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Tournaments  | Story  | 12/5/2022

Regional Superlatives: Georgia

Jason Phillips      Drew Wesolowski      Cameron McElwaney     
Photo: Cannon Goldin (Perfect Game)
Most Likely to Make a Huge Jump in the Rankings in 2023:

Arnold Abernathy, SS, North Cobb HS
A pair of guys who are primed to make big jumps next year after adding size and strength over the fall that I am excited to watch are these first two Power 5 commits. Abernathy, a 5-foot-10, 160-pound left-handed hitting shortstop for North Cobb High School, has added strength to his slender, athletic frame for more impact in the box while increasing his already-plus speed that is electric any time he steps on the field. A 2024 grad and Tennessee commit, Abernathy was a relative unknown sophomore before his move to shortstop for the Warriors and his game immediately jumped to the next level as a leader on the team. As Abernathy’s confidence grew, so did North Cobb’s play, and not long after the high school season ended, he committed to the Vols. The No. 8 ranked shortstop in the Georgia class, Abernathy has all the tools and with some added size and strength could potentially be the top shortstop coming out of the 2024 Georgia class.

Dane Moehler, RHP, Walton HS
Moehler, a 6-foot-3, 170-pound right-handed pitcher for Walton High School, has been a consistent frontline starter for years at PG Events. A 643 DP Academy product in PG events, Moehler took some time off at the end of the fall to get in the weight room and add to his present stellar repertoire on the mound. Look for Moehler to add to his low-90s fastball next season, coupled with his sharp curveball and changeup, with a feel to pitch as the son of former Major League pitcher Brian Moehler. The recent Clemson Tigers commit can flat out pitch, and with some added size and strength will only increase his overall stuff as a frontline starter at the next level.



-Jason Phillips


Owen Anchors, OF, Dunwoody HS
Anchors, a riser of over 160 spots in the latest rankings update, has burst onto the scene in a big way. He recently committed to Clemson after a huge 2022 circuit that saw him hit .365 with four doubles, four triples, and a .973 OPS. He has a pure left-handed cut with excellent barrel control and is starting to grow into the 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame. There’s a ton of power to project on that should come in bunches in the near future.
 
-Cam McElwaney


Wayne King, SS, McIntosh HS
The University of Georgia commit is well known in the scouting community, but I still think his best is yet to come. He is still a lean 6-foot-2 and has some filling out left to do. Plays a rangy shortstop and is instinctual with the arm to go with it. The bat is also starting to come along nicely. Over the course of the ’22 season, he slashed .349 with 32 RBI in 106 at-bats. On-base percentage was just shy of .500, making him an offensive spark plug. If he is to have a big spring, you could see him shoot up draft boards as the upside here is huge.

-Drew Wesolowski


Most Likely to Hit .500 in PG Events in 2023:

Jackson Bradfield, OF, Cherokee HS
The 6-foot, 195-pound right-handed hitting outfielder finished the 2022 PG circuit with a .420 batting average in over 200 plate appearances for the East Cobb Astros 16U. The Kennesaw State commit used the whole field with his barrel strength through the zone and 6.8 speed to continually get on base for the Astros at a .520 clip. Bradfield posted more walks than strikeouts during 2022 and was among the top performers in nearly every tournament over the summer. He hit .333 at the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter with six walks as a 2024 grad, playing up against the top talent in the country. Bradfield controls the barrel in the box with awareness of the strike zone and the pull-side pop to impact a game that rarely swings and misses. A big part of the Astros 16U lineup, he will look to carry his summer stats and productivity into the 2023 Georgia High School season as a force in the Cherokee Warriors' attack in the loaded 7A Division.

-Jason Phillips


Terrence Kiel II, OF, Pace Academy
Kiel came close to hitting .500 in 2022 with an incredible .452 average over 84 plate appearances. He’s an athletic player with tools across the board, but the bat-to-ball skills and gap-to-gap power stand out at the plate. He’s one of the top hitters in the state that just hits in every event that he attends, giving him one of the highest chances to reach that mark in the upcoming year.

-Cam McElwaney

Cannon Goldin, OF, Buford HS
Goldin is no stranger to performing at a high level in our events, as he was chosen to the 2021 14u Select Festival. Beautiful left-handed cut as he stays direct to the baseball while picking up spin early. Doesn’t try to do too much with it while letting his elite hand-eye coordination do the work. In ’22, he hit .348 at PG events in 66 at-bats. With how low his strikeout percentage has become, it is easy to think that he could sneak his way into hitting .500 on the year if all goes well.
 
