CHICAGO — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, has selected C.J. Abrams of Blessed Trinity High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year. Abrams is the first Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Blessed Trinity 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 Abrams as Georgia’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, Abrams 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 (2006-2007, Seaton Hall Preparatory School, N.J.) and Kris Bryant (2009-10, Bonanza High School, Nev.).
The 6-foot-2, 182-pound senior shortstop and second baseman led the Titans (31-9) to the Class AAAA semifinals this past season, batting .431 with three home runs, 42 runs scored, 27 RBI and compiling a slugging percentage of .723. A 2018 Perfect Game All-American Classic team member and a 2018 Under Armour All-American Game invitee, Abrams is the nation’s second-ranked prep prospect as rated by Baseball America and Perfect Game.
A devoted parishioner in his church community, Abrams has volunteered locally on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, CURE Childhood Cancer and as a youth baseball camp counselor. “C.J. Abrams is a special talent,” said Donnie Branch, head coach at LaGrange High head coach. “He has great speed and agility and is an outstanding bunter, but has a short powerful stroke as well. Everything he does looks very easy.”
Abrams has maintained a 3.10 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a national letter of intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Alabama beginning this fall, but is projected as an early round selection in June’s Major League Baseball draft.
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 & 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.
Abrams joins recent Gatorade Georgia Baseball Players of the Year Kumar Rocker (2017-18, North Oconee High School), Drew Waters (2016-17, Etowah High School), Josh Lowe (2015-16, Pope High School), Dazmon Cameron (2014-15, Eagle's Landing Christian Academy), and Michael Chavis (2013-14, Sprayberry High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Abrams also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
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 learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.