Four area baseball players have been named to the Louisville Slugger preseason All-America team, which was released Wednesday.
Jesuit P/SS Lance McCullers, a Florida signee with a 100-mph fastball who is ranked fourth on MLB.com’s list of prospects for the June MLB first-year players draft, was a rirst-team selection in the multi-position players category. Last year'sTimes' All-Suncoast Pitcher of the Year, McCullers guided Jesuit to its second straight Class 4A state final last spring. He hit .422 with seven homers and 24 RBIs while pitching to a 2.02 ERA and striking out 79 in 52 innings. He's strated off strong for Jesuit (2-0) this season as well, going 1-for-2 with a home run, three RBIs, four walks and four furns scored. He's also thrown five scoreless innings with nine strikeouts.
Battery mate Nolan Schultz, a University of Rochester (N.Y.) signee, was named an honorable mention All-American in the cathchers category (note: there were no second- or third-team selections). Schultz, also a Times' first-team All-Suncoast player last season, hit .444 with nine doubles, three triples, six homers, 40 RBIs. He is 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the Tigers so far this year.
Alonso OF Ryan Valdes, a Florida State commit, was listed as an honorable mention All-American outfielder. The Times' first-team All-Suncoast centerfielder hit .388 with nine 2B, five HRs, 19 RBIs and 28 runs last year for the Class 6A state champion Ravens. This year he 1-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs for Alonso (1-2). Valdes has also drawn three walks.
And Riverview P/SS Dylan Drawdy, who signed with USF, was an honorable mention in the multi-position players category. Last year, he was 4-2 with a 1.51 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings. He struck out a school-record 17 Strawberry Crest hitters in a 8-1 win over the Chargers in March, then threw a no-hitter against Plant City in the Class 5A-8 district semifinals to clinch a region tournament spot. He's hitting .333 with a double, a homer and four RBIs in four games for this season for Riverview (4-0). He's also thrown five scoreless innings and earned a win as well.
To view the entire Louisville Slugger All-America list, click here.