Edwardsville High School slugger Drake Westcott is a sophomore with a national recognition.
A member of the MaxPreps Underclass All-American Team a year ago when he helped lead the Tigers to a runner-up finish at the IHSA Class 4A state tournament, Westcott has been named a preseason second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound first baseman was the only position player from Illinois honored on the second team.
"It's a tremendous honor to be named as a preseason second team All-American," Westcott said prior to a Tigers preseason practice Monday. "It's a team made up of mostly juniors and seniors who will get drafted.
"To be mentioned with top upperclassmen like those players are is actually kind of cool."
Westcott was one of the top players in the St. Louis area a year ago when he hit .435 with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs. Committed to attend the University of Louisville in 2020, Westcott is the first All-American from Edwardsville since Jordan Hovey (2015) and Jake Garella (2016), according to Edwardsville coach Tim Funkhouser.
Funkhouser also said Brock Weimer was the last Tiger player to be honored by College Baseball Newspaper, in 2015. Todd Baumgartner (2006, 2007) and Dane Opel (2008, 2009) are the only Tigers to be two-time All-Americans.
That number could increase in the next three years if the Tigers first baseman continues to progress. Funkhouser said Westcott is already an excellent high school hitter.
"Drake has power plus approach at the plate and very good barrel awareness for his age, and specifically a guy with power," Funkhouser said.
Although he continued to work on his hitting in the offseason, Westcott concentrated on getting stronger and improving his defense around first base.
"I spent a lot of time in the weight room. I've dropped about 10 pounds from last year, but I feel a lot stronger," he said. "Last year was a great experience being around all those seniors, and we had a great season. But a lot of those players graduated ... We're going to have some younger guys who have worked hard.
"As for me, I'm just going to continue to work hard and keep improving in all phases of the game."