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: Triston Casas
School: American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
Key stats: Hit .387 with seven homers and 34 RBI. Had a 0.00 ERA with 19 strikeouts in nine innings.
College/pro: Miami signee/Drafted No. 26 by the Boston Red Sox
Greatest player I’ve taken a selfie with: I’ve never taken a selfie with any player, let alone a major league player. I have a bunch of selfies of myself.
Breaking in a new glove: I take it out to the park and play catch with it, and I make it mold to my hand. I don’t do any oiling or put it in a microwave or anything like that.
My most influential man in baseball: Jackie Robinson. He’s definitely the most influential baseball player ever. He broke the color barrier and opened the door.
My talent on America’s Got Talent: I’d probably hop on the piano. I am a half-decent piano player. I took a beginner’s class my freshman year. I have a little keyboard at my house that I play on every once in a while.
Favorite walk-up song: Still Dre with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. I like the little piano riff they have going on in there.
Favorite batting order spot: I like hitting three. I like hitting in the first inning and maybe even with a couple of guys on. I’ve hit in a couple of different spots, but I feel most comfortable in the three-spot.
First car driven and dream car: The first car I’ve ever driven is the one I’m driving in now. Infiniti QX80. That’s been my first and only car. My dream car? I love sports cars. Probably a Lamborghini Aventador — that’s pretty cool.
Smartest thing I’ve done lately: I finished school this month. I really like English (class). I feel like I’m a good writer, so I feel like English was my best subject.
Dumbest thing I’ve done lately: I got in a little fight with my brother. I threw him halfway out of a window and broke my window in my room. That’s probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. He got me in a chokehold and I freaked out. We’re all cool now. Just a little brotherly love.
Teacher of influence: My fourth-grade teacher, Ms. (Laurie) Carlin, at Lakeside Elementary in Pembroke Pines. She knew that I played baseball and I was good for my age. She helped me get into American Heritage because it’s hard to get in. She put a good word in for me because her husband was a football coach there. She obviously had a lot of confidence in me and put that confidence in myself that I was a smart student and pretty good in baseball.
My biggest pet peeve: People who are lazy. If I see you being lazy, it gets under my skin.
My second-best sport is: I’m a pretty good basketball player. If I started playing basketball, I’d be the next LeBron James (laughs).
Most memorable home run hit: Probably the home run in the gold medal game of the U18 World Cup in Thunder Bay (Ontario). I hit a three-run homer to make it 6-1. I felt like that was a dagger and kind of gave us that extra cushion. I think we won the game 9-1. I still remember rounding the bases and who was waiting for me.
Most memorable homer allowed: I’ve never given up a home run in my life. I’ve never given up a run and have (pitched) 30 innings or something like that.