John Rhodes wasn't even aware of the award for which he became a finalist on Wednesday. But the Chattanooga Christian junior certainly was honored when he was told he was among the finalists for the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association's state Division II-A Mr. Baseball award.
"I was surprised. I didn't even know they had an award for Mr. Baseball, but it's definitely an honor and I'm grateful," said Rhodes, who committed to Kentucky. "I feel like I've worked really hard, but this comes back to the team and not just myself. We had guys get on base a lot this year and I just tried to do my job."
Rhodes is the only finalist from the Chattanooga area in any classification. He is joined on the DII-A finalists list by Christian Academy of Knoxville's Jacob Tate and Grace Christian's Noah Gent.
This season Rhodes is batting .565 with 15 home runs, 13 doubles and 54 RBIs. He's also 19-for-19 in stolen-base attempts and has a 2.67 earned run average and 42 strikeouts with four saves.
"It's a testament to his hard work and love for the game," Chargers coach Ben Wharton said. "He's the first Mr. Baseball finalist for our program, and I can't think of a better kid to represent our program and our school.
"Sometimes I have to hold him back from doing too much because he wants to be working on something every day. John has played every position for us except first, third and left field, and he can play any of them really well. It's one of the most incredible seasons I've ever seen a player have."
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.