Prep Baseball Report

Preseason All State : Heavy Hitters

Justin Goetz
PBR Georgia Assistant Scouting Director

PBR Georgia hosted our Preseason All-State event on Sunday, January 8th at LakePoint Sports in Emerson, GA. This event featured approximately 80+ prospects from the 2023-2027 classes. Prospects participated in a pro-style workout that included the 60 yard dash, batting practice, in and out, and pitcher bullpens.

We began the post event analysis last week with a look at the traditional stats collected in our “Stats Story.” Today, we reveal our staff's initial thoughts and reactions from the event, in particular, prospects that caught their eye. Yet to come is deeper dive into the advanced analytics as well. But for the time being, check out the bats with the most electric performances.

CF Cannon Goldin (Buford, 2025) you know what they say, “big dogs gotta eat!” The big dog sure ate, sending absolute projectiles into both gaps with the trajectory of a G6 jet. When you power clean 295 lbs, it looks like a flick of the wrist is all it takes to crush baseballs into the gaps. But Goldin actually uses his entire body from the feet up to create elite bat strength and plus bat speed at such a young age. With the wood bat (92 EV) in his hands, you see how much different his explosiveness is. The way he trains and where he is in PBR rankings should be a lesson to all aspiring baseball players, do olympic lifts and take care of your body with pre and post lift stretching. Pay attention to diet etc. When you treat your baseball career like a pro/d1 player does early on, you have a much better chance of making it. A combo of hard work and genetics are why he is a true 5 tool potential. Goldin has the potential to be an A/AVG bat with plus or better raw power, just on that alone you see why he’s so highly sought after. Then you add the plus speed, future plus defense and the 88 mph from OF at PAS23 and you start to get the picture of what type of value he can bring as a player. Add elite makeup to that equation. The real question? Is there anything not to like? Check out the tweet thread below for a breakdown of his swing.

3B Judson Hartwell (Prince Ave Christian, 2025) I have to say this was the most memorable BP round of the entire event. Last spring when we first got our eyes on Hartwell, he was starting at SS on varsity as a freshman. He impressed me with 2 barrel and an oppo double vs Tallulah Falls, then I saw him in the playoffs vs a loaded North Cobb Christian team. He faced 2 D1 arms (Blake Dean, Juan Vargas) and a juco LHP up to 94 (Armando Nunez) and had good AB’s against all of them, getting one barrel but was on plenty of pitches with some direct foul backs & fouls down the line. For me, that’s when he became a different guy in my eyes. But at PAS23, he went up another level for me. This is a player who matches plane incredibly well, and checks every single box you look for in a complete hitter. The swing is perfectly sequenced and he creates tons of torque and leverage with the way he separates. He also keeps the lower half compacted, making it easier to match pitch plane and create power throughout the kinetic chain. What stood out with Judson is the ability to drive the ball to all fields (97 EV, 23.4 hand speed, 73.6 bat speed) with ease and with unreal loft on everything he hit. He hits the ball as high as he does far, and it was shocking how consistent his power was to the right center gap. His versatility to front arm shrink on an inside pitch and turn the barrel in tight space for a HR - 1 swing after going off the wall in the oppo was the most impressive thing about him. He has plenty of instincts defensively, solid footwork, and some big arm strength for his age to go with it (86 IF). 83-85 off the mound as well! Check out the tweet thread below for a deeper swing analysis.

SS Connor Shouse (Pickens County, 2024) continued to wow us at shortstop just as much as he did on the mound. With efficient footwork and instincts put him in a consistently good position to field the ball with momentum working toward the bag. The exchange was effortless and he made a really nice back hand play where everything happened in one smooth motion. The arm across the IF can rival any arm in the country, and is one of the biggest reasons he should be evaluated as a shortstop in addition to pitching. It’s a ++ arm now that will be top of the scale as he gets stronger. He’s an A/AVG runner who turned in a 6.8 at PAS23, showing he’s the complete package on a baseball field. Shouse possesses a different level of twitch at the plate, just like on the mound. There is some sweep to his path but with the bat to ball skills he has, he should be able to show the raw power consistently in game. He also has feel for an inside out swing and the approach is pretty advanced, he’s not just looking to pull the ball. Shouse hit multiple balls into the woods and had the second highest EV of the entire event (100 mph). We look forward to evaluating him as both SS/RHP this spring and summer.

