Texas baseball signee named nation’s top player
By Steve Lansdale
DALLAS, Texas — The University of Texas is accustomed to recruiting players whose resumes are littered with awards and accolades. But incoming UT baseball signee Kyle Muller claimed the highest possible individual honor in his sport, when he was named the 2015-16 Gatorade National Player of the Year.
Muller, a 6-foot-7, 245-pound pitcher and outfielder at Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas, received the award from Texas Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels.
Muller helped lead the Rangers to 33-8-2 record while posting gaudy stats: he went 8-1 on the mound with an earned run average of just 0.46, and threw five shutouts and a pair of no-hitters. More impressively, in 76 innings pitched, he had more than three times as many strikeouts (133) as the combined number of hits allowed (26) and walks given up (15). He also hit .382 with 15 home runs, driving in 43 runs in 51 games. For good measure, he stole 19 bases in 20 attempts. The Under Armour All-America set a national record earlier this season when he struck out 33 consecutive hitters.
Four other players from Texas high schools have won the award: Todd Van Poppel (1990), Jason Stokes (2000), Clayton Kershaw (2006) and 2015 honoree Luken Baker.