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Tournaments | Story | 12/28/2021

Regional Review: Georgia

Jason Phillips     
Photo: Brady House (Perfect Game)
Regional Review: Texas | California

With the Perfect Game scouting staff spread throughout the country and another action-packed season in the books, we'll take a look back at some highlights from individual states over the next couple of weeks, from the 13u level all the way up through the collegiate ranks and the MLB Draft.

Biggest 13u/14u Breakout Player

Deion Cole is a shortstop from Acworth that exhibits all the tools at a young age that college coaches covet and is the No. 1 ranked player in the 2026 class. Smooth actions on both sides of the ball and quick hands in the box, Cole has shown a mature demeanor on the field with a quiet confidence that other players his age take notice. While Cole is known around the country as a 2021 13U Select Festival Player, another kid to keep an eye on is a big two-way player in 6-foot-5 left-handed pitcher and first baseman RJ Cope from Lawrenceville. Tremendous talent from the young 14-year-old on both sides of the ball that will soon be known to everyone around the country in the 2026 class.

Biggest Summer Moment

The state of Georgia provided many big moments this year, with the biggest coming from possibly the first name off the board in the 2022 Major League Draft, Termarr Johnson. The left-handed hitting shortstop from Atlanta hit a ball deep into the trees at East Cobb during the semifinals of the 17U WWBA National Championship for the East Cobb Astros that ignited the hometown crowd, and the Astros never looked back. The first inning blast by Johnson propelled them to the 2021 WWBA crown and the No. 1 ranked travel ball team in the 17U rankings. The No. 1 ranked prospect in the 2022 class provided many memorable moments over the summer circuit, with none as big as this one at the biggest tournament of the year in the state.

Biggest Breakout Player

Pete Craska, a 6-foot-1, 240-pound left-handed hitting first baseman, had a summer to remember for the East Cobb Astros, as he finished the summer circuit with a .335 average, 16 home runs, and 75 RBI over 214 plate appearances. Born and raised in Gibsonia, Pa., Craska has settled in nicely to the Georgia circuit and is a 2023 Georgia Tech commit.

Biggest College Moment

The Georgia Gwinnett Grizzlies claimed their first NAIA National Championship with an 8-4 victory over Central Methodist University (Missouri). The Grizzlies won all five of their games at the Avista NAIA World Series and finished 2021 as the No. 1 ranked NAIA team in the country. After four trips to the NAIA World Series since 2014, the Grizzlies broke through and established themselves as a powerhouse program in the NAIA college division.

Biggest Draft Moment

Two prep players from the state of Georgia were drafted in the first round with Brady House (SS, Winder, Ga.) going to the Washington Nationals with the 11th pick and Harry Ford (C, Kennesaw, Ga.) going to the Seattle Mariners at pick 12. House was the No. 1 ranked player nationally per Perfect Game and Harry Ford was the No. 11 ranked player nationally and No. 1 catcher overall per Perfect Game. Another former state of Georgia prep player went to the New York Mets with the 10th pick in the first round out of Vanderbilt University, Kumar Rocker (RHP, Watkinsville, Ga.).

Looking Forward

High School: With three Georgia prep players drafted in the first round of the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft and the top-ranked prep position player in shortstop Termarr Johnson (Atlanta, Ga.) and the top prep pitcher in right-hander Dylan Lesko (Buford, Ga.), the 2022 class is stronger than ever. Let’s not forget outfielder Andruw Jones (Suwanee, Ga.), the No. 4 ranked prep player, and third baseman/right-handed pitcher Cam Collier (Austell, Ga.), ranked No. 16 overall per Perfect Game. The Peach State is busting with prep talent to go along with nationally-ranked college programs at all levels.

College: Georgia Tech is coming off a runner-up finish to Vanderbilt in the Nashville Regional and are loaded with returning talent and incoming commits, led by All-American Kevin Parada in one of the deepest offensive lineups in the country. The Yellow Jackets return a stacked bullpen on the pitching side and have seven players ranked per Perfect Game in the top-300 MLB prospect list.

Travel Ball Rankings

14u: Smartense 14U The Show
National Ranking: No. 12 

15u: East Cobb Astros 15U
National Ranking: No. 6

16u: East Cobb Astros 16U
National Ranking: No. 6

17u: East Cobb Astros
National Ranking: No. 3

18u: ECB/Padres Scout Team
National Ranking: No. 1
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