Louisville Slugger picks Bears' Baker as top player in Alaska

Posted: Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The "fairy tale" continues.

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Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

Louisville Slugger and the National High School Baseball Coaches Association (BCA) have selected former Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bear Dylan Baker as its 2010 State High School Baseball Player of the Year for the state of Alaska.

A player was selected from 47 participating states and Washington DC by coaches who are members of the BCA.

"Once again, we are proud to join Louisville Slugger in honoring these fine young baseball players from all across the United States," BCA Executive Director Ron Davini said in a press release. "These players have been selected by coaches in their jurisdictions as the best player in their respective states. We're certain we'll be hearing more about these players in years to come, at both the collegiate and professional levels as their careers develop."

The news came as a shock to Baker, who is currently in Seattle playing summer league ball for a team called the Shockers with several of his former JDHS teammates.

"Wow," Baker said via cell phone upon learning of the news. "I don't even know what to say. That is awesome."

Baker, the Bears' ace on the mound and leadoff hitter last season, also was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Alaska after a stellar senior campaign which saw JDHS run through the in-state portion of its schedule undefeated on the way to a state championship.

"I'm really happy for him. I wake up in the morning and some days, it feels like a fairy tale season," JDHS manager Steve Bavard said. "Sweeping through the season like that, I'm just really happy for these boys and what they've accomplished this season.

"With Dylan winning Gatorade Player of the Year and the Louisville Slugger Player of the Year, that's a compliment to him, the program and all of the young guys that were involved with it."

Baker, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-hander, went 6-1 with a 1.29 ERA during the regular season, with 61 strikeouts in 32 2-3 innings. Baker got the start in the state championship game, fanning 10 in the Bears' win over defending champ Dimond.

He also batted .458 with 13 home runs, 29 RBIs and 36 runs scored in the regular season.

Louisville Slugger began the State High School Player of the Year awards in 2004 as part of the company's 120th anniversary. Louisville Slugger holds a rich tradition in baseball, and is now celebrating its 126th year as the most-recognized bat in the big leagues, according to the press release.

"These State High School Player of the Year awards are a way to honor today's high school stars for their outstanding accomplishments as they work to try to become the Major League stars of the future," Louisville Slugger President Marty Archer said in a press release.

Award winners receive specially engraved black and silver Louisville Sluggetvr bats, and Juneau-Douglas High School will get a replica bat for its trophy case.

Baker is considering Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore., and San Jacinto Community College in Texas to continue his playing career.

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