By Keith McShea
It was Dave "Bubba" Hollins of Orchard Park, who is our Prep Talk Player of the Year for baseball.
Hollins prevailed in what was a very close race from among a deep pool of talent as he was selected just ahead of Charlie Sobieraski of Lockport and Ryan Stekl of Lancaster.
Hollins was the best player on what was the best team for the majority of the Western New York baseball season. The slugging shortstop helped lead OP to an 18-3 record, the ECIC I title and a trip to the Class AA championship game.
He hit .508 (31 for 61) with four home runs, 31 RBIs, three triples, nine doubles, 30 runs, 16 walks, six stolen bases, a slugging percentage of .951 and an on-base percentage of .598. He played what coach Jim Gibson termed "outstanding" defense at shortstop as he was involved in 15 double plays.
He is presently deciding to attend St. Petersburg Junior College or to join the Detroit Tigers organization after the Tigers drafted Hollins in the 35th round of last week's draft. During OP's season, Gibson said scouts from the Giants, Braves, Orioles, Phillies and Twins watched Hollins play.
He talked about his award, season and future plans in a recent visit to PrepTalkTV.
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All Prep Talk Players of the Year will be honored at the inaugural Prep Talk Awards on June 16 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, featuring Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed and Janet Snyder of Kiss 98.5. The Prep Talk Awards will honor Prep Talk Players of the Year in more than 30 sports, along with the All-Western New York first teams in football and basketball.
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Our Countdown to the Prep Talk Awards will feature a different Prep Talk Player of the Year every day -- until the big night.
The list thus far: