Prep Baseball Report

Most Valuable Players : Class 5A

Justin Goetz
Assistant Scouting Director

While 5A may not be as deep as the two classifications above them, they equally stand out in high end talent and quality sleepers. This list is filled with players from a few dominant teams, and a few that deserve much more recognition. Not only do I feel there are a handful of future big leaguers in this article, but there are many players that are just scratching the surface of their eventual ceilings. Now I present to you, the 5A MVP’s!

Zaelyn Smith OF / LHP / Coffee County, GA / 2024

Alabama A&M Commit. 5-foot-11, 180 pounds. has the build of a D1 cornerback with a high waist, long levers, and lots of strength w/ more soon to come. Smith plays the game with elite intensity and passion, and his results speak loudly.  This is an A/AVG or better runner (6.8 60 yd) showing closing speed that can be a real weapon in the OF as well as the basepaths. Offensively, he has an impressive well-sequenced swing that produces noticeably easy bat speed. The hips are the engine of his swing, with good lower half direction allowing him to work gap to gap and keep his barrel in the zone for an extended stay. The swing is extremely fluid and well timed, and he shows pop to all fields. There is certainly more power coming and he’s going to be a different beast with 10-15 more pounds of lean strength. His arm is a lethal weapon in CF with pinpoint accuracy. His long strides and aggressiveness have him closing in on baseballs quickly, and will surely rack up outfield assists at the next level.

Nate Isler RHP / 1B / Cambridge, GA / 2023

Dartmouth Commit. 6-foot-5, 225 pounds. When I see a pitcher committed to the school of MLB legend Kyle Hendricks, I’m automatically intrigued. Isler sure didn’t disappoint in my first look at him last spring. Man, this is one of the easiest deliveries you will find in the southeast. With the current size of an MLB starter, can you imagine where Isler will be when the “man strength” comes? You have to love the fluidity in his long, loose arm action from an H3/4 slot. While the delivery is easy, it’s very unique. He creates a combo of angle (across the zone trajectory) from a slight crossfire, but an incredibly steep plane in addition (downhill trajectory). This adds many elements to his upper 80’s FB (sink+run). The low to mid 70’s CB shows both sweep & depth, and he can put it where he wants. A strike thrower with a prototype RHS frame? I’m in. 

Connor Crisp RHP / SS / Locust Grove, GA / 2023

Georgia Commit. 5-foot-10, 180 pounds. Not only is he one of the best RHP’s in 5A, but also one of the best position players. Crisp is cool, calm, and collected at the dish with some of the quickest hands in the class. The bat truly isn’t talked about enough, as his dynamic swing path lends him all fields pop and his bunting ability only increases the impact of his plus speed. He’s an instinctive SS with soft hands, quick exchange, and a cannon of an arm. Rangy and can make every throw from every angle with good body control. On the mound he has a compact, well balanced delivery with an efficient one piece arm action. He creates power from the ground up with his flexible+mobile lower half. The FB sits 88-90 T91 with violent bore, his 80-81 SL tunnels perfectly with it. Aggressive strike thrower.

Andrew Cedano 3B / 2B / Locust Grove, GA / 2023

UNG Commit. 5-foot-11, 175 pounds. Few players in his class operate so effortlessly on the hill. The smooth righty has an extremely balanced upright, overhand delivery with perfect pace. He consistently maintains a downhill plane, and has advanced feel for all 3 of his pitches. His sinking FB comes in on a steep and was 85-86 T88 early this spring, but he was just working back from injury. The CB is in the 69-72 range with plus potential and has very good shape+consistent two plane depth. His additional upper 70’s downer CH vaults him into a different category for us. Cedano and UGA commit Bransen Powell give Locust Grove one of the best trios of starters in the state. 

