Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- Dylan Lesko, a pitcher out of Buford High School in Buford, Georgia, received one of the biggest surprises of his young baseball career on Wednesday morning.
The 2022 Vanderbilt commit, thought he was getting on a Zoom call with his head coach, instead he was greeted by New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor. The MLB star was there to share the news that Lesko had been named Gatorade National Player of the Year, an award given to the top high school baseball player in the country.
“He was surprised, he was shocked at first then he kind of sunk in a little bit and he went and hugged everyone else in the room. “It was very cool, man, to see kids celebrate their success with their loved ones, it’s always fun,” said Lindor.
Lesko is the first underclassman to ever win the award.
“Having him personally tell me, it was amazing, I was speechless really,” said Lesko.
The right-handed pitcher is coming off a monster junior year, finishing 11-0 with a 0.35 ERA and 112 strikeouts. He said his approach on the mound is somewhat similar to that of Vanderbilt pitcher Jack Leiter. He has an upper-90s fastball, and a changeup he can attack hitters with.
Lesko is one of the many baseball players who dream of making it to the bigs one day. Lindor, who never won the award was just thrilled to give back in this kind of way, even giving Lesko some words of advice.
“The sky is the limit and life up here is amazing. It’s everything that you dreamed of, you have it up here. My advice to them is to continue to work and be themselves and the guys that are actually making it to the big leagues, they got people’s attention already so they don’t have to impress nobody, they just have to continue to be themselves and enjoy the ride, because it’s a fun one,” said Lindor.
With his senior year approaching, Lesko said he is setting new goals, but will also take time to enjoy his final year playing high school baseball.
“I definitely want to try and win the award again, just defend the title and be one of the only people to win it more than once. I want to help my team win state and have one last go at it,” said Lesko.
Lesko said he will wait until after his senior year to enroll at Vanderbilt.