Iowa Baseball Player of the Year
In its third decade of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade joined with RISE Magazine to name senior pitcher and infielder B.J. HERMSEN of WEST DELAWARE HIGH in Manchester as its 2007-08 Iowa Baseball Player of the Year.
The 6-foot-6, 230-pound senior right-handed pitcher finished with an 11-0 record with a 1.16 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 66.2 innings last season, leading the Hawks (39-3) to the 2007 Class 3A state championship. A returning Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association Super Team selection, Hermsen, also an infielder, produced a .504 batting average, 53 RBI, 41 runs batted in and 18 home runs last summer. Entering the final campaign of his career, he owned a 24-1 record, a 0.76 ERA and 256 strikeouts in 166.1 innings, while West Delaware compiled a 111-12 in those three seasons.
Also a football, basketball and track standout, Hermsen has maintained a 3.91 GPA in the classroom. A member of the Future Business Leaders of America, he also volunteers as part of multiple community-service initiatives on behalf of the National Honor Society.
"B.J.'s a big outstanding athlete with championship caliber make-up," said Jerry Ford, president of Perfect Game USA, the world's largest baseball scouting report service. "At times he'll throw mid-90s but he's really a big finesse pitcher. In other words he really knows how to pitch. I think he's going to have a real long big league career."
Hermsen has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Oregon State University this fall, but is projected as an upper-round selection in next month's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.