High School : : General
Regional HS Preview: Southeast
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
2013 Perfect Game High School Baseball Preview Index
Southeast Region: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee
Galore In The Southeast
name the tool and the southeast part of the United States has it by
the truckload. Be it Justin Williams’ monstrous power or the
blinding speed of Terry McClure or Josh Hart, you name it and this
part of the country has it. Of course, that should come as no
surprise anymore, as Georgia in particular has become an all out
factory for professional baseball talent.
credit shouldn’t go just to the tools of the position players,
however. The state of Tennessee can speak most loudly about this fact
- there is quite a bit of pitching in the southeast to be watched
very closely at the high school level this spring. It’s in
Tennessee that we find the brothers’ Sheffield, two of the best
arms in any part of the country. Justus Sheffield is one of the
nation’s most intriguing 2014 graduates and he’s armed with a
91-93 mph fastball from the left side. Not to be outdone, older
brother Jordan Sheffield has reached 98 mph with his fastball and is
arguably the premier high school arm in the 2013 class.
(Read Jeff Dahn's feature on the Sheffield brothers here.)
with catcher Will Haynie, as well as Heritage righty Trevor Clifton
and Farragut righty, Kyle Serrano, the siblings help form an
exceptionally strong year for high school baseball in the state of
Tennessee. The state has two teams featured in Perfect Game’s
preseason top 50, Tullahoma and Farragut.
south to Alabama, it’s also shaping up to a solid class of talent,
making for some impressive high school teams in the process.
Following up on a 41-12 season in 2012 and getting bounced in the
semifinals of the Alabama 5A state championship tournament, Russell
County is bringing back a talented roster led by Anfernee Grier, who
is ranked 38th in the Perfect Game class of the 2013 rankings. They
enter the spring as the nation’s 24th ranked team on Perfect Game’s
preseason top 50. Aside from Grier, they also feature right-hander,
Jesse Nelson, who reaches 92 mph with his fastball.
is going to be a hot destination for professional scouts this spring
due to the presence of Justin Williams and southpaw, Garrett
Williams. Both are among the elite players in the 2013 draft class,
but among the elite teams in the nation is Louisiana’s Barbe High
School in Lake Charles. They won’t be a team loaded with elite
draft talent, but what they do have is nine total players ranked on
Perfect Game’s top 500 lists for the 2013 and 2014 graduating
classes. Few teams in any part of the country can boast that type of
depth, and that’s why they are 38th on the our preseason top 50.
They’ll look to repeat as state champions in 2013.
other states in the region are undoubtedly having solid years in
terms of raw talent, there’s just no topping the state of Georgia.
They feature three teams in our preseason top 50, including Parkview,
Loganville, and Grayson. Not coincidentally, all of those teams have
elite draft talent that will have scouts coming back over and over
this spring. If you’re looking to pinpoint just what makes
Loganville so talented, look no further than the number one ranked
player in the 2013 high school class, Clint Frazier.
isn’t the alone in having a premium, headliner type player. Grayson
comes armed with Austin Meadows, who enters the spring as the
nation’s number three ranked high school player. And, Parkview, who
will enter the spring as the favorites to take home the state title,
boasts an extremely deep roster that of course includes speedy
outfielder, Josh Hart.
obvious that the theme in the region in 2013 is the strength and wide
array of tools from its position players. And, many of these toolsy
talents figure to clash at some point, at least in Georgia, which
should make for some of the best matchups in the nation. As an
example, Parkview at Grayson on March 15th could make a case for
being the best high school matchup of the 2013 season.
High School Dream Team
on present tools and position played for high school team
- Will Haynie, Sr. Brentwood Academy (Tenn.)
there’s a weakness in 2013 in the southeast, it’s the lack of
catching depth. Most of the talent is concentrated in the outfield
and middle infield positions. Now, that doesn’t make Haynie any
less deserving of his spot here, however. Haynie has an outstanding
throwing arm from behind the plate, and although his 6-foot-5 frame
would indicate otherwise, his receiving actions are very sound.
