FRANKLIN, Ind., June 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s most elite high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Max Clark of Franklin Community High School in Franklin, Ind. is the 2022-23 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year. Clark won the prestigious award for his accomplishments on and off the field, joining an impressive group of former Gatorade National Baseball Players of the Year who have combined for more than four MLB MVP awards, 42 All-Star appearances and 27 MLB first round draft picks.
Clark was surprised with the trophy by his family, coaches and teammates at school. Check out a video of the announcement here.
The Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes athletes not just for their excellence on the playing surface, but for their commitment in the classroom and impact in their community. Clark beat out nearly half a million other student-athletes who play baseball nationwide, topping the list of state winners in baseball who collectively boast an incredible list of accomplishments, including 39 with signed National Letters of Intent to play baseball at Division I colleges/universities and 35 with a GPA of 3.5 and above.
“Max Clark is another standout in the fine tradition of past Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year honorees,” said Jim Callis, senior writer for MLB Pipeline. “He might well be the best all-around player in this year’s draft as a center fielder with four tools that grade as at least ‘plus’ to go with developing power. He’s starred both in the Indiana high school ranks and also on the international stage with Team USA.”
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior center fielder batted .646 with six home runs, 33 RBI and 45 runs scored this past season, leading the Grizzly Cubs (14-14-1) to the Class 4A sectional semifinals. Clark is the nation’s No. 1 draft prospect in the Class of 2023 as rated by Prep Baseball Report and he’s also the state’s two-time returning Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year. In addition to an .808 on-base percentage and a 1.215 slugging percentage, he also stole 35 bases and made just two errors in the outfield this spring.
A basketball and football standout and member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, for which he has served as president, Clark has volunteered locally on behalf of his church youth group and has donated his time as a youth baseball coach.
Clark has maintained a 3.97 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Vanderbilt University this fall, but is projected as a first-round selection in July’s Major League Baseball draft.
In addition to excellence on and off the field of play, Gatorade Players of the Year also pay it forward for the next generation. As part of Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, Clark will receive a grant to give to a 501c3 youth sports charity, which includes Gatorade’s social impact partners – Athlete Ally, Laureus USA, Move United, Women’s Sports Foundation and Up2Us Sports – supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport.
“Winning Gatorade Player of the Year is truly an incredible feat because you have to distinguish yourself from so many tough competitors,” said Gatorade Portfolio president and general manager Michael Del Pozzo. “Nearly half a million student-athletes play high school baseball nationwide, and Max stood above them all.”
Each year, a selection committee evaluates the nation’s top talent to choose one state winner from each of the 50 states as well as Washington D.C., in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track & field. In all, 608 athletes are honored each year. From the pool of state winners, one national winner is selected in each of the 12 sports.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.
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The Gatorade Portfolio, a division of PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP), is a connected performance and wellness ecosystem built to fuel all athletes and exercisers. Bringing together Gatorade, Fast Twitch, Propel, Evolve and Muscle Milk, the Gatorade Portfolio is the most complete offering in the category today, with a broad range of personalized solutions at every stage of the athlete journey. This integrated system of brands is built on Gatorade’s 57-year history of studying athletes and is fueling the future of athletic performance and wellness by delivering solutions across hydration, protein, energy and all-day nutrition to fuel consumers, no matter how or why they sweat. For more information and a full list of product offerings, please visit www.gatorade.com.
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SOURCE The Gatorade Company