Seneca’s Nick Decker was named Gatorade’s 2017-18 New Jersey baseball player of the year on Tuesday. Decker is in elite company, joining former winners Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo High School, Mich.), Clayton Kershaw (2005-06, Highland Park High School, Texas), and Kris Bryant (2009-10, Bonanza High School, Nev.).
The Golden Eagles senior is a standout outfielder and pitcher. Decker posted a .500 batting average, with four doubles, seven home runs, 24 runs scored, and 24 RBIs in 21 games. He also drew 27 walks, contributing to a .692 on-base percentage. The lefthander did not allow an earned run in nine innings pitched, with 20 strikeouts.
“He is strong and physical, and he seems to hit balls a long way,” one scout, who requested anonymity, said earlier this season.
His coach, Jay Donoghue, said, “Watching him hit is always fun.”
Decker has committed to the University of Maryland but is likely to be an early-round selection in next month’s Major League Baseball draft.
“He is such a great leader, and that will carry him to the next level,” Donoghue, who played on Seneca’s 2007 state Group 3 championship team, said last month. “He is one of the guys people look up to. ”
Other New Jersey Gatorade baseball players of the year include Brad Dobzanski, 2017, of Delsea, and Rob Kaminsky, 2013 and 2012, of St. Joseph. Los Angeles Angels outfielder and Millville alum Mike Trout won the award in 2009.
Penn Charter centerfielder Mike Siani was named Pennsylvania player of the year.