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: Austin Beck
School: North Davidson (Lexington, N.C.)
Height/Weight: 6-1, 190
The future: Signed with North Carolina. Drafted No. 6 overall by the Oakland Athletics.
By the numbers: Hit .590 with 12 homers and 38 RBI. Also scored 41 runs and stole seven bases in eight attempts and led team to 22-6 record and third round in the playoffs. He hit three homers in his final game.
Unusual skill: I am a really good fisherman. Besides baseball, about the only thing I do is fish for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.
Best advice a coach gave me: That less is more when you’re hitting. Don’t try to swing as hard as you can.
Biggest accomplishment: Winning the North Carolina state championship last year.
Biggest disappointment: Tearing my ACL and meniscus last season. I did therapy two to three days a week for two hours a day. I had good support with my family and friends. I think was back to about 100 percent in about 5-1/2 months.
Favorite nickname: I never had nicknames. People at school just call me Beck. I’m not sure if they know my first name.
Favorite pizza toppings: I usually stick with plain cheese, but if I had to choose, probably bacon. Who doesn’t like bacon?
Ideal walk-up song: Probably something that represents you, and your hometown. For me, the song, Welcome to Welcome. That’s my hometown.
First car I ever drove: A Toyota Camry. It was a 1996, I think. It already had 300,000 some miles on it.
Favorite MLB player: Andrew McCutcheon. Definitely because of the way he plays the game, plus the stuff he does in the community and helps people off the field.
Favorite current song: Welcome to Welcome by Scott Collier.
Mistake I learned from: My injury taught me to never take my last at-bat for granted.
Least favorite current song: Yeah, Yeah (by Travis Scott). They put it on the radio way too much.
Favorite teacher: Brandon Lanning, my English teacher now. He’s really laid-back and he also went to UNC.
Longest homer I gave up: I closed a lot in high school, but I never gave up a homer.
Longest homer I hit: Probably over 450 feet at our home field against Wesleyan Christian (High Point). It was off a hanging breaking ball.
Phrase I always say: “Flush it.” If you have a bad at-bat, flush it. Don’t take it to the next at-bat.