The 2017 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Baseball First Team was chosen by USA TODAY Sports’ Jim Halley in consultation with high school coaches.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jordon Adell, Ballard (Louisville)
COACH OF THE YEAR: Todd Boyer, Shawnee (Okla.)
Name: Drew Waters
School: Etowah (Woodstock, Ga.)
Height/Weight: 6-2, 200
The future: Signed with Georgia. Drafted No. 41 by the Atlanta Braves.
By the numbers: Led team to state AAAAAAA title, hitting .516 with 15 home runs and 42 RBI, 43 walks, 14 doubles and four triples.
Unusual skill: I’m a big wake surfer. I have a wake-boarding boat and I’ve been up on eight-foot waves. That’s what I do in my free time.
Best advice a coach gave me: To make sure I’m having fun. If you’re not having fun, it’s tough to succeed. Always have a positive attitude and good things will happen.
Biggest accomplishments: Winning state. We were a young team with a lot of sophomores and juniors. We were the underdogs the whole way in the playoffs and we played every game on the road. We never gave up. When we won the state championship, that was one of the best feeling’s I’ve ever had. In the state championship game, every time I was up, one side chanted “Over-rated” and the other side chanted “MVP.”
Biggest disappointment: I don’t have too many. I’ve lived life without any regrets. The things that have happened bad, I’ve had a short-term memory on.
Nicknames: When I was younger, people called me Hollywood because I wore all the wrist bands and stuff. I would be the coolest-looking player on the field. But most people just call me Drew. My real name is Andrew.
Favorite pizza topping: Probably pepperoni because it adds a little flavor and a little spice to the pizza.
Ideal walk-up song: The Way I Live (by Baby Boy Prince) because it’s an old-school rap song and it’s unique and I’m a unique player.
First car I drove: My dad’s BMW. I’m not going to lie. I was scared to death to drive it. My dad likes his cars and me getting in his car scared the heck out of me.
Favorite MLB player: Mike Trout. I like the way he goes about things. He plays the game hard and he has fun out there. He’s a great teammate.
Favorite current song: Congratulations by Post Malone.
Least-favorite current song: No New Friends by D.J. Khaled. Everyone at my school listens to it and I’m starting to get sick of it.
Mistake I learned from: Last summer, I played 130 games. I didn’t have a whole ton of time to work out. You need to always work out and it helps you maintain your weight and your strength.
Favorite teacher: My baseball coach, Greg Robinson. He teaches rec games. You play pingpong or cornhole. He made sure we were always having fun. It’s a good environment.
Longest homer I hit: At Roswell this year, we played them in region play and it was my first game back from my injured ankle. It was 330 down the line and it went over the fence and onto their tennis courts. It went a long way. One of my most memorable home runs was probably the first round at East Coweta (Sharpsburg). We were in extra innings and I hit a go-ahead home run, to left, to win.
Longest homer allowed: I’ve never given up a home run, not even in youth ball. I’ve always been a hard thrower and I’m a little wild when I pitch. I think the combination scares hitters a bit, which makes it difficult to hit a home run off of me.
Favorite phrase: I say move with a purpose a lot. If you’re going to do something, do it with the best of your ability. If you’re moving with a purpose, you’re getting better.