High School

Kelley Lynch, Bobby Witt Jr. Named Gatorade Athletes of the Year

Kelley Lynch and Bobby Witt Jr. have been named the Gatorade Athletes of the Year. 

Kelley Lynch and Bobby Witt Jr. have been named the Gatorade Athletes of the Year. 

Lynch, who will be attending University of Washington, was named the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year for 2018-19, while Witt, who was drafted at No. 2 by the Royals, earned the honor of Gatorade National High School Baseball Player of the Year.

The 18-year-old Lynch led East Coweta (Sharpsburg, Ga.) to a 32-2 record and a second straight championship. She went 17–0 with a 0.27 ERA on the mound, while also hitting .436 with three home runs and 25 RBIs at first base. She signed with Washington in November and is ranked as the No. 1 recruit for Softball America’s Class of 2019. She’s also playing for the U-19 Women’s National Team, which will compete in August’s World Cup.

When she earned her Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year accolade, Lynch told Sports Illustrated that she’s looking forward to “getting in there and learning more about the game.” Lynch learned the news from Olympian and childhood idol Jennie Finch. 

Witt, meanwhile was surprised by former MLB All-Star Michael Young with the honor, telling SI it was “something I’ll never forget in my life.”

The 19-year-old Witt is the son of longtime Rangers pitcher Bobby Witt Sr. and was drafted one spot higher than his father was. The pair are the highest-drafted father-son combo. Heading into the draft, Witt was largely considered the best shortstop prospect after Alex Rodriguez since 1987, according to MLB’s rankings. 

Witt played shortstop and pitched for Colleyville Heritage High (Colleyville, Texas) this season, hitting .482 with 15 home runs and 55 RBIs. As a pitcher, he had a 1.85 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 12 appearances.

Before the draft, Witt was committed to play baseball at Oklahoma. 

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