RUWCRugby Union World Cup
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RUWC chairman Paul Morgan said: "Sam has had an exemplary year, leading Wales with great dignity, marking himself out as one of the leading candidates to captain the Lions in 2013.
Baxter is the third Midland recipient of a Services to Rugby Award from the RUWC in four years.
The 23-year-old flanker topped the RUWC poll ahead of New Zealand's World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry, France captain Thierry Dusautoir and Wales wing Shane Williams, who has retired from Test rugby.
Williams will receive the award at the RUWC annual dinner in London on January 5.
RUWC chairman Adam Hathaway said: "Leigh was a convincing winner of our vote and a worthy recipient of the award not only for his performances for the Lions but his displays in the Six Nations earlier in the year.