Trey King SS / 3B / McIntosh, GA / 2023

Georgia Commit. 6-foot-2, 170 pounds. This is an absolute gamer who’s got smooth, easy actions in every aspect of his game. King’s bat 2 ball skills stand out in a big way, as does his calculated approach at the plate. His efficient, knob led swing path consistently attacks the inside of the baseball creating a natural as possible loft to all fields that helps add to his XBH totals. King is an A/AVG runner on a pro scale, and should only get faster as he gets stronger. An instinctive defender, he uses his length to extend his range with soft hands and a fluid exchange. The leader of this club, McIntosh will go as he goes at the plate, field, and on the basepath where his acrobatic slides and hustle bring energy to any park.

Chandler Jones C / OF / Decatur, GA / 2025

Tennessee Commit. 6-foot-1, 180 pounds. This is an advanced catcher bat with an impressive feel for the barrel and good leadership qualities behind the plate. While we haven’t gotten tons of looks on him in the past year, he impacts the game in a variety of ways every time we see him. Catching 2022 draft prospect Brady Jones for the past few years has helped him quickly become an advanced receiver who can handle electric arms with ease. He’s an unquestioned leader for this Decatur squad that has plenty of sneaky talent.

Alec Waller OF / OF / Tucker, GA / 2025

Uncommitted. 5-foot-10, 145 pounds. While new to the PBR scene, Waller opened our eyes at Fall Campus Tour : UGA. He ran the best 60 time in the entire event (6.67) and showed tremendous bat speed for his current size (72.5. 23.0 hand speed). Not only does he show plenty of quick twitch at the plate, he also has some very well sequenced swing mechanics that will only produce harder hit balls year by year. We haven’t had any live game looks on Alec yet, but plan to bear down on him this spring/summer with plenty of AB’s. His current plus speed gives him range of equal quality in CF, and he should be an elite defender at the HS level very soon. As the Tucker Tigers are known for developing great athletes in all sports, it’s great to see another explosive follow on the diamond.

Conrad Cason SS / RHP / Greater Atlanta Christian, GA / 2024

Mississippi State Commit. 6-foot-3, 190 pounds. Not only does he have top of the scale velo potential in the arm, but sky high potential as a bat as well. He repeats his swing at a high level and the ball consistently jumps off the barrel with backspin to all fields. At SS he’s got soft hands, the best arm in the class, and continues to improve the exchange and ability to throw from all angles. Right now, Cason has some serious helium with MLB teams as a RHP. With his silky smooth delivery, long+loose one piece arm action, and vicious arm speed, it’s easy to see why. His FB has a chance to be an elite power SNK (1900 RPM) that saws down barrels, and sits in the 91-94 range currently. Cason’s mid to upper 70’s CB is tight with late depth and should develop into a low 80’s banger in the future.

Bryce Clavon SS / OF / Kell, GA / 2024

Uncommitted. 6-foot, 185 pounds. Clavon is one of the top two sport athletes in the country as standout shortstop on the diamond and quarterback on the gridiron. Every action he makes is explosive. The bat, hands, arm, and feet are all next level. Clavon’s swing works short and compact thru the zone with elite bat speed. He creates his power as a hitter from the ground up, and the ball jumps off the bat to all fields. He has advanced bat to ball skills, routinely extending at-bats or drawing walks. It is a professional approach. A plus or better runner, he can fly around the diamond and is a constant threat to run. His speed also lends itself to the defensive side where Clavon has elite range and a huge arm.

Jax Bishop RHP / OF / Calhoun, GA / 2025

Tennessee Commit. 6-foot-2, 160 pounds. This is a lean, dual sport athlete with a very high ceiling. One of the top arms in GA for his class also has one of the best, most balanced deliveries. He’s extremely smooth and efficient thru up+down+out phases, leading to elite direction and allowing him to dot his live running FB (87-89) to both edges with ease. Bishop repeats a long, loose arm action very well with impressive arm speed and nice extension. The 73-76 CB has equal parts sweep & depth, with more SLV like shape for now. It consistently generates ugly S & M’s. His 79-82 CH is a heavy pitch he has advanced feel for.. As he continues to fill out, watch out for the stuff to take another step forward.

