The 2017-18 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: J.T. Ginn, Brandon
COACH OF THE YEAR: Steve Chapman, Calallen
Name: Cole Winn
School: Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.)
Key stats: Was 8-2 with a 0.20 ERA and 120 strikeouts and 11 walks in 70 innings. First player to win Gatorade State Player of the Year in two different states in consecutive years, winning it as a junior in Colorado last year and this year in California.
College/pro: TCU commit/Drafted No. 15 overall by the Texas Rangers
How moving to California helped me: It just prepared me. It’s going to help me bridge the gap whether I will play pro baseball or college baseball. I’ve learned how to adjust to being in a new place. When I go to a new place now, I won’t feel as lost.
Breaking in a new glove: I play lots of catch and I always have it on my hand.
My most influential man in baseball: To me, it was probably my dad (Randy Winn) and my grandfather (Chuck Winn) combined. They were my biggest coaches, supporters and mentors. They got me in the game and taught me everything I know.
My talent on America’s Got Talent: I don’t know if I would make it too far, but I’d go up there and sing. Hopefully, I’m good at lip-synching.
Favorite walk-out song: Jay-Z’s Public Service Announcement my junior year.
Favorite batting order spot: Selfishly, I like second or third, but I hit fifth or sixth this year. Honestly, it didn’t really matter to me.
First car driven and dream car: A 2003 Saturn Vue. I’m a good driver, but that’s all we had. As soon as I got my license, my brother gave me that car and took my grandfather’s truck. A dream car, for me, is the Porsche Panamera, the four-door. It’s a cool car, but you could drive it every day.
Smartest thing I’ve done lately: Probably agreeing to move to California with my parents for my senior year.
Dumbest thing I’ve done lately: I try not to make too many stupid decisions. The dumbest thing that I’ve done recently is probably spend way too much of my parent’s money on food.
Teacher of influence: Ms. Bea Wakeling this year at Orange Lutheran for World Literature. She was probably the most helpful teacher I had in California. She knew my situation the best. She made the transition really easy. She’s a teacher I could have normal conversations with.
My biggest pet peeve: When I’m listening to music, it has to be on an even level. Number-wise, I’d rather have it be on a level eight than a level seven or nine. I’d rather have it be on an even number than an odd.
My second-best sport is: Basketball. I played up until my junior year.
Most memorable home run hit: This past fall at Palm Desert. I hit it over the school and it hit a building on the other side.
Most memorable homer delivered: Probably at the USA trials, I gave up one to Brandon Dieter (a Stanford signee), just because he hit it.
What I learned coaching youth baseball: I helped out with the eighth-grade team. When I was in the eighth grade, I thought I knew everything and these guys were exactly the same. I learned how to deal with that and help play the game.