Jesuit senior pitcher Lance McCullers has been named the Gatorade High School Baseball Player of the Year for the state of Florida, Tigers coach Richie Warren said. In the award's 27-year history, a Jesuit player had never been selected until Wednesday.
McCullers turned in a nearly flawless season on the mound, allowing just two earned runs in 77.1 innings for an ERA of 0.18. He also posted a 13-0 record with 140 strikeouts against 30 walks for Jesuit (28-2), which was ranked No. 1 in the country by ESPNHS, Baseball America and Perfect Game heading into the Class 5A state semifinals against eventual state champion Plantation American Heritage. McCullers pitched six scoreless innings in the state semifinals, scattering four hits while striking out nine and walking three.
Offensively, McCullers hit .280 with six doubles, two home runs, 21 RBIs, a team-high 27 runs scored and 10 stolen bases in 10 attempts. He also had the winning walk-off hit in one of Jesuit's biggest regular-season games against L.A. Loyola in the semifinals of the Tigers' Easter tournament.
As for the future, McCullers is committed to Florida but is a likely first-round pick in the upcoming MLB first-year player draft, which begins Monday.
McCullers becomes one of the 51 finalists, representing each state and the District of Columbia, for the national Gatorade player of the year award.