According to the Minnesota Minutemen website, The Play Ball! Mr. Baseball Award began honoring the best High School Senior baseball athlete in 2010 through a direct partnership with the Minnesota Twins and Minute Men. Seven finalists are nominated and ranked each year by a select list of college coaches and pro scouts. The Mr. Baseball is announced at an annual banquet honoring all the finalists over dinner and guest speeches from Minnesota Twins alums such as Jack Morris, General Manager Terry Ryan, and Ron Coomer.
Paul Patane, SportsEngine06/25/19, 8:00PM CDT
Stillwater's Drew Gilbert, a 5-foot-11 left-hander, finished his illustrious prep sports career as the recipient of the 2019 Mr. Baseball Award. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine
Drew Gilbert didn’t get a coveted second consecutive Class 4A crown with Stillwater this spring but he did receive one final piece of hardware to add to his trophy cabinet. On Sunday, the left-handed pitcher and center fielder for the Ponies was presented with the 2019 Mr. Baseball Award at a luncheon held at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis.
Gilbert, who has also received Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year and all-state honors this season, finished his senior campaign in the Class 4A semifinal round, where the top-seeded Ponies were upset 5-4 by Suburban East Conference rival East Ridge, which went on to win its first state championship. Stillwater won the Class 4A crown in 2018, when Gilbert pitched a complete game shutout to defeat Minnetonka 4-0.
From the mound this season, Gilbert threw 49 innings, surrendering 12 hits and one earned run. He finished the season with 97 strikeouts and a 0.18 ERA.
A 35th round pick chosen by the Minnesota Twins in the Major League Baseball draft earlier this month, the 5-foot-11 hurler has a fastball that reaches 96 mph, as well as a curveball and changeup. Gilbert's also a stout center fielder and he has some pop in his bat while being able to hit for average. Committed to playing for Oregon State next spring, Gilbert hit .370 this season with 16 RBIs and he stole eight bases.
Gilbert was one of seven finalists for this year’s Mr. Baseball Award, which is bestowed on the state’s top senior player, chosen by a panel of high school and college coaches, in addition to pro scouts. Criteria for receiving the award include season contributions, and athletic and character attributes.
The other finalists for this year’s Mr. Baseball Award were: Evan Shaw of Fridley; Adam Mazur of Woodbury; Will Anderson of St. Michael-Albertville; Ben Pedersen of Duluth Marshall; Trent Schoeberl of White Bear Lake; and Will Frisch of Stillwater, who will join his teammate Gilbert at Oregon State in the fall.
Presented by Play Ball! Minnesota and the Minnesota Sports Alliance (formerly known as the Minnesota Minute Men), the Mr. Baseball finalists and winner are announced at the conclusion of each spring season. Play Ball! Minnesota is an initiative of the Twins Community Fund, which was chartered as an independent public charity in 1991.
Gilbert will join 2019 Ms. Softball winner McKayla Armbruster in throwing out a first pitch at a Twins home game later this season.
|2019||Drew Gilbert||Stillwater Area|
|2018||Seth Halvorsen||Heritage Christian Academy|
|2016||Matt Wallner||Forest Lake|
|2014||Brad Mathiowetz||Rochester Mayo|
|2013||Logan Shore||Coon Rapids|
|2012||Mitch Brown||Rochester Century|
Trevor Squire, SportsEngine06/19/18, 3:45PM CDT
Heritage Christian Academy's Seth Halvorsen was named Minnesota's 2018 Mr. Baseball. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
Ten days removed from being drafted by the Minnesota Twins, Heritage Christian Academy pitcher Seth Halvorsen looked the part of a major leaguer in the Class 1A state championship at Target Field on June 16.
Halvorsen became the first high schooler to hit two home runs in the stadium and struck out 16 to lead the Eagles to their first state title, punctuating the end to an illustrious senior campaign that earned him the 2018 Play Ball! Minnesota Mr. Baseball award.
A two-way talent, Halvorsen posted state-best marks for strikeouts (117), runs (37) and stolen bases (29) in 26 games played. He finished the year with a 0.94 ERA and a 7-1 record on the mound.
Halvorsen returned to Target Field June 17 to attend the finalist banquet for the Mr. Baseball and Ms. Softball awards. The Mr. Baseball award is given by the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Minute Men to the state's top senior baseball player. College coaches and scouts selected the winner from a pool of seven finalists.
The other finalists for Mr. Baseball were: Jake Dykhoff (Wadena-Deer Creek), Otto Grimm (Bemidji), Nick Juaire (Lakeville North), Aidan Maldonado (Rosemount), Nathaniel Peterson (Lakeville North), Zack Raabe (Forest Lake) and Tommy Springer(Eastview).
Halvorsen, drafted in the 30th round of the Major League Baseball draft, was selected largely for his prowess on the mound. He has opted to play the next three seasons at Missouri, where he hopes to develop as a hitter.