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Monday, May 21, 2012
Eye on POY: Missouri Baseball

By Joel Beck

The window on the Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Tate Matheny
Senior outfielder, Westminster Christian Academy (St. Louis)

2012 Team record: 24-3
2012 Team standing: Will begin Class 3 sectional tournament on May 22

2012 Batting average: .605
2012 RBI: 38
2012 Runs: 45
2012 OPS: 2.021

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Missouri State

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 

2012 Conference Player of the Year; 2012 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American; 2011 First Team All-State; 2011 St. Louis Post Dispatch All-State selection

Blake McFadden
Senior RHP/shortstop, Savannah (MO)

2012 Team record: 21-4
2012 Team standing: Will begin Class 3 sectional tournament on May 22

2012 W-L record: 8-0
2012 ERA: 0.16
2012 Strikeouts: 102

2012 Batting average: .391
2012 Runs: 25
2012 OPS: 1.051

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Kansas State

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2012 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American; 2011 Under Armour All-American Team; 2011 First Team All-State; 2009 and 2010 All-State Honorable Mention

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Payton Scarbrough: Senior catcher, Scarbrough (MO)
Bralin Jackson: Senior outfielder, Raytown South (MO)
William DuPont: Senior third baseman Lafayette (MO)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.