In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, the Gatorade Company announced Cayden Wallace of Greenbrier High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade Arkansas Baseball Player of the Year.
Wallace is the first Gatorade Arkansas Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Greenbrier High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Wallace as Arkansas’s best high school baseball player.
Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award to be announced in May, Wallace joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo High School, Mich.), Jon Lester (2001-02, Bellarmine Preparatory School, Wash.), David Price (2003-04, Blackman High School, Tenn.), Clayton Kershaw (2005-06, Highland Park High School, Texas), Rick Porcello (2006-07, Seaton Hall Preparatory School, N.J.) and Kris Bryant (2009-10, Bonanza High School, Nev.).
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior third baseman and shortstop batted a combined .510 with seven homers, 53 runs scored, 29 RBI and 22 stolen bases in 2019 and pandemic-shortened 2020 season, leading the Panthers to a 6-2 record this past year before spring sports were cancelled. The nation’s No. 25 prospect as ranked by Perfect Game, Wallace was a 2019 Under Armour All-American Game selection. Wallace has volunteered locally on behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego and the Wooster First Baptist Church.
“Cayden Wallace is one of the most talented players ever to play in this state,” said Arkansas Prospects Baseball Academy head coach Andy Medard. “He has all the tools to be successful in college and professional baseball. He demonstrates leadership, faith and promotes team unity with his actions and words. Not only is he the most talented player in the state, he is also one of the best kids.”
Wallace has maintained a 3.73 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Arkansas.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.
From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Wallace joins recent Gatorade Arkansas Baseball Players of the Year Jaden Hill (2017-18, Ashdown High School), Casey Martin (2016-17, Lonoke High School), Evan Lee (2015-16, Bryant High School), and Andy Pagnozzi (2014-15, Fayetteville High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY