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Blizzard Alum Max Carlson earns Gatorade Player of the Year

05/22/2020, 5:00pm CDT
By Christopher Lakeside

Carlson becomes 7th Blizzard Alum to earn GPOY honors which includes brother, Sam Carlson

Carlson earns one of Minnesota's top honors - Gatorade Player of the Year

...becomes 7th Blizzard player to earn Minnesota's top honor
Blizzard 2020 graduate RHP Max Carlson became the seventh player in Blizzard history to earn Minnesota's Gatorade Player of the Year.
excerpt from the GPOY Media Release:   
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 Carlson as Minnesota’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, Carlson 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.). 
Carlson, a 6'3", 185-pound right-handed pitcher dominated the showcase circuit last year and was also the only 2020 grad on a 2019 Blizzard team that featured 16 Division I commits.  But having started at 8-years old, Max is no stranger to playing up.
"I started playing at eight years old and played on the 11u Gold team," Carlson said.  "I have to thank Barta for that opportunity when I was that young because it was when I fell in love with the game."
"Barta and the other staff helped from 8-18 years old not only in my development as a baseball player, but into the young man and citizen I am today.  And I have to thank them for the relationships I have made with some of my best friends over the years."
"Max Carlson physicality has improved greatly in the last 18 months," Blizzard Owner Adam Barta said.  "Adding 10 pounds of muscle and working out every day this spring with big brother, Sam (who was a 2nd round draft pick in 2017 to the Seattle Mariners."
"His fastball, which sits between 91-93 mph (2350 spin rate) tops at 95 mph.  His hard slider, which may be considered a 'heavy' slurve, sits right around 76-77 with sharp, late break but has better depth and a very good out pitch against both RHH and LHH.  His change up, which may be his biggest weapon, is 75-77, is typically arm side with hard sink.  Some might consider it a hard two-seamer based on it's sharp movement down and arm side action.  What may be most impressive is his ability to tunnel all three of his pitches and the confidence in which he throws all of them - especially his change up - in any count."
Of course Max's main contribution to the Blizzard program was his presence on and off the field.  As a leader, teammate and all around great kid, Max's future is just beginning with the possibility of getting drafted this spring or having the "secondary" option of heading to a Division I powerhouse in North Carolina.
A Blizzard great for sure!  Great job, Max!
Here are the past Blizzard players who have earned Minnesota's Gatorade Player of the Year.
High School
Yrs w/ Blizzard
College / Pro Team
2020 Max Carlson RHP Burnsville 10 North Carolina
2019 Drew Gilbert LHP-OF Stillwater 7 Oregon State
2018 Seth Halvorsen RHP-SS Heritage Christian Academy 3 Missouri
2017 Sam Carlson RHP Burnsville 9 Seattle Mariners
2014 Sam Hentges LHP Moundsview 2 Cleveland Indians
2013 Logan Shore RHP Coon Rapids 6 Flordia / Oakland A's
2011 Robert Youngdahl LHP-CF Hill-Murray 2 Notre Dame / Boston Red Sox

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