It's pretty safe to say that Sean Coyle experienced one of the best days of his life yesterday. Not many high school baseball players can say they were nationally honored and hit some balls over the Green Monster at Fenway Park on the same day.
The Germantown Academy senior was named the 2009-10 Gatorade Pennsylvania Baseball Player of the Year yesterday. After receiving the news, Coyle took a trip to Boston to work out for the Red Sox.
Gatorade, which is in its 25th year of awarding high school athletes, recognized Coyle as the top baseball player in the state not only because of his performance on the diamond, but for his work in the classroom and community. He finished the year with a 3.22 grade-point average and also volunteers with a Bible study group, works with special-needs kids and coaches baseball.
Coyle is also a finalist for the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, which will be announced later this month.
"It really is an honor," Coyle said. "To be grouped with some of the other guys who were named player of the year from their state is pretty exciting. There are a lot of elite ballplayers on that list and to be grouped with them is something that is an honor."
The 5-9 shortstop helped guide the Patriots to a 29-3 record and the Pennsylvania Independent Schools state championship. Entering the playoffs, Germantown Academy was ranked No. 20 nationally by Baseball America. Coyle batted .529 to go with his school single-season record 13 home runs, 50 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 20 attempts.
With the MLB draft starting Monday, the Red Sox brought in Coyle despite his signing with North Carolina. At the workout, he ran the 60-yard dash in 6.49 seconds. He also hit three balls over the Green Monster in batting practice. He is also scheduled to work out for the Phillies on Saturday.
"It was a lot of fun," Coyle said of the workout. "It's such an historic ballpark and to be there knowing that most of the game's greats have played on the same field was special."
Many experts say that Coyle is a second- or third-round type player but if he were 6 feet tall, he would be a solid first-round pick. His combination of speed and power has some making comparisons to Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
There has been talk of a club possibly luring him away from Chapel Hill, where he has the chance to play with his brother Tommy. His older brother (a Germantown Academy alum) just finished his freshman year at UNC, playing second base and third base. Sean says his options are still open.
"The chance to play with my brother again is exciting," Coyle said. "I didn't get to see him much this year and we have always been really close. To be able to go to school with him again would be fun. My goal is to play in the MLB. Whether I get there by signing out of high school or after 3 years of college is going to depend on whether a team wants to demonstrate a significant commitment to me come the draft. It's a waiting game until Monday." *