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Freshman baseball phenom Drew Erdei (’21) to attend IMG Sports Academy

Michael Flaherty

Pitching in an ISST game surrounded by high school players, Drew Erdei (’21) made his first varsity baseball appearance last year while in Grade 8. He pitched three shutout innings against Frankfurt International School (FIS) and ASL won gold in the 2017 ISSTs. Now, Erdei is a starting outfielder and one of the main pitchers on the varsity baseball team as a freshman.

But this isn’t his first time on a varsity team this year. He played on varsity boys basketball in the winter, with the team finishing second at ISSTs. Erdei said he felt ready for varsity basketball tryouts after his baseball ISST experience. “Having the opportunity to go to ISSTs last year really prepared me for high school sports because it showed me how mature I need to be,” he said.   

Erdei knows being on varsity sports as a freshman comes with a responsibility to be mature and to perform for teammates. However, with the help of his teammates and coaches, he didn’t think it was a difficult transition. “All of the upperclassmen have made it an easy transition and I feel like I have bonded really well with all of my teammates,” he said. “I also think that my coaches this year have really helped me grow as a person and as a player.”

Varsity Baseball Assistant Coach Mike McGowan believes Erdei’s best asset is his athleticism. “He’s got speed, strength, agility,” he said. “He pretty much checks all the boxes.”  

Varsity baseball captain and basketball teammate Nic Demetris (’18) believes Erdei has already made big improvements on the team, especially as a pitcher. “He’s our clear number two pitcher already as a freshman,” he said. “I think he will be a huge part of our run to a three-peat as ISST champions.”   

Demetris thinks that Erdei will keep growing as the season progresses and, similarly to McGowan, believes that he has “endless potential” if he keeps working hard.

Drew Erdei (’21) leads off first base at a game against ACS Cobham on April 26. Michael Flaherty

Erdei admits that occasionally he gets tired from playing numerous hours of baseball, but he also recognizes that his passion for the game is why he plays so much. “I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t playing baseball,” he said. “My life has always revolved around baseball from the time I was little.”

He plays on three different teams in London, such as the London Mets, and has gone to different camps and international tournaments for baseball. One of the camps Erdei went to last summer was at IMG Academy in Florida, a school known for its strong athletic program. This gave him the opportunity to meet the school ’s student-athlete advisor, Kit Carlson. “We kept in touch,” he said. “Then he invited me to one of the more exclusive camps [at IMG] in the fall.”

He’s got speed, strength, agility, if you think about athleticism he pretty much checks all the boxes.

— Varsity Baseball Assistant Coach Mike McGowan

After the fall camp, Erdei was invited to attend the school by Carlson and play baseball on their team, mainly as a pitcher, but also as an outfielder and hitter.  

He believes that IMG Academy is the place that gives him the best chance to succeed in baseball after high school.  “It is a very well known school and very frequently kids move on from [IMG] to play sports at higher levels,” Erdei said.  According to the IMG website, there have been 133 All-Stars and 63 MVP to graduate from IMG, from two time Major League Baseball All-Star Chris Perez to the late 2013 Rookie of the Year José Fernández.

Erdei is excited for this opportunity and hopes to improve during his time at IMG.  “I think it will be a lot of fun and I’ll meet a lot of new people during my time there,” he said.

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About the Contributor
Michael Flaherty
Michael Flaherty, Sports Editor: Online Emeritus
Michael Flaherty (’20) is the Sports Editor: Online Emeritus of The Standard. Flaherty has been on the staff since freshman year. He is from Boston and follows the Red Sox, the Patriots, and the Boston Celtics. He also is a student-athlete, participating in soccer, basketball, and baseball. 

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