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  Gatorade Idaho Baseball Player Of The Year: Gabe Hughes

The Rocky Mountain standout hit .365 with seven home runs and 39 runs batted in this year. He also went 7-1 with a 0.91 ERA on the mound.

By: Sven Alskog
Published: 5/23/2019 11:24:44 AM

CHICAGO (May 23, 2019) — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Gabe Hughes of Rocky Mountain High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Idaho Baseball Player of the Year. Hughes is the third Gatorade Idaho Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Rocky Mountain 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 Hughes as Idaho’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, Hughes 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, Seton Hall Preparatory School, N.J.) and Kris Bryant (2009-10,
Bonanza High School, Nev.).

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound senior right-handed pitcher and infielder led the Grizzlies (20-8) to the Class 5A quarterfinals this past season, compiling a 7-1 record on the mound with a 0.91 ERA and 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings. The state’s returning Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year and a two-time First Team All-State selection, Hughes also batted .365 with seven home runs and 39 RBI. 

Hughes has volunteered locally on behalf of the American Red Cross and as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with the Boy Scouts of America.

“Gabe Hughes is the most complete high school player I have ever coached,” said Rocky Mountain High head coach Joe Santa Maria. “His ability to change the game on the mound and at the plate make him a dual threat. His leadership and consistency over the past years have been a great strength that have led to individual and team success.”

Hughes has maintained a weighted 4.15 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Gonzaga University beginning this fall.

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.

Two-time winner Hughes joins Gatorade Idaho Baseball Players of the Year Ethan Christianson (2016-17, Rocky Mountain High School), Parker Price (2015-16 & 2014-15, Timberline High School), and Nick Nyquist (2013-14, Coeur d'Alene High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Hughes 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, on Facebook at or follow them on Twitter at


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