Andrew Purdy SS / RHP / Calhoun, GA / 2025

Alabama Commit. 6-foot-2, 200 pounds. His advanced raw power shows nearly every time we see him, whether it be lofty doubles to the opposite field or mammoth pull side bombs into the forest around LakePoint. He’s able to send the baseball just as high as he does far, due to advanced swing mechanics. He tilts the shoulders south gradually in stride, creating unreal leverage+connection. Post landing, the shoulders replace each other on an incline rotation creating efficient layback and a knob led path. This is what allows him to create loft so easily. No matter the arm he faces, Purdy has time and time again excelled at the plate. There is also the two-way component. Gifted with a big right arm, we have seen the FB at 83-86 and CB in the low 70’s, with sudden sweep. Purdy gives Calhoun not only one of the top power bats in the state, but a dependable arm that adds to the depth of their pitching staff.

Avery Shiflett LHP / 1B / Calhoun, GA / 2025

UGA Commit. 6-foot-4, 185 pounds. Although he’s an underclassmen, this is one of the 5 best breaking balls in the state for me. It currently works in the 68-71 range, and is already an MLB quality pitch with near top of the scale potential. This 2600 RPM air bender fluctuates between 12/6 and 1/7 shape, but has some of the tightest rotation in the Peach State. I honestly can’t remember the last HS breaking ball I saw with this type of depth. It starts at or above the top of the zone, hammering its way to the bottom of the zone or further (freezing RHH/LHH). This plays extremely well with his mid 80’s FB (2400 RPM) which he can locate vertically or laterally with ease. When he coils the upper half to back hip gradually in stride (instead of leaking front side), the pitch has an aggressive late tail to the arm side. He does cut the FB in on occasion, but it’s late when the upper half isn’t rushed. The development of his new CCH can take him to an entirely different level as a prospect.

Caden Carroll RHP / Cartersville, GA / 2023

Kennesaw State Commit. 6-foot-3, 190 pounds. While I haven’t seen every single breaking ball in the country, I can guarantee you there are very few spinners with the current/future potential of this Owls SLV. We’ve already seen him up to 91, and his high spin FB sits in the upper 80’s with some serious bore and it maintains similar life to the glove side. When thrown to the bottom of the zone, the pitch shows more run+sink. His beautiful mid 70’s SLV spins just like the planet Jupiter (3100-3300 RPM), with nearly identical pitch profiles to former Mariners great Jeff Nelson, and former Rays RHP Chaz Roe. Both of whom had elite MLB breaking balls. He also proves his innate ability to pronate with his 79-81 CH that shows A/AVG fade currently.

Caleb Daniel C / SS / Cartersville, GA / 2024

UGA Commit. 6-foot, 170 pounds. Over the past year, few in the state have proven their hit tool like Daniel. If you don’t believe me, type @pbrgeorgia Caleb Daniel in the twitter search bar. You will be up all night watching barrels! This has quickly become one of my favorite hitters in the state. In the 2024 class, he’s only rivaled by Pope SS Jack Myers as far as pure hitting ability. The intangibles (pitch recognition, approach, plate discipline, reaction time, swing decisions) are elite for a HS player, as are the tangibles (swing mechanics, body control, bat 2 ball skills, ability to manipulate the barrel). He’s quite a sneaky athlete, as his 6.90 60 yd at our Pro Case checks out with his A/AVG run in game. This is a versatile defender who uses his instincts, footwork, and clean exchange to play all infield positions and catcher. I feel this is a player who can play 8 positions on the field without blinking an eye.

Ryan Johnson RHP / RHP / Cartersville, GA / 2024

UGA Commit. 6-foot-4, 165 pounds. This is one of the more impactful 2 ways in his class, and he absolutely oozes projection in the lengthy frame. On the mound, it's a funky high energy delivery with one of the most impressive stride lengths in the class. He’s able to maintain posture in the lower half without collapse, creating vast hip/shoulder separation. As he gets stronger, he will be able to take advantage of said separation and will undoubtedly make a jump in velocity. Johnson’s main focus in 2023 needs to be the weight room, which will allow both his tools as a position player and stuff on the mound to take the next step. I really like his rhythm at the plate and contact oriented, all fields approach.

