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: Nolan Gorman
School: Sandra Day O’Connor (Phoenix)
Key stats: Hit .421 with 32 RBI and 10 homers to lead team to a state championship. Was also walked 46 times.
College/pro: Arizona signee/Drafted No. 19 overall by St. Louis Cardinals
Greatest player I’ve taken a selfie with: It wasn’t a selfie where the other people knew, but at the All-Star Game Home Run Derby, I took a selfie with Nolan Arenado and Max Scherzer behind me.
Breaking in a new glove: I just play catch with it until it’s game-ready. There’s a breaking point for me in the palm that I try to loosen up. I’ll use hot water to loosen the leather and start beating on it with a little mallet.
My most influential man in baseball: Derek Jeter.
My talent on America’s Got Talent: That’s tough. I consider myself a good singer.
Favorite walk-up song: Boom by P.O.D. It has been my walk-up song since I was 10 years old.
Favorite batting order spot: I’m most comfortable in the three hole.
First car driven and dream car: The first car I got to drive was by grandpa’s Corvette. My dream car would be a Ford F-150 Raptor truck.
Smartest thing I’ve done lately: I’d say probably something along the lines of winning the state championship, maybe believing as a team we could go all the way.
Dumbest thing I’ve done lately: I went to drink some water out of a Gatorade bottle and the cap wasn’t on and I squeezed it all over my face.
Teacher of influence: Coach (Jeff) Baumgartner. He was my health teacher. He’s really been on me about not letting the game get too big and focusing on the little things in life. Making sure I’m prepared to go out in the real world after high school. How you need to treat your kids and your wife down the road.
My biggest pet peeve: When other people aren’t striving to be the best that they can be and give everything that they have.
My second-best sport is: Probably golf. I usually compete with my grandpa. On a nine-hole course, I’ve made two-under a couple of times.
Most memorable home run hit: The one against Desert Vista (Phoenix) this year, which made the game within one run and we ended up coming back and winning the whole thing.
The last time I tried to pitch: I gave up the no-hitter than our (travel ball) team had, but I still got out of it and we ended up winning when I was 14.