Draft : : State Preview
Monday, April 29, 2013

MLB Draft Preview: Georgia

David Rawnsley        
Photo: Perfect Game
In the weeks leading up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a detailed overview of each state in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will list the state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best tools, as well as providing scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.  Please visit this page for all of the links to Perfect Game's 2013 Draft Preview content.

Georgia State-by-State List

Scouting Directors and National Crosscheckers spend plenty of time in the Atlanta airport during the spring in transit from one location to another, but this spring had even more cause than normal to stop and stay in the state for a week or two. The primary reason was a crop of high school centerfielders that goes five to six deep with legitimate top three to five round talent, including two in Clint Frazier and Austin Meadows who could go among the top ten picks overall. A junior/senior dominated Georgia Tech team also provided plenty of top ten rounds players to evaluate between high school games.

The pitching in the state isn't as strong as its positional talent. Georgia’s top pitcher might very well be Georgia Tech’s starting catcher, Zane Evans, who has thrown only 12 innings this spring.

The biggest mystery in the state continues to be the Georgia Bulldogs, who played in the national championship game as recently as 2008. Georgia recruits strongly (it’s 2011 recruiting class was ranked third in the country by Perfect Game), and head coach David Perno has taken the school to Omaha three times in his 12 year tenure. But the team stands 16-28 this year, including 4-16 in the SEC, and doesn’t have a single player with the possible exception of senior shortstop Kyle Farmer that looks like a potential top 10 round pick.

  High school outfielders and athletes, Georgia Tech prospects
WEAKNESS:  High school pitching, depth of college talent
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 5

 Georgia Tech

PROSPECT ON THE RISE: Zane Evans, c/rhp, Georgia Tech U.:
Evans has been Georgia Tech’s starting catcher since the beginning of his freshman year, so it’s not as though he’s an unknown. But his offensive improvement as a junior and the shortage of college catching prospects in this draft class has raised his profile significantly. Also of note is the increased interest in Evans as a reliever, as he’s been up to 97 mph on the mound, although in only 12 innings of short relief. If the improvement of the bat proves to be an illusion in pro ball, Evans could definitely have a future on the mound.

WILD CARD: Brandon Thomas, of, and Buck Farmer, rhp, Georgia Tech U.:
The draft rules that were implemented in 2012 had a profound effect on the value and treatment of college seniors in the top 10 rounds of the draft. Drafting a senior in a top round went from being cheap to being smart in terms of handling one’s finances. Thomas and Farmer are two of the top seniors in the country and it surprised many when both returned to Georgia Tech. Both could go surprisingly high to a team that is managing their bonus slot money aggressively as both have legit prospect level tools, unlike most seniors.

 Kent Emanual, lhp, U. North Carolina (Attended high school in Woodstock, Georgia)
Top 2014 Prospect: Kel Johnson, of-1b, home schooled, Palmetto
Top 2015 Prospect: Daz Cameron, of, Eagles Landing Christian Academy, McDonough


Draft History:
Ron Blomberg, 1b, Druid Hills HS, Atlanta (1967, Yankees/1st round, 1st pick); Mike Ivie, c, Walker HS, Decatur (1970, Padres/1st round, 1st pick); Tim Beckham, ss, Griffin HS (2008, Rays/1st round, 1st pick)
2008 Draft: Tim Beckham, ss, Griffin HS (Rays/1st round, 1st pick)
2009 Draft: Donavan Tate, of, Cartersville HS (Padres/1st round, 3rd pick)
2010 Draft: Delino DeShields Jr, of-2b, Woodward Academy (Astros/1st round, 8th pick)
2011 Draft: Jed Bradley, lhp, Georgia Tech U. (Brewers/1st round, 15th pick)
2012 Draft: Byron Buxton, of, Appling County HS (Twins/1st round, 2nd pick)


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 3/3
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 24/10


Best Athlete: 
Austin Meadows, of, Grayson County HS, Loganville
Best Hitter: Clint Frazier, of, Loganville (GA) HS
Best Power: Clint Frazier, of, Loganville (GA) HS
Best Speed: Stephen Wrenn, of, Walton HS, Marietta
Best Defender: Travis Demeritte, 3b, Winder Barrow HS, Statham
Best Velocity: Zane Evans, c-rhp, Georgia Tech U.
Best Breaking Stuff: Buck Farmer, rhp, Georgia Tech
Best Command: Kyle McGowin, rhp, Savannah State


GROUP 1 (rounds 1-3)

1. CLINT FRAZIER, of, Loganville HS
The Clint Frazier vs. Austin Meadows debate has been one of the central discussion points leading up to the draft this spring and will undoubtedly be debated even further in closed draft rooms in the weeks and days leading up to June 6. Frazier has responded to the scouting pressures with another incredible season and was hitting over .500 with 13 home runs as of this writing, including his spectacular two-home run game in his first match-up with Meadows in a very heavily scouted game in early March. Scouts seem to concede that Frazier has the best raw bat speed in the draft, college or high school, and now just needs to figure out the rest of picture. For more on the top ranked prospect in Perfect Game’s 2013 class rankings, click here for his full Draft Focus profile.

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