Tyler Neises 1B / RHP / Dalton, GA / 2023

Georgia Tech Commit. 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. As true of a PBR guy as they come, we were elated last year when news broke of his commitment to the Yellow Jackets. He’s been high on our radar well before his HS career even started, and his enormous raw power potential remains the same. The swing has taken leaps and bounds mechanically in the past two years, showing much better rhythm and linear connection in 2023. The toe tap has smoothed out with much better pace, he sinks into the lower half extremely well (allowing him to match pitch plane much more consistently), and the chest/shoulders load his hands for him taking effort out of the swing and allowing the back side to fire with his hands simultaneously. We love the high finish, and he runs extremely well for his size. Neises is one of the better bats in 5A. 



Mason Westmoreland 2B / SS / Villa Rica, GA / 2024

Uncommitted. 5-foot-9, 145 pounds. The best SS at our LakePoint ID last month, Mason is a very interesting follow for this spring, summer. His actions are very natural at a premium defensive position. He plays with a low center of gravity, very quick laterally. Always works toward the bag with subtle push thru ball. Smooth exchange with a solid arm and good feel to throw from all angles. A 6.9 runner with long gliding strides, he’s without a doubt an A/AVG runner in game who controls his body well in all aspects. At the plate, he repeats a short+direct inside-out swing with impressive mechanics. Mason would be a good contributor on any team in the state, but the Wildcats are sure glad to have him as their own.

Michael Hunter Stonecipher C / RHP / Clarke Central , GA / 2025

Uncommitted. 5-foot-11, 180 pounds. This is a very high level defender in the class, and there aren’t many better total packages behind the dish in the southeast right now. Being new to the scene in 2022, he’s now marinating as a prospect and has picked up D1 interest from around a dozen good programs at this point. I would not be surprised to see him get popped with multiple offers in 2023. His footwork & exchange are lightning quick for his age, earning him a 1.92 pop time at PAS. The arm action is picture perfect for a backstop, with a short & quick arm spiral from an OH slot that creates tons of carry and registered 78 mph. Stonecipher showcased his high level swing mechanics to the crowd, launching a 357 foot bomb (92 EV) onto the tents in RF. This will be one of the surprises of ‘23 in all classifications, not just 5A.

Ethan Garrett OF / RHP / Pope, GA / 2025

Uncommitted. 6-foot, 165 pounds. This is a D1 middle infield talent who doesn’t make mistakes, and has a very high baseball IQ. This shows through in his approach at the plate, working himself into hitters counts by routinely laying off tough pitches to get what he wants. He uses his hips better than hitters a class or two ahead of him - His weight starts shifted slightly to the front side, which allows hips to effortlessly roll back & forth creating lower half momentum that takes pressure off upper body. At this point it just becomes timing the load with the stride, which he does consistently. The zero head movement after landing and ability to keep his posture+balance on any pitch in any zone as well as manipulate the barrel in different quadrants shows he’s already a pure hitter. You can tell the game comes easy to Ethan, and I feel he will develop into big time hitter and SS in college.

Owen Primm OF / Jefferson, GA / 2024

Uncommitted. 5-foot-11, 185 pounds. This physical specimen showed off his freakish athleticism in every single part of our UGA Campus Tour. After his 31 in vertical jump, he kicked off the showcase with electric wheels. Primm exploded out of the gates and reached a top end speed of 20.5 mph, turning in a 6.72 60 yd. He followed that up with a handful of 90+ EV’s in BP, then showed off his 86 mph arm in the OF. As this was my first look at him, I will continue to track him this spring/summer. This is a legit follow who will do big damage for the Warriors this spring.

