By Robert Wilson

Jackson Academy senior outfielder Dakota Jordan was recognized by Gatorade as the best high school baseball player in Mississippi Friday as he was named the Mississippi Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year.

         The Mississippi State football and baseball signee set school records with 16 home runs (fifth highest in the nation, two behind the leader, according to MaxPreps), a .524 batting average, a .635 on-base percentage, a 1.180 slugging percentage, 57 runs batted in and tied the school record with 55 runs. Jordan was four short of tying the MAIS home run record, set by Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Hunter Renfroe of Copiah Academy in 2010.

         Jordan broke school records of Matt Denny (12 home runs, 56 RBIs and .938 slugging percentage in 2011), David Mooney (.512 batting average in 2005), Trent Tyre (.589 on-base percentage in 2018) and tied Edwin Smith’s run record in 2018.

         Jordan led JA to a 21-14 record and a MAIS Class 6A semifinal finish. The Raiders were the only team to defeat 6A state champion Jackson Prep and 6A state runner-up Madison-Ridgeland Academy in the regular season.

         Jordan also was used as a pitcher and had a 3-0 record with 3 saves this season. He threw out multiple runners and made many outstanding catches from his right field position this season.

         Jordan was named to the MAIS Class 6A All-State team.

         “I knew what kind of baseball player we were getting (Jordan transferred from Canton Academy), but we were getting a much better person,” JA coach Parker Harris said. “Dakota is a player that all the other players fed off. I think the most impressive part of the season was that Dakota didn’t have a home run until spring break (mid-March). He showed so much growth as a player toward the end of the season. Dakota took what other teams gave him instead of pressing for a hit. His ceiling as a player is very high. I can’t wait to see what his future holds.”

         Jordan is rated No. 30 among high school players by Athlon Sports for the Major League Draft in July. The 30th player went at the end of the third round in last year’s draft and received a $1.1 million signing bonus.

         The 6-foot, 215-pound Jordan, a wide receiver in football, set a school record with 877 receiving yards this season. Jordan broke Langston Anderson’s mark of 765 yards in 2016 despite missing the first game last season. Jordan was in San Diego playing baseball in the Perfect Game Showcase.

         Jordan is third JA athlete to be named a Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year this school year. The other two are Lakin Laurendine in volleyball and Emery Thigpen in boys soccer. JA is the only school to have multiple winners. Gatorade has winners in 12 sports.