Outfielder joins Jon Lester (2002, Bellarmine Prep), Christian Jones (2016, Federal Way), Reese McGuire (2013, Kentwood), and Greg Peavey (2007, Hudson’s Bay) as past winners from Washington.
Jesse Franklin joined the likes of Jon Lester, Derek Jeter, and Kris Bryant when he was announced as Washington’s Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year. Franklin, a Seattle Prep senior outfielder, was notified this week.
The Panthers (15-10) advanced to the Metro League tournament quarterfinals, Franklin batting .557 this season with four homers and only striking out twice. Franklin, a two-time Star Times pick, also had 23 RBI and 11 stolen bases on 11 attempts. He’ll attend Michigan in the fall.
It’s the sports drink company’s 32nd year honoring high-school baseball stars across the country. Players are selected for their athletic excellence and academic achievements. Franklin, who also played basketball and football, graduated with a 3.39 GPA, also helping Seattle Prep win the WIAA’s spring sports academic state championship for Class 3A baseball.
Jeter (1992, Kalamazoo High School, Mich.), Lester (2002, Bellarmine Prep), Bryant (2o10, Bonanza High School, Nev.), David Price (2004, Blackman High School, Tenn.), Clayton Kershaw (2006, Highland Park High School, Texas), and Rick Porcello (2007 Seaton Hall Prep, N.J.) are some notable former winners.
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“Jesse has been the best hitter in our league and this year he was the top defensive player and the best base-runner,” Lakeside coach Kellen Sundin said in a released statement. “He is incredibly talented but I appreciate the way he plays the game. He does not make it about him and is a terrific teammate.”
A donation of $1,000 will be made to a national or local youth sports organization in Franklin’s honor and he is now a finalist for the national baseball player of the year award.