Waunakee's Nate Stevens runs to first base during the Division 1 state quarterfinals in Grand Chute.
Waunakee junior catcher Nate Stevens has been selected as the Wisconsin Baseball Central Player of the Year for the 2018 season.
After two years of figuring out the varsity game, Stevens finally put it all together this season. He was the Division 1 state champion’s best player by far, hitting .512 with eight doubles, three triples and eight home runs. He drove in 38 runs. He showcased his dominance in the state championship game, picking off an Arrowhead runner at second base to end a Warhawk rally late in the game with Waunakee clinging to a 1-0 lead. In the next inning, he hit a rocket to the outfield for a triple. Stevens is committed to Arkansas, and figures to get some looks in next year’s MLB Draft.
The Player of the Year award goes to the position player who maintained the most consistent level of excellence over the course of the year. Wisconsin continues to produce high-level talent, and the winner is the best of the best. Players of any grade in school are eligible to win the award.
The award was first introduced in 2015. Athens' Shane Coker won that year, Kenosha Indian Trail's Gavin Lux won in 2016, and Prescott's Peter Brookshaw won in 2017.
This is the second year in a row a junior has won Player of the Year. Seniors won in 2015 and 2016.
The other finalists for this year's award were Peter Brookshaw (Prescott/senior), Jacob Campbell (Janesville Craig/senior), Ian Drays (Jefferson/senior), Jeff Holtz (Arrowhead/senior), Bryce Parrish (Whitewater/senior), Nick Pica (Onalaska/sophomore), Alan Roden (Middleton/senior), Mitchell Seager (Beloit Turner/senior), and Jack Washburn (Webster/junior).