Eston Simpson RHP / 1B / Jefferson , GA / 2025

Uncommitted. 6-foot-6, 175 pounds. If there’s a more projectable arm in the 2025 class, I haven’t seen him yet. With this type of frame in an underclassmen, you typically pitchers like Eston struggle with consistency (mechanics, pitch life, strikes, release point, etc). This is not the case at all with him. The delivery is shockingly well balanced, the build of pace is ideal, the rhythm and timing are on the money. He sits into his legs, up+down+out phases are smooth & compact, the lower half posture at landing is exceptional for his current frame. The loose full circle L3/4 arm swing is very repeatable, honestly this is just an incredible delivery. This baby giraffe is not even AT the tip of the iceberg yet, and I will give him all the time he needs to make the multiple jumps in velocity that are coming. The low 80’s FB has live run, and the short vertical breaking ball has late depth & should develop into a SL down the line. With his pitchability and clean delivery, D1’s will flood in by the dozens as soon as the velo arrives.

Jaylen Jones SS / OF / Loganville, GA / 2024

Uncommitted. 5-foot-8, 150 pounds. Jones is one of the best baseball players in the state without question, and deserves more recognition. In region he put up ridiculous numbers - .462 AVG, .548 OBP with a handful of XBH’s and 7 RBI. This led to a 1st Team All-State selection by Georgia Dugout Club, an award he’s sure to repeat in 2023. Jaylen has one of the most compact, versatile swing paths in the state and can adjust to any pitch in any zone with ease. His exceptionally quick hands, bat 2 ball skills, and pitch recognition allow him to match plane at a ridiculous clip. This A/AVG runner plays like a plus runner with his quick first step and instincts, benefitting him on the bases and with the glove. He’s a slick defender who’s tools will explode over the next 2 seasons as his strength develops. This is a D1 player and the energizer of this Loganville team.

Sherman Johnson SS / OF / Loganville, GA / 2023

Dallas Baptist Commit. 6-foot-1, 170 pounds. Johnson is a dual sport beast who dominates just as much on the basketball court as the diamond. This is a pro type body with fluid, explosive swing mechanics who attacks the baseball in front of the plate with impressive stride length. The more I watch him hit, there’s simply nothing I don't like. Sherman is perfectly sequenced at the plate and the swing could fit right in on the back fields of an MLB ST complex right now. He’s a rangy defender with a quick exchange, plenty of arm, and we believe he could play CF just as effortlessly at DBU. Jones is one of the best baseball players in the state without question, and deserves more recognition.

Jordan Johnson RHP / 3B / Loganville , GA / 2026

Uncommitted. 6-foot-1, 170 pounds. This is a prototype RHS frame with the most compact delivery in his class, allowing his incredible arm speed to work more efficiently. The arsenal is on another level for his age. His deceptive AA comes from a lower release height, allowing his mid to upper 80’s FB (T90) to play well up in the zone despite not being high spin. He has a very good feel for locating it arm side and it jumps out of the hand with run+sink. The pitch gets even more swing and miss due to deceptiveness and the threat of his nasty downer CH constantly looming over hitters. It works in the upper 70’s with late fade & depth. The CB in the 72-75 range is relatively consistent in shape and sweep, flashing two plane depth at times.

Brooks House RHP / RHP / Winder-Barrow, GA / 2023

UAB Commit. 6-foot-5, 190 pounds. House is the definition of unique with a repertoire that's built to last. He’s proven he has the pitchability to consistently beat quality bats by his performances at East Coast Pro and PBR Cup. Brooks' approach to pitching is confident & advanced - he pitches to contact early with his 87-90 bowling ball of a sinker that comes from the mountaintops. I haven't seen a hitter match plane on him when he’s low in the zone due to the movement, trajectory and low spin of the pitch. He quickly gets ahead on you 0-2, and can wipe any hitter out with his nasty SL in the 78-80 range. It’s a future hammer of a pitch that's already MLB avg and flashes A/AVG. The pitch has some of the best downward tilt I’ve seen in the class, and it sweeps away from RHH. Although he didn't throw a CH the inning I got video, it’s his 2nd offspeed pitch with AVG or better MLB potential. It sits in the 75-77 range and mirrors his SL almost perfectly. 

