Baylor senior Cooper Kinney received the Mr. Baseball Award, presented by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association, at the organization's banquet Tuesday, May 25. The award honors the top high school player in each division of the TSSAA.
A smooth left-handed hitter who has played second base, third base, and catcher for the Raiders, Kinney batted .456 this season with nine home runs, 17 doubles, 44 RBI, and a .967 slugging percentage. Cooper has signed with the University of South Carolina and is also among the top 100 prospects in the upcoming Major League Baseball draft. He was named a pre-season All-American by both Baseball America and Perfect Game USA.
The entire Baylor team attended the banquet before heading to a state tournament game later that night. "It was great having the whole team there and hearing them cheer when my name was called," Kinney told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "A big part of me winning the award is being around the level of talent we have on this team. We all push each other to be better and compete with each other even in practice, which makes us be the best players we can."
"This is a huge deal for our whole team," Baylor coach Greg Elie told the Times Free Press. "Coop has done a great job representing Baylor and our baseball program and he deserves to cap his career with this award. His versatility separates him and really his body of work this season against a national schedule really stands out. To lead this team statistically, considering the amount of talent we have, is remarkable."