High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: James River

Virginia Baseball POY: Nathan Kirby

May, 30, 2012
5/30/12
5:03
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011-12 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For his 47 fellow Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Nathan Kirby

THE BASICS

School: James River (Midlothian, Va.)
Grade: Senior
Position: LHP/1B
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 180 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Kirby led the Rapids to a 17-6 record entering the Group AAA Central Region semifinals, scheduled for Wednesday. A Preseason Second Team All-American as named by Perfect Game USA, he owned an 8-1 record with a 1.39 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 50 innings pitched through 23 games. Kirby batted .434 with two home runs and 15 RBI. He produced a .642 slugging percentage and .474 on-base percentage.

Academic excellence: Kirby has maintained a 3.43 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time at the local hospital’s pediatric ward and as a youth baseball instructor, he has volunteered on behalf of the Special Olympics, Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation for cancer research, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and as part of Military Appreciation Day.

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Eye on POY: Virginia baseball

May, 20, 2012
5/20/12
8:54
PM ET
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.

Nathan Kirby
Senior left-handed pitcher, James River (Midlothian, Va.)

2012 Team record: 15-5 (Group AAA)
2012 Team standing: Group AAA state tournament begins on June 5

2012 W-L record: 7-1
2012 ERA: 1.31
2012 Strikeouts: 63

2012 Batting average: .444
2012 RBI: 11
2012 Runs: 9

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: University of Virginia

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Owns a 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio while striking out 1.5 batters per inning. No. 33 ranked prospect in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS. 2012 Dominion District Co-Player of the Year. 2012 Preseason Second Team All-American as named by Perfect Game USA. 2012 Preseason First Team All-State selection as named by ESPNHS. 2011 East Coast Professional Showcase participant. 2011 Perfect Game USA National Showcase participant. 2011 Preseason Underclassmen Third Team All-American as named by Perfect Game USA. 2010 Preseason Underclassmen Honorable Mention All-American as named by Perfect Game USA. 2010 Junior National Showcase participant.

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