High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Bingham

Eye on POY: Utah Baseball

May, 27, 2012
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.

Brady Lail
Senior RHP/shortstop, Bingham (South Jordan)

2012 Team record: 25-4
2012 Team standing: Lost in Class 5A quarterfinals

2012 W-L record: 7-2
2012 ERA: 2.38
2012 Strikeouts: 75
2012 Innings: 44

2012 Batting average: .380
2012 RBI: 17
2012 Runs:16

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Arizona

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2011 First Team All-State; 2011 First Team All-Region; 2011 Area Code Games participant

Kayden Porter
Senior RHP/first baseman, Spanish Fork (UT)

2012 Team record: 22-5
2012 Team standing: Lost in Class 3A semifinals

2012 Batting average: .368
2012 RBI: 26
2012 Runs: 27

2012 W-L record: 5-1
2012 ERA: 1.79
2012 Strikeouts: 60
2012 Innings: 47

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: North Carolina

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2010-11 Gatorade Utah Baseball Player of the Year; 2010 and 2011 First Team All-State; 2011 Utah Mr. Baseball; 2011 Region MVP; 2011 Perfect Game National Showcase participant

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. 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.

Hayden Nielsen: Senior shortstop/RHP, Spanish Fork (UT)
Connor Williams: Senior RHP/OF, Bingham (South Jordan)
Riley Gates: Junior LHP/outfielder, Snow Canyon (UT)

POY Potential: Top 5 Utah football recruits

October, 12, 2011
The Gatorade Player of the Year Program honors athletes who meet comprehensive and exacting criteria in high school sports. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders also must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of ESPNU's recruit rankings.

That being said, the state’s top five football recruits as ranked by ESPNU are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade Football Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …

1. Bingham High (South Jordan, Utah) outside linebacker Jared Afalava
  • ESPNU position rank: No. 20 OLB
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 220 pounds
  • College: Undecided
  • Traits: inside run support, outside run support, tackling, coverage skill
  • ESPNU scouting report: "Afalava demonstrates very good playing speed; displays the playing strength to dominate against the run while showing the flexibility, balance and agility to play in space as a pass defender. Has the size and athleticism for the outside linebacker position at the major level of competition."

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