Ketchikan’s Nathan Bonck continues a long line of Alaska Baseball Academy players to be named as Gatorade Player of the Year. His selection makes it 10 of the last 11 years that ABA players have received the prestigious award. Previous Alaska Baseball Academy players that have won the award include: Scooter Bynum, Erikson Fish, Zach Ferntheil, Adam Manzer, Dylan Baker, Ross Venneberg, Joe Kohan, Chad Nading and Zach Mixson.
Bonck is the kind of baseball player that can beat you with his bat, his glove and his arm. He is 6-foot-5, athletic and left handed. He’s also the Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year. “He is just one of those natural baseball players,” Ketchikan coach Andy Berntson told me. “There isn’t a part of the game he doesn’t work on or excel at. He’s solid with the boys and they all look up to him. “Bonck hopes to lead the Kings to their first state championship and continue the Southeast Conference’s domination since the ASAA state tournament began in 2000. During that time Southeast teams have won 9 of 15 titles. Bonck is next in a long line of great players to come out of Southeast Alaska, a powerful hitter and shutdown pitcher with college-ready skills. The junior all-star is hitting .507 and leads the state with 6 home runs and 34 RBIs in 21 games. There is a video clip online that shows one of his majestic bombs, no-doubter to center field. It’s impressive. As a pitcher, Bonck is 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 31 innings. He rocks a 40-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Portions of this story were written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.