Video: Meet MaxPreps POY Nolan Gorman
O'Connor standout drafted No. 19 by the Cardinals is also the MaxPreps National Player of the Year.
If one thing was clear about the 2018 high school baseball season, it's that baseball writers couldn't agree on much of anything.
The six ranking services combined to choose four different teams as the No. 1 team in the nation. Meanwhile, the five publications that have already selected a national player of the year have each picked a different player.
We add a sixth with the choice of Nolan Gorman
of O'Connor (Phoenix)
as the MaxPreps National High School Baseball Player of the Year.
While all of the other national POY selections are worthy choices, only one — Gorman — matches all of these criteria:
1. He played on a state championship team.
O'Connor won the Arizona Class 6A state championship with a 7-1 victory over Mountain Ridge.
2. He played on a nationally-ranked team.
O'Connor finished No. 29 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 50 National High School Baseball Rankings — the only Arizona team in the Top 50.
3. He was a top-ranked player.
Gorman finished his senior season ranked No. 5 in the nation by Perfect Game.
4. He was first-round selection in the MLB Draft.
Gorman went No. 19 overall in the draft to the St. Louis Cardinals.
5. He won state and national honors.
Gorman was state Player of the Year by the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association and he was first team All-American by four different selection services. Only three other players in the nation received similar All-American honors.
6. He had impressive statistical accomplishments.
Gorman received the Barry Bonds treatment this year. Teams decided giving Gorman a free pass was better than having him hit one over the fence. While he still managed to hit 10 home runs (32 for his career), he drew 46 walks to lead the nation, according to the MaxPreps leaderboards. In the playoffs, he walked 13 times in six games en route to winning the state title. Those walks translated to 10 runs and he finished with 42 on the season. He also batted .421 with an on-base percentage of .641.Past MaxPreps National Player of the Year Winners
2008 — Jake Odorizzi, Highland (Ill.)
2009 — Matt Hobgood, Norco (Calif.)
2010 — Stetson Allie, St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio)
2011 — Dylan Bundy, Owasso (Okla.)
2012 — Joey Gallo, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
2013 — Jack Flaherty, Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.)
2014 — Jack Flaherty, Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.)
2015 — Joe DeMers, College Park (Pleasant Hill, Calif.)
2016 — Kyle Muller, Dallas Jesuit
2017 — Jordan Adell, Ballard (Louisville, Ky.)
National Coach of the Year — Ricky Griffin, Argyle
There's an easy way to become the MaxPreps National Baseball Coach of the Year: Do something no one has ever done before. That's what Griffin and Argyle (Texas)
did this year in earning the MaxPreps No. 1 national ranking.
By finishing 37-0 and winning the Class 4A state championship, Griffin and the Eagles became the fourth Texas team to finish the season undefeated. However, no Texas team, according to the Dallas Morning News, has ever finished unbeaten with more than 35 games played.
Griffin accomplished the feat with a very young, albeit talented, team of underclassmen. Only one starter graduated in 2018, giving the skipper eight returning starters to make a run at back-to-back titles in 2019.
The Argyle coach is in his 11th year with 356 wins to his credit. He's won two state titles and has appeared in the state finals three times in the past five seasons. He also was named Coach of the Year by both the Dallas Morning News and the Denton Record-Chronicle.