- Associated Press - Sunday, June 15, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Entering his final year of high school baseball, Chase Vallot’s goals were quite simple and from the looks of what St. Thomas More was returning from the 2013 state runner-up team, very attainable.

Vallot merely wanted to cap his high school career by winning the Class 4A state championship and enjoy a better season than he did in any of the previous three campaigns.

Vallot achieved those goals and then some.

The Cougars rolled their way to the Class 4A state championship and Vallot played an instrumental role in them doing so as he turned in arguably the best season of his career in which he hit .545 with 13 home runs, 15 doubles, one triple and 60 RBIs.

That stellar season has netted Vallot the Farm Bureau-Louisiana Sports Writers Association Mr. Baseball award given to the state’s top player.

It is important to note that the progression has been as important as the honors for Vallot, who batted .365 with 12 home runs and 32 RBIs as a junior.

“My freshman year I was just kind of going through the motions because I had to sit out that year and my sophomore year I struggled a little bit and didn’t even play that much,” Vallot said. “But that just made me want to work even harder because I wanted the opportunity to start and my first two years just made me want it even more. This past season was by far my best year. I would say that it was better than my junior year and that was a goal of mine.”

The banner senior season has brought a ton of a honors for Vallot, who was drafted by the Kansas City Royals earlier this month. Vallot was selected as the Class 4A All-State team for the second consecutive year and was picked as the 4A Outstanding Player.

He also was tabbed as the Louisiana Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year and was the 40th selection by the Royals in the Competitive Balance Round A of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

“The key to my success has been my family and a lot of hard work,” Vallot said. “I have a great family who has supported me and who have made a lot of sacrifices in order for me to get here.”

Adding the Mr. Baseball honor is something Vallot, a Mississippi State signee, sees also significant.

“(Being named Mr. Baseball) means everything to me,” Vallot said. “Out of everything that I have won, this is probably the best one.”

Vallot, who had signed a national letter of intent to attend Mississippi State, has elected to forego college and signed a contract with the Royals where he is currently in Arizona for minicamp.

“Everything I have gone through has been more than worth it,” Vallot said. “Coming into high school I never thought I’d have the chance to play college baseball or be a draft prospect. But those were things that I have dreamed about since I was a little kid. I’m glad they’ve come true.”