Biloxi’s Trey Shaffer won’t forget his senior season anytime soon — Gatorade made sure of it.
The senior Indian was named Mississippi’s Gatorade Player of the Year on Tuesday.
Shaffer said he woke up to a tweet that he’d earned the honor, which caught him by surprise somewhat.
“I knew I’d make a good run at it, but there’s a lot of great players in Mississippi,” he said.
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Shaffer is the first Coast product to earn the Gatorade Player of the Year honor since George County’s Mason Robbins in 2011. Other recent recipients include Oxford’s Jason Barber (’16, ’15), DeSoto Central’s Austin Riley (’14), Northwest Rankin’s Reid Humphreys (’13), Petal’s Anthony Alford (’12), Madison Central’s Brayden Jones (’10), West Lauderdale’s Darren Farmer (’09) and Paxton Pace (’07) and Terry’s Rashun Dixon (’08).
“It’s an honor to be included with those guys,” the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Shaffer said, “but there’s a lot of work that has to be put in to get to where those guys are now. This is just the first step.”
Shaffer, who’s a Southeastern Louisiana signee, had an outstanding senior campaign as a two-way threat. On the mound, the left-hander was 8-1 with a 1.20 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings. At the plate, all Shaffer did was hit .380 with four home runs, 31 RBIs, eight doubles, two triples and a 1.123 OPS. Also known for his speed, Shaffer swiped 13 bases.
Shaffer credited Biloxi’s new director of sports performance, Brian O’Neal, for improving his 60-yard dash time from 6.7 seconds to 6.3.
Shaffer also saw his velocity jump up as a senior after a full offseason in the weightroom. Shaffer said he worked 89-91 and hit 94 multiple times this season.
Shaffer’s numbers saw a large jump as a senior. Last season, Shaffer hit .358 with 11 extra-base hits and a 1.025 OPS while going 5-1 with a 1.32 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings.
Shaffer said he expects to move in at Southeastern on June 15 and begin classes June 27. Shaffer could hear his name called during the upcoming MLB Draft, which is June 12-14, but he said right now he’s dead set on showing in Hammond, Louisiana, on schedule.