Growing up, Jesuit junior shortstop/pitcher Lance McCullers always played ahead of his grade, and now he's doing the same in one of the nation's top two All-American showcase games.
McCullers has been invited to play in this summer's Under Armour All-American Game, which will be held on Aug. 14 at Chicago's Wrigley Field. He is the first junior to be invited to play in the event, which previously was limited to the nation's top high school seniors.
"I feel honored to be recognized as an Under Armour All-American and am very excited to be thought of as a top player in the country, not only with my class but overall," McCullers said in a text message Monday. "I am looking forward to playing alongside so many great players in this event."
Brooks-DeBartolo infielder Jadamion Williams (2009) and Plant SS/P Mychal Givens (2008) played in past Under Armour All-American games during the summers before their senior year.
One of the top Class of 2012 draft prospects, McCullers is currently playing for USA 18U National Team as it prepares for the IBAF World Championships.
McCullers threw a scoreless inning Monday, striking out the side for the national team's exhibition win over the St. Cloud (Minn.) All-Stars. They play their final exhibition game Tuesday and then head to the World Championships in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
The 6-foot, 195-pounder hit .457 with eight doubles, four triples, two homers and 30 RBIs, while going 2-0 with 3 saves and a 0.39 ERA. He had 34 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched.
McCullers is the second Hillsborough County baseball player to be invited to an All-American game this summer. Alonso right-hander Jose Fernandez is slated to play in the AFLAC All-American Game on Aug. 15 at PETCO Park in San Diego.