Gabe Tatum RHP / 3B / Winder Barrow , GA / 2024

Uncommitted. 6-foot-7, 200 pounds. While he’s just outside of our national rankings for the 2024 class, I have zero doubt that he’ll be there soon. It’s impossible to ignore an arm at this height with Tatum’s highly athletic delivery. In the past year, the FB has jumped nearly 10 mph. With such broad shoulders, stilts for legs, and long arms, he moves exceptionally well throughout the delivery. His tempo is very good, and the balanced delivery is compact & well sequenced. Seeing his updates on twitter from a Christmas bullpen, he’s sitting more into the legs and his arm action is MUCH more connected to the largest muscles on the back side because of it. He’s compacted the up+down+out phases and hips are much more mobile, allowing him to create more fluidity and store more power over the rubber in stride. The FB is reportedly 87-88 T89 now, and his changed his 70 mph CB to a 77-78 SL with sweep+depth. 

Ryan Ford 3B / 1B / Winder Barrow, GA / 2023

GCSU Commit. 6-foot-1, 220 pounds. One of the strongest players in his class who hits anything from the finesse arm to the power arm. From what I saw last spring, his bat will be the key to the Bulldog offense. Of the 5 Winder-Barrow games we scouted him in, he had multiple hits in each one of them. The swing path is extremely short & handsy with a right center approach who can get to any pitch in any zone. Works hard on defensive improvement and head is always in the game. Wants to be challenged and responds well to adversity on the field. Can really move for his size, and I expect him to be bigger/faster/stronger/better than he was last spring.

Camden Hodge C / 3B / Winder Barrow , GA / 2025

UGA Commit. 6-foot, 182 pounds. This dropper of bombs has one of the more timed up swings in the state, and he’s only a sophomore. He toned down the leg kick this summer, allowing him to time up high velocity arms much easier. The fluidity in his one piece swing is still a thing of beauty, and he’s shown much advancement as a hitter since last spring. It’s encouraging seeing him extend his stretch in separation with the front hip & hands (post landing) to keep his hands active and patient on offspeed pitches. This will be another big year for him, and we’re excited to get more looks on him as a catcher this spring.

Philip Schiltz
RHP / Cartersville , GA / 2023

Rankings  StateRank: 119 / POS:4

Coastal Alabama Commit. 6-foot-3, 185 pounds. He’s a dual sport athlete that can just as easily moss a defensive back in the end zone as strikeout a big time hitter. He also kicks nukes as the punter for his high school, and LED THE STATE with a 47.7 avg. With a smooth & balanced delivery, Philip creates effortless arm speed and unique angle from a lengthy 1 piece arm action (low ¾ slot). He works downhill through his delivery and gets unreal hip/shoulder separation at landing, meaning he will jump in velo as he adds strength. He gets great extension on his running FB (86-85 T88), using his stride and long limbs to play up the pitch hitters. The pitch will ride up in the zone, run and sink down and will be a serious weapon as the velo jumps and he develops command of it. Schiltz 75-77 SL is special at 2500 rpm and has wipeout potential with sharp lateral break & late depth. It stays on FB plane then takes a sudden turn, slicing through the air like a frisbee before falling off the planet. Few rosters have an arsenal of breaking balls like the Canes.


Clarence Callaway / C / Dutchtown / 2024
Bryce Herring / 2B / Dutchtown / 2024
Branson Powell / RHP / Locust Grove / 2023
Mark Abell / IF / Greenbrier / 2023
William Barbary / C / Chapel Hill / 2024
Carson Rech / 3B / Cambridge / 2024
Geoffrey Gore / RHP / Cartersville / 2023
Cooper Evans / RHP / Calhoun / 2023
Spencer Evans / LHP / Calhoun / 2026
Isaac Green / OF/LHP / Calhoun / 2024
Ellington Hodge / RHP/SS / Decatur / 2024
Tim Clark / RHP / Ola / 2026