An early look at Georgia's 2020 draft class
September 17, 2019
While we’re still eight-plus months away from the 2020 MLB Draft, there’s a handful of Georgia seniors who’ve already bolstered their draft stocks this summer into the fall. Today, we’re going to reassess these prospects after a hectic and revealing summer showcase circuit to determine just how they’ve been able to positively affect their chances of hearing their names called early next June.
THE TOP OF THE CLASS
+ Jordan Walker, 3B, Decatur (Duke commit): Walker is a Duke signee and has a big of an upside as anybody nationally in the 2020 draft. The 6-foot-5 Walker is still growing into his frame and is going to be an even larger man when all is said and done. His power potential has always been significant, but Walker put his hard work to use this summer and made strides with regard to his approach, allowing scouts to get more comfortable with his chances of activating his upside at the plate. This spring, Walker will be scouted harder than any prep baseball player in Georgia and projecting his future position will be a key factor in a club’s decision-making process.
+ Corey Collins, C, North Gwinnett (Georgia commit): Unfortunately for Collins, his time on the summer scene was cut short due to an arm injury, so scouts weren’t able to see the North Gwinnett backstop as much as they would have liked. Still, Collins, like Walker, proved to own one of the best bats in the state during a huge spring. He swings a powerful left-handed bat and has been able to demonstrate his serious power potential in gameplay throughout his high school career. He has arm strength from behind the plate (when he’s healthy, of course), and is even a good enough athlete to slot into an outfield corner. Pro scouts are going to spend the spring catching up on Collins, as well as his high school teammate Josh Shuler, as the two work to lead North Gwinnett to another 7A title.
+ Ty Floyd, RHP, Rockmart (Louisiana State commit): The LSU recruit has the distinction of being the best athlete on the mound in the state’s 2020 class. Floyd has flashed the necessary ingredients over the past two years and 2020 is the year he can put it all together. Floyd will have to answer some questions this spring with regard to how much breaking ball he has, both in terms of swing-and-miss potential and consistency. If the Rockmart righty can come out and shove in the spring, he can make a statement as the first Georgia prep arm off the board in the June draft.
Ty Floyd (May, 2019)
+ Josh Shuler, OF, North Gwinnett (South Carolina commit): We mentioned Shuler briefly when breaking down his high school teammate Collins above because scouts are going to be lucky enough to check in on the two while watching North Gwinnett this spring. Shuler’s offensive profile gives him a sky-high ceiling. He fits the right field mold well, with the arm strength and power bat, but the swing-and-miss concerns need to be smoothed over before Shuler’s in the same conversation as bats like Walker and Collins. If Shuler meets spring ball with an advanced approach from the left-handed batter’s box, the South Carolina commit will trend way up draft boards at the start of next summer.
Josh Shuler (April, 2019)
+ Marquis Grissom Jr., RHP, Counterpane (Georgia Tech commit): We’ve long had our eye on Grissom Jr. and he’s been putting the pieces together from the spring, summer, and now into the start of fall ball. He’s long shown a high baseball IQ, which comes as no surprise considering his bloodlines, but he’s starting to use that natural instinct on the mound. At various points, Grissom has shown an ability to throw all three of his pitches for strikes and, if he can show up will all three on a consistent basis this spring, he’ll have a big decision looming this June. One of the largest obstacles in front of Grissom this is no fault of his own. Counterpane’s schedule is a little light, so it’s a hurdle for him to climb, albeit a small one.
+ Donye Evans, RHP, Redan (Kennesaw State commit): When you think about upside, Donye Evans, a 6-foot-5 athletic right-hander is conjured right up. The Redan right has long been the tooled-up type, but he’s showed the signs of putting it all together lately. Last spring, Evans’ fastball jumped from the mid-80s to low-90s, with feel for a changeup. The development of that changeup is what’s drawing some extra attention. Evans is going to throw fuel, it’s a matter of time, but a feel for offspeed is critical. The changeup is coming along, finding the ability to spin is next up. With that, his draft stock can skyrocket.
SIZE, STRENGTH, PHYSICALITY
+ Will Sanders, RHP, Woodward Academy (South Carolina commit): Sanders is a large-framed righty who projects well, physically, as a guy who can carry and eat innings in the future. As of now, Sanders looks like he’ll be able to wield three quality pitches down the line and, if he can show an ability to utilize all three in a start, he could make a push to become the top arm in the state.
+ Alek Boychuk, C, Mill Creek (South Carolina commit): Boychuk is among the most physical prospects in the state, ranked No. 7 overall. He’s a two-way catcher who was stapled to the national scene this past summer. Boychuk has always possessed a strong frame and it’s now allowing him to get to more in-game power. There’s the trope of high school backstops carrying inherent risks, but Boychuk’s got tools and plays both sides of the ball well, raising his floor. Let’s see how far that can take him, provided he shines once more for Mill Creek.
Alek Boychuk (May, 2019)
+ Jackson Phipps, LHP, East Paulding (South Carolina commit): The fourth South Carolina commit inside this post is the East Paulding left-hander Phipps. Because of his unique skillset as a southpaw with strength and a projectable frame, Phipps is always going to be a commodity. The big lefty can reach into the low- to mid-90s with a crossfire delivery and flashes a solid breaking ball. Phipps will have to prove he can throw strikes all while mixing in a swing-and-miss breaking ball. If he does that, the top-ranked left-hander in the class should make a draft splash in June.
+ Parks Harber, 3B, The Westminster Schools (Georgia commit): Way back in January, Harber was considered the top bat in the state, with an enviable approach to go along with strength and bat speed. But, a hand injury in the spring slowed Harber down and he never fully recovered his prospect status. In a state as competitive as this one, it doesn’t take much of a road block to drop down boards, so Harber’s slipped a little but it won’t take too much for him to remind us all of what we thought of him back at the start of his junior year. A diligent offseason and a red-hot spring could push Harber right back into the top bats of the class.