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: MacKenzie Gore
School: Whiteville (N.C.)
Height/Weight: 6-2, 175
The future: Signed to East Carolina. Drafted No. 3 overall by the San Diego Padres.
By the numbers: Led his team to its third state title in four seasons, going 11-0 with a 0.19 ERA and 158 strikeouts in 74.1 innings. He hit .478 with 29 RBI in 90 at-bats.
Unusual skill: I turkey hunt with a shotgun.
Best advice a coach gave me: My coach said stay humble and stay hungry.
Biggest accomplishments: Three state championships.
Biggest disappointment: Losing the state championship last year.
Nicknames: My favorite is probably the ‘Fearless Leader.’ I’ve also heard 96 because I’ve hit 96 mph or Kenzie, which I’m a little old for now. But probably my least favorite is Mac.
Favorite pizza topping: I’ll have to go with a meat lover’s kind of deal with sausage, cheese and pepperoni.
First car I drove: My dad’s Ford F-150 truck.
Favorite MLB player: Madison Bumgarner. He’s from North Carolina and I like the way he plays and competes.
Favorite current song: There are a few. Anything country.
Walk-up song: Wild Thing
Least-favorite current song: Anything by Justin Bieber
Mistake I learned from: When I was a freshman, going into sophomore year, the way I was acting. I learned from that. Coach got on me and sat me down. I was getting a little big-headed.
Favorite teacher: I’ve never had a bad one really. I guess the guy who helped me with weightlifting at Whiteville, Matthew Scott.
Longest homer I gave up: Knock on wood, I haven’t given up one in high school, but probably the longest one that was hit off me came in American Legion ball my eighth-grade year.
Longest homer: This year at West Columbus (Cerro Gordo). It went into some pine trees. It was on a fastball, middle-in.
Favorite phrase: Probably “lock in.” I say that a lot during the game.