-Drew Wesolowski


Most Likely to Make a Velo Jump into the mid-90s in 2023:

Thorpe Musci, RHP, Parkview HS
The Georgia Tech commit seemed to be hitting his stride on the bump just as the 2022 PG circuit was ending. The 6-foot, 180-pound right-handed pitcher was consistently into the low-90s with his fastball before a hand injury shut him down, and after 20 innings since his return over the summer was up to 94 mph. The No. 1 ranked right-hander in the 2024 Georgia class should be a mainstay at the top of the Parkview Panthers' rotation as they look to make another run at the Georgia 7A state title, which they won in 2021. With two years of eligibility and a consistent workload for the Panthers, Musci has the potential and repeatable delivery to run the fastball into the mid-90s as a top arm in the state as a junior.

-Jason Phillips


Ford Thompson, LHP, Parkview HS
Thompson, an uber-athletic left-hander, comes in as the top-ranked left-hander in the Georgia in the latest rankings. The fastball sits comfortably in the upper-80s and has topped out at 91 mph, but there’s still more in the tank. He has a long stride down the mound, works into the legs well, and has electric arm speed. He has a chance to be sitting comfortably in the low-90s and into the mid-90s within the coming year.

-Cam McElwaney


Jackson Blakely, RHP, Upson-Lee
The right-hander put on a dominant performance last year in PG events. Physical strength is starting to play a key role into him getting later into starts while also maintaining velocity. In 39 1/3 innings tossed, he struck out 50 while giving up just 6 walks. Now that he has the command under control, look for him to really focus on adding velocity and becoming that high-level arm we all know he has the potential to be. Mid-90s from prep guys is starting to become the new normal and all signs point towards Blakely adding himself to said list.

-Drew Wesolowski


Most Likely to Back Up a Breakout in 2022:

Jackson Barberi, RHP, Brookwood HS
The 6-foot-3, 165-pound Barberi established himself as a top-ranked uncommitted arm over the summer with 67 strikeouts over 50 innings on the bump while limiting his free passes from the previous year. He increased his velocity 4 mph to 90 mph while still commanding his slider to both sides of the plate and is gaining confidence in his changeup as a quality third pitch against left-handed hitting lineups. His three scoreless innings and four strikeouts at the WWBA World Championship for the TG D-Backs Scout Team further solidified his rise in the rankings. Look for Barberi to continue to gain confidence as he matures and adds to his slender frame with a present quality three-pitch mix for the Brookwood Broncos as a young 2024 grad.

-Jason Phillips


Jason Walk, MIF, Harrison HS
Walk put together his best year in 2022, finishing up with a .347 average, 10 extra-base hits, and also swiped 29 bags. The quick-twitch athleticism stands out in all phases, but especially at the plate where he puts the barrel on the ball consistently. He’s a true switch-hitter with feel for the barrel from both sides and can also play on either side of the pillow. Look for Walk to continue putting on incredible performances in 2023.
 
-Cam McElwaney


Rustan Rigdon, SS, Metter HS
Rigdon burst onto the scene this year as the south Georgia native impressed on the biggest stages. Although not large in stature, the abilities are massive. Fluid left-handed stroke that impacts with some serious thump. Got a good look at him at WWBA National Championships in Atlanta over the summer. Proceeded to leave the yard to the pull-side for a walkoff homer with dozens of scouts on site, further adding to the lore. Pure gamer who is going to produce in any environment. A must follow for the remainder of his prep career.

-Drew Wesolowski


Most Likely to Lead the Region in Home Runs in 2023:

Drew Burress, OF, Houston County HS
After sharing the Georgia state home run title as a junior with 17, Burress has a chance to repeat that feat again as a senior in 2023. The Georgia Tech commit and highest ranked player from Georgia, Burress added 11 more home runs during the 2022 PG circuit for 5 Star National-Black. There isn’t much more for Burress to prove at the high school level as he returns for his senior season as the 2022 Georgia Player of the Year. He won a state title with Houston County in 2021 and won the 2022 WWBA World Championship with Top Tier 5 Star Roos Mafia to finish out his illustrious PG circuit career. The only thing holding Burress back from repeating as the Georgia high school home run leader is if he gets pitched around as the top hitter in the state.

-Jason Phillips


Colin Houck, SS, Parkview HS
Houck hit three home runs in 2021 and increased that number by two in 2022. He’s a strong, physically mature player with one of the fastest bats in the entire class. He has shown the ability to consistently drive the ball out to any part of the field and has also displayed massive pull-side power. Definitely wouldn’t be a surprise if Houck continues this upward trajectory by leading the region in homers in 2023.

-Cam McElwaney

Tai Peete, SS, Trinity Christian
Peete will be my pick for home run leader this year in the state of Georgia. We all know his two-way abilities. Easy 90s cheddar on the mound and that same athleticism translates into the box. Smooth, naturally lofted left-handed cut. Finds the barrel often and isn’t afraid to take some big cuts when he is locked in. The high school season will roll in here sooner rather than later. Could see him get hot with a metal bat in his hands and launch baseballs over the fence. Would be a great year to make it happen as he is eligible for the MLB Draft this upcoming summer.

-Drew Wesolowski