by Brendan Sample
As his senior year comes to a close and a decision between going to college and playing professionally must be made, William Penn Charter School outfielder Michael Siani is now able to add another award to his growing list of honors. The Gatorade Player of the Year Program announced on May 29 that it had named Siani as its Pennsylvania Baseball Player of the Year for the 2017-2018 season.
Siani has built up a stellar high school resume on the field, and his final season was no exception. In 55 at bats, he compiled a .345 batting average, two home runs, 10 runs batted in, 20 runs scored, .a 493 on-base percentage and .a 509 slugging percentage. As a pitcher, he went 2-0 with a 3.94 ERA and nine strikeouts in just 5.1 innings.
In addition to his efforts on the field, Siani has also committed time to volunteer work, both as a mentor to young athletes in the Whiz Kids baseball training program and through serving food to the poor. He has even managed to maintain success in the classroom, holding a 3.19 GPA going into graduation. Siani was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, but he also received a scholarship from the University of Virginia, where he has already signed a letter of intent to play baseball.
Siani is not the first Penn Charter student to win this award, as Kenny Koplove was named the recipient for the 2011-2012 season. Former winners from recent years that have made it to the major leagues include Derek Fisher (2010-2011), Devin Mesoraco (2006-2007), Jeff Bianchi (2004-2005) and Neil Walker (2003-2004).
With the award under his belt, Siani will be able to choose a youth sports organization to receive a $1,000 grant through the Gatorade Play It Forward program. He will also have the chance to give that same organization an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by explaining why his chosen institution deserves further support in a brief essay.
For more information on the award, visit www.playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.