If Nick McMullen is not the most recognized player in Payson High School baseball history, he’s certainly close to it.
Since he first splashed onto the prep baseball scene three years ago as a raw untested freshman, he’s received about every honor possible.
Most recently, he garnered probably the most prestigious of all his accolades by being named to the MaxPreps All-American Baseball Team.
McMullen, a 6-foot-5-inch, 205-pound, senior-to-be, was named to the second team as a first baseman.
The Small School All-American team is comprised of the finest 30 players from around the country, all of which were selected from schools that have enrollments less the 1,000 students.
The only other Arizona players to make the team were Show Low’s Zach Winn, who was taken this year in the Major League draft, and Andrew Bryniarski, the 2013 state “Small School Player of the Year.”
In tapping McMullen All-American, the MaxPreps Web site posted his 2013 season stats which included a .515 batting average, 41 runs scored, 47 RBIs, seven doubles, seven triples and a division-high 11 home runs. As a pitcher, he posted a 3-2 record with a 3.39 ERA and 32 strikeouts.
Although McMullen has the size of a tight end or power forward, he had the speed and moxie to last season steal 14 bases.
His honors first began flowing in at the conclusion of the regular season when coaches selected him to the All-Division III, Section III first team.
About one week later in a second balloting of coaches, McMullen was tapped to the All-Division III first team.
He was also named co-All Section III Player of the Year in a tie with Nick Wojtysiak and Bryniarski, both of Fountain Hills.
Later, members of the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association, in their annual season-ending meeting named McMullen to the Division III All-State first team as a first baseman.
In July, Pros2Preps.com selected him to the Division III and IV All-Academic Baseball team.
At Payson High, McMullen has a 4.152 average in Advanced Placement (AP) classes.
Next baseball season, McMullen will headline a team that returns all but one player off the 2013 team that advanced to the state semifinals before falling to Tucson Empire.
With all the accolades that have been bestowed on McMullen, it’s almost a certainty that both pro and college scouts will be trailing him around the state as the 2014 baseball campaign unfolds next spring.