Georgia's Class of 2020 Rankings: Top-10 Breakdown
January 9, 2019
Over the holidays last month, the PBR Georgia team released its first edition of the state’s Class of 2020 Rankings. Today, it’s time to break down the list in detail, beginning with the class’ top-10 prospects. As per usual, the list is stacked with MLB Draft prospects as Georgia continues to uphold its reputation as one of the nation’s hotbeds for prep baseball talent.
Atop that list of prospects to keep an eye on for the 2020 MLB Draft is physical third baseman Parks Harber, of The Westminster Schools. The Georgia commit is built at a mature 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame with present strength. His frame doesn’t impede his ability to man the hot corner, however. Harber has consistently demonstrated that he has the athleticism to stick to third base at the next level – whether that’s pro ball or in Athens – and is fully-equipped with the arm strength to fit the position as well. As you might imagine, his big and strong frame works well in the right-handed batter’s box. Harber’s simple swing and approach, coupled with his easy pull-side pop, make him the state’s top overall prospect in the 2020 – and the No. 27-ranked prospect in the country’s junior class.
He capped off an excellent his sophomore season last summer as the only 2020 grad to be honored at the Metro Atlanta High School All-Star Ceremony. And Harber might only just be scratching the surface. He spent the fall quarterbacking Westminster to the AAA state quarterfinals but is gearing back up for an important spring on the diamond.
TOP 10 BOARD
|2||Josh Shuler||GA||North Gwinnett||2020||OF||South Carolina|
|3||Jackson Phipps||GA||East Paulding||2020||LHP||South Carolina|
|4||Dalton Pearson||GA||North Gwinnett||2020||OF|
|5||Corey Collins||GA||North Gwinnett||2020||C||Georgia|
|6||Alek Boychuk||GA||Mill Creek||2020||C||South Carolina|
|8||Hank Beaden||GA||Northwest Whitfield||2020||RHP||Georgia|
|9||John Anderson||GA||Grayson||2020||2B/3B||Georgia Tech|
The Nos. 2 and 3 prospects in the state’s 2020 are both bound to South Carolina following their prep careers: North Gwinnett’s Josh Shuler and East Paulding’s Jackson Phipps. Both are also ranked within the top 50 nationally, too. Shuler is a long and rangy outfielder who has a chance to be one of the best bats in the 2020 class. From the left-handed box, Shuler is capable of slugging balls hard into the gaps, featuring some real jump off the barrel.
As for Phipps, the southpaw holds the current title as the state’s top-ranked pitcher for his straight-line athleticism from a large 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame. He’s capable of running his fastball into the 92-93 mph range out of a deceptive crossfire delivery. Phipps' offspeed, namely his breaking ball, is a work in progress but he’s flashed signs of harnessing it. Now that the East Paulding ace is under the national microscope, he’ll have to polish his secondaries and improve his command, but he’s capable of stirring some national buzz in June of 2020.
Josh Shuler (6/6/18)
The top uncommitted prospect in the state’s 2020 class is also the No. 4-ranked prospect on our list: Dalton Pearson. The North Gwinnett outfielder comes from an athletic background with bloodlines – his father played in the NFL – and is still growing and maturing. Pearson has a balanced and direct approach from the right side with solid bat-to-ball skills. Power is on Pearson’s horizon, too; he’s already added strength and there’s no reason to think it won’t manifest itself at the plate eventually.
UGA has themselves another commitment just an hour east of campus in backstop Corey Collins. Collins shares a dugout with Pearson and Shuler, actually, and will bolster the middle of the Bulldogs lineup alongside the two. His left-handed bat is his calling card, but he’ll need to improve on his catch-and-throw skills to continue catching – luckily a bat like this will afford evaluators the patience to allow him the time to keep getting better on defense.
Mill Creek’s Alek Boychuk is the third Gamecocks commit on this top-10 and is the No. 6-ranked prospect in the state’s 2020 class. Boychuk is a broad, strong prospect who’s already had a ton of exposure on the national scene because of his USA Baseball exploits. Boychuk is ranked just behind Collins for the top spot at catcher in the state. His profile is the opposite of Collins’ however. Boychuk’s abilities behind the plate are second to none in this class, but he’ll need to improve on offense to climb up the charts – his present bat strength can help him get there.
At No. 7, it’s Jordan Walker, and there might not be a prospect with greater upside in this class. Walker’s going to be a two-way player once/if he reaches Duke’s campus in the fall of 2020. As an everyday player, Walker has some of the best power potential in this class and he’s yet to fully mature, despite his impressive 6-foot-4, 195-pound build. On defense, Walker continues to progress at third base but given his size already, he might project off the hot corner. But rather than slide into the other corner spot on the infield, Walker has the athleticism to fit elsewhere in the field. He’s among the most exciting prospects in the state, regardless of age.
Jordan Walker (Spring, 2018)
Finally, the Nos. 8, 9, and 10 prospects in Georgia’s 2020 class are RHP Hank Bearden (Northwest Whitfield; Georgia commit), 2B/3B John Anderson (Grayson; Georgia Tech), and C Ben Schorr (Columbus; Auburn). All three are ranked nationally just outside the top 200, but each has the upside to keep climbing up the ranks.
Bearden is a medium-sized righty who has been on the radar for some time now. He’s stocked with a big arm and can run his fastball into the low 90s on a regular basis. What he lacks in projection he makes up for in present stuff.
Anderson is simply one of this class’ best hitters. His home on defense is likely second base, but he has the arm strength to fit at third and could end up profiling there in the future if he’s able to bulk up. His innate ability to repeatedly find the barrel makes it impossible to sleep on him as prospect in this 2020 class.
Lastly, there’s the third catcher on this list, Ben Schorr. Of these three names, Schorr might be the one with the greatest chance of leapfrogging the other two way up this list. He knows what he’s doing at the plate and has some sneaky pop, too. Behind the dish, Schorr is well-rounded and he might have the best combination of offense and defense compared to the two other catchers on this top 10.
Keep an eye out the rest of this week as we continue picking apart these loaded Class of 2020 Rankings. For now, click here to view the state’s 2020 board in full.
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