Preble's Wagner is Gatorade State Player of the Year
In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today
announced Max Wagner of Preble High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade Wisconsin Baseball Player of the Year. Wagner is the
first Gatorade Wisconsin Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Preble 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 Wagner as Wisconsin’s best high school baseball
player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Baseball Player of the Year award to be announced in
May, Wagner 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,
Seaton Hall Preparatory School, N.J.) and Kris Bryant (2009-10, Bonanza High School, Nev.).
A 2020 Perfect Game Preseason First Team All-Central Region selection, the 6-foot, 190-pound senior shortstop and righthanded pitcher concluded his prep baseball career with a 16-3 record on the mound to go with a 0.82 earned run average
and 177 strikeouts in 128.2 innings pitched. A two-time First Team All-State selection, Wagner posted a .457 batting average
for his career with 28 doubles, 86 runs scored, 69 RBI and 36 steals while earning a .569 on-base percentage and a .731
slugging percentage. Wagner was 8-2 on the mound as a junior with a 0.69 ERA while batting .500 with five home runs and 39
RBI, and he was named the Prep Baseball Report State Player of the Year.
Wagner has volunteered locally as an elementary school tutor and as a youth baseball coach. “Max knows the game better
than every player in Wisconsin,” said Greg Reinhard, Wagner’s coach with the GRB Rays summer ball team. “His physical
abilities are really good, but he understands the game better and is ready for every situation.”
Wagner has maintained a 3.55 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a national letter of intent to play baseball on scholarship at
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 and 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.
Wagner joins recent Gatorade Wisconsin Baseball Players of the Year Jack Washburn (2017-18, Webster High School), Ben
Dragani (2016-17, Catholic Memorial High School), Gavin Lux (2015-16, Indian Trail High School), and Jack Eagan (2014-15,
Wautoma High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.