Cooper Kinney's trophy case just got a bit more crowded.
The Baylor School star has been named Gatorade's Baseball Player of the Year for Tennessee, an award which will fit nicely beside his Mr. Baseball plaque he earned in May.
Kinney is the third local prep athlete, and second from Baylor, to be named the state's top player in their respective sport, joining Lady Red Raiders softball star Syd Berzon and McCallie All America soccer forward Gui Vivaldini.
He is now a finalist for Gatorade's National Baseball Player of the Year award, which will be announced in July.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior infielder and catcher helped the Red Raiders to a 27-4 overall record last season and the program's third consecutive Division II-AA state championship. He batted .480 with 10 home runes, 50 RBIs and 35 runs scored, including a .700 average with a homer and six RBIs in three state tournament games.
A University of South Carolina signee, Kinney is projected to be an early-round selection in July's Major League Baseball draft.
"Cooper Kinney is by far the best hitter in the state of Tennessee," said Ensworth coach Jason Maxwell. "He is the consummate team player who can play multiple positions and play them well. On a team loaded with talent, Cooper Kinney proved to be the leader of the pack"
The award also takes into consideration a student-athlete's academics and overall character. Kinney maintained a 3.81 grade-point average, is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and National Honor Society and has volunteered as a summer camp counselor and youth baseball coach.
"This is a heck of a way to cap off his high school career," Baylor coach Greg Elie said. "His consistency this season was unlike anything I've ever seen. He was already an amazing hitter but he matured a ton during the off season and had a fantastic season."
Contact Stephen Hargis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.