Metro honoree as a junior, he struck out 50 batters and scattered 19 hits over 30.2 innings pitched. Hanson was also named to the USA TODAY’s American Family Insurance ALL-USA Minnesota First Team.
Academic excellence: Hanson has maintained a 3.48 GPA.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of Never Ever Give Up, which assists children stricken with cancer.
“Hanson is a dominant pitcher,” said Rob Walsh, head coach at Eagan High. “I think he topped out at 95 MPH and he’s got a changeup that he can throw for strikes. He’s big and very athletic, and he can swing the bat too.”
THE FUTURE: Hanson has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Kentucky this fall.