CHICAGO — In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company has selected Jordan Walker of Decatur High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year. Walker is the first Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Decatur 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 Walker as Georgia’s best high school baseball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Baseball Player of the Year award to be announced in May, Walker 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-5, 220-pound senior third baseman and right-handed pitcher batted .457 with four home runs, 15 RBI and a 1.555 OPS for the Bulldogs in 2020 before the season was cancelled. The nation’s No. 2 prospect as ranked by Perfect Game, Walker was a 2019 Perfect Game All-American Game invitee and a 2019 First Team All-State selection.
A member of the National Honor Society, Walker has donated his time as a peer tutor and has volunteered as a youth baseball coach. “I have had the pleasure of competing against Jordan Walker for several years now and he is a personable, hard-working player who always gives his best,” said Adam Cantrell, head coach at Providence Christian Academy. “Twice he has beaten my team with late-inning home runs and had a huge smile on his face while running the bases—not gloating, but loving the sport like a little kid. I will miss the competition, but not his prowess over my pitchers.”
Walker has maintained a 3.98 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Duke University, 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 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.
Walker 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) and Dazmon Cameron (2014-15, Eagle's Landing Christian Academy) 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 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.