- Kel Johnson, Jr. Home Schooled (Ga.)
may be home schooled, but you simply cannot talk about baseball in
the southeast without talking about Kel Johnson. His large frame and
prolific power have drawn comparisons to many big league sluggers of
past and present, and he appears to still be improving. First base
may not be his long term home, but for the purposes of this team he’s
a fit here. It’s quite a feat for an underclassmen to even be
considered for this team when you consider the depth of talent in the
region, but Johnson is an easy choice when you weigh just how
talented an offensive player he is. He’s well situated as not only
one of the elite players in the region, but in the 2014 draft class
as a whole.
- Wesley Jones, Sr. Redan (Ga.)
are not many things Wesley Jones can’t do on a baseball field. He
electrified onlookers at the World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter,
putting on a show in the field and at the plate. While his body may
end up pushing him to third base at the professional level, you’d
be hard pressed to find a more sound defensive player than Jones.
And, his fast right-handed bat should keep scouts intrigued
throughout the spring.
- Gregory Deichmann, Jr. Brother Martin (La.)
has to be said again - making the cut for this dream team as a junior
in such a deep talent like the southeast has is a major
accomplishment. That being said, Deichmann is a major player and will
be one we continue to hear a lot about over the next year. The
6-foot-1, 180 pound left-handed slugger showed off upper deck raw
power at the PG Junior National Showcase last summer, as well as a
plus speed and sound defensive actions. He figures to be one of the
elite performers in his part of the country this spring.
- Travis Demeritte, Sr. Winder-Barrow (Ga.)
weren’t a lot of easy decisions for this team, but Demeritte was
among the easiest at third base. He’s been a well known commodity
for a few years now, and has established himself as one of the elite
infielders in the nation in the process. His plus raw arm strength
allows him to fit very neatly into the third base profile at the next
level, as does his bat speed and raw power.
- Clint Frazier, Sr. Loganville (Ga.)
- Austin Meadows, Sr. Grayson (Ga.)
- Justin Williams, Sr. Terrebonne (La.)
of easy decisions, selecting the outfielders for this team was about
as simple as it gets. Obviously there is going to be a place for the
number one ranked high school player in the country. If there’s
something Clint Frazier can’t do, he’s doing a good job of hiding
it - he’s a weapon with his legs, his arm, and most of all with his
bat. He’s also spent as much time as any player in the country
playing against elite competition, and he should be primed for a
monster spring in 2013.
for Williams and Meadows, they are also ranked among the top five
high school players in the country. All three of those outfielders
have multiple plus tools, and one tool that is potentially the best
in the draft class. And, considering the talented outfielders that
couldn’t find a home on this list like Josh Hart and Terry McClure,
it makes their feat all the more impressive. This is as strong a
group of outfielders as you will find in any year.
- Anfernee Grier, Sr. Russell County (Ala.)
is another one of those outfielders who gets squeezed out because of
that immensely talented trio. But, his plus speed, cannon arm, and
compact right-handed swing is just too difficult to keep off the team
entirely. He should find himself going off the board very early when
the June draft rolls around.
- Garrett Williams, Sr. Calvary Baptist Academy (La.)
- Keegan Thompson, Sr. Cullman (Ala.)
- Kevin Davis, Sr. TR Miller (Ala.)
- Jordan Sheffield, Sr. Tullahoma (Tenn.)
- Justus Sheffield, Jr. Tullahoma (Tenn.)
Sheffield is a slam dunk selection for this list, and what’s
frightening about his brother Justus is that he may end up being an
even better pro prospect by the time next June roles around.
Left-handers who pitch in the low 90s as juniors don’t exactly grow
on trees. The top of this southeast class in terms of pitching is
relatively clear cut. Kevin Davis and his 94 mph fastball could be on
a steady rise up the draft boards this spring, and the same can be
said for Keegan Thompson. Thompson’s loose, projectable frame and
90-94 mph fastball could make him the most attractive prospect of
this entire group, perhaps even more so than Sheffield and his 98 mph
fastball. Garrett Williams is likely the most polished lefty in the
region and should be poised for a huge spring.
Region Best Tools
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