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In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Steven Milam of Centennial High School is the 2022-23 Gatorade New Mexico Baseball Player of the Year. Milam is the first Gatorade New Mexico Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Centennial 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 Milam as New Mexico’s best high school baseball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Milam joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Jackson Holliday (2021-22, Stillwater High School, Okla.), Bobby Witt Jr. (2018-19, Colleybille Heritage High School, Texas), Clayton Kershaw (2005-06, Highland Park High School, Texas) and Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo High School, Mich.).

The 5-foot-7, 165-pound senior infielder batted .627 with seven home runs, 50 RBI and 65 runs scored this past season, leading the Hawks (26-5) to the Class 5A final. The 2023 MaxPreps New Mexico Player of the Year, Milam drew 42 walks and struck out only eight times, stole 21 bases and posted an on-base percentage of .742 along with a slugging percentage of 1.313. Ranked as the nation’s No. 43 prospect in the Class of 2023 by Perfect Game and also a right-handed pitcher, he went 1-0 with a 1.02 earned run average while striking out 23 and walking five in 13.2 innings pitched.

A National Honor Society member, Milam has volunteered locally with Warrior League New Mexico, a tee ball program designed for children with special needs. “Steven is very deserving of this award,” said Ron Murphy, head coach at Hobbs High School. “I’ve seen him grow the past three years. He’s a great player that will make an impact on any team he’s on.”

Milam has maintained a weighted 3.94 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Louisiana State University this fall.

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 & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.

Milam joins recent Gatorade New Mexico Baseball Players of the Year Nolan Perry (2021-22, Carlsbad High School), Matthew Cornelius (2020-21, St. Pius X High School), Noah Brewer (2019-20, Rio Rancho High School), and Hayden Walker (2018-19, St. Pius X High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

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