Oak Ridge senior earns Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year Award

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Luken Baker was expected to be an early pick in next Monday's MLB draft. But he says he's committed to playing at TCU first (KTRK)

Oak Ridge senior Luken Baker and his family had a morning they'll never forget.

Baker was presented with the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year Award in a surprise ceremony.

"I was shocked," Baker said.

Baker joins past winners like Alex Rodriquez, Clayton Kershaw and Astros manager AJ Hinch. At 6'5" and 250 pounds, Baker can be intimidating to hitters. But with a 3.75 grade point average, he's more than just baseball.

"It means a lot, it means lot of people put in good work, and a lot of people have helped me get where I am, especially my parents, coaches, teammates," Baker said.

Baker's mom, Belinda, couldn't stop smiling.

"It's just incredible," she said.

Baker is 12-0 on the mound with 120 strikeouts. At the plate he's hitting .448 with 12 home runs. At last year's all-star game, Baker won the junior home run derby.

Former Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt flew into town to help present Baker with the award.

Oswalt's advise to the 18-year-old is to soak it all in. Oswalt sees a long career ahead for Baker.

"With his size ... he can be one of the best in the game," Oswalt said.

Baker was expected to be an early pick in next Monday's MLB draft. But he recently he sent an email to all major league teams telling them he's standing by his commitment to play at TCU.

"We decided that no amount of money, no draft pick would be worth missing out on college," Baker said.
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