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 Hudi
School: Calvary Christian (Clearwater, Fla.)
Key stats: Was 13-0 with an 0.44 ERA with 119 strikeouts in 80 innings.
College: The junior has committed to TCU.
Greatest player I’ve taken a selfie with: Roy Halladay, multiple times.
Breaking in a new glove: I just catch with it, forming it and I’ll take a mallet where I beat it. I’m going through that process right now, trying to get the shape that I want. I don’t want to get it too broken in before I get that shape and then play catch with it until it is broken in.
My most influential man in baseball: Roy Halladay. He really helped me take my game to the next level. I had a good foundation of what I wanted to do and he helped me take it to the next level. Spending time with him and getting to talk through little things and the big things. He helped me address my lineup and my game on a mental aspect. Any time I was overthinking something or getting frustrated, he would talk to me. Obviously, he’s not here anymore, but any time that something like that comes up, I think back to my conversations with him.
My talent on America’s Got Talent: I’m not a singer or a dancer and one to publicly speak. I don’t like getting in front of people. I’m not know how I’m able to pitch in front of people and not get nervous.
Favorite walk-out song: Wherever I May Roam by Metallica.
Favorite batting order spot: I like the five hole. I can come up with some people on base and it puts me in a position and make or break a game. It’s a lot of pressure. I like taking on those pressure situations. A lot of what happens before I come up affects my at-bat. It’s cool watching how the inning unfolds.
First car driven and dream car: The first car I was allowed to drive was my dad’s Lincoln MKZ. For a dream car, I would go with a Dodge Hellcat.
Smartest thing I’ve done this lately: I’ve been toying around with a cutter. Once I develop to where I’m comfortable, I’ll throw it in games. I took the advice of other people in working on the pitch.
Dumbest thing I’ve done lately: Go against the scouting report that my coaches made up and throwing Jud Fabian of (Trinity Catholic) a change-up. My change-up is my best pitch, so I thought I would throw it anyway and he took me deep.
Teacher of influence: My dad influences me every single day. He’s been there for every major decision I’ve had to make What I love is he makes it my decision, but he helps me make the decision.
My biggest pet peeve: I have the worst road rage of anyone I know when someone doesn’t use their blinker and slows down and slams on their brake and then turns.
My second-best sport is: I’m pretty bad at all the sports. All I can do is throw. Me and my buddies joke about me trying out for the basketball team.
Most memorable home run hit: I’d just turned 13 years old and hit a home run at Cooperstown (N.Y.) in the championship game in a tournament for travel ball.
Most memorable: To Corey Yawn (an FSU commit from Northside Christian) last year. In a totally meaningless game, I hung a change-up to him and he took me way, way out and my entire team would never let that go. That game went to extra innings and we ended up winning that game in nine innings.