CF Zach Jackson (Holy Innocents, 2024) this was easily one of the best overall performances in the event, and you can say Jackson “blew up.” A day after his tweet went out, he had interest from a handful of high quality D1 schools. We are so happy for Zach because there are few that deserve this more than he does. 2022 was his first year on the summer circuit of being recruited so he was sort of an unknown coming into the summer. He’s one of the best football players (WR, DB) on his HS team and it was only a matter of time before schools took notice of his elite athleticism. But now at the start of 2023, Jackson is being recruited quite heavily and someone is going to come away with a top of the order stolen base threat who’s got the hand eye & bat speed (27.0 hand speed, fastest in event. 96 EV) to barrel elite arms. He’s very instinctive in all facets and has legit 5 tool potential. Jackson’s 6.80 60 yd (1.67 10 yd) is only the beginning of the ceiling on his speed, as I see him as a 6.5 runner in the future as he continues to get stronger. The arm is above average on a pro scale currently and will easily end up plus. He didn’t throw on the mound in this showcase, but we’ve had him 86-90 with a nasty upper 70’s SL over the summer. This is a real as it gets two way.

C Ariston Veasey (Starrs Mill, 2024) spoke volumes with his arm and bat at PAS23. Now I haven’t seen all of the catchers (nationally) in his class throw, but I can promise you there are very few backstops in the country on his level arm strength wise. His 86 C velocity wasn’t even his best, and it was still incredible. To have plus MLB arm strength as a JR in HS is a very uncommon thing, and this is a lock to have top of the scale arm strength. He also showed patience and strong hands as a receiver, and stayed on his legs with nice footwork and direction on throws. There are many similarities between him and former Brookwood catcher Will Banfield, who is now in AA with the Miami Marlins. Both of them have serious defensive talent, nearly unmatched arm strength and raw power at the plate. Veasey shows better oppo feel as a hitter at the same stage, with a smooth & powerful inside out swing. Ariston is very aggressive with his lower half and this creates serious momentum and allows his backside to fire through his lead leg for knee to knee clearance. I really like the active rhythm in his hands and sweet, lofty swing. He also threw smoke on the mound, with the FB in the 88-90 range and a 70 mph CB up to 2500 RPM! This is going to be a certified name for the 2024 MLB Draft.

SS Julian Carter (Riverwood, 2025) showed well for his first baseball action of the year, peppering hard line drives up the middle and spraying to gaps consistently. When he’s on, there are few players in the state with swing mechanics as natural and fluid. He was right at the top with the best defenders at the event, showing near elite footwork and an impressive glove. The arm strength isn’t quite there yet velocity wise (80 mph), but his throws do carry with accuracy and the exchange is smooth. Carter has the definition of quick twitch hands at the plate, proving that with the 2nd best Blast hand speed reading (25.9 mph) in the entire event. It's a knob led path that spends optimal time in the zone and he very rarely strays from his up the middle approach, which is one of the most intriguing qualities about him. Very rarely do I see Carter off balance at the plate, and his body control will only improve as he gets stronger. This is an exciting follow with a very high ceiling.

SS Keon Johnson (First Presbyterian Day, 2026) the 6 foot 2, 190 beast always brings a good attitude and enjoys cheering for his friends just as much as he does hitting lasers all over the field. While Keon had a more consistent showing in our Fall Campus Tour : Mercer, he still wowed everyone at LakePoint with his mid 90’s EV’s and 90 mph arm from SS. It’s great to watch him enjoy the game at our events and that he doesn’t take himself too seriously. Really, he just acts like he’s been here before. And sure has, as he’s constantly performing in new events all over the country nearly year round. There are few players getting as many reps as Keon Johnson, and it’s all been a part of his ability to create elite muscle memory in his swing, defense, and on the mound. We look forward to seeing him pulverize baseballs this spring with metal, but are even more excited to see him barrel pitchers 2 years older than him with wood this summer.

SS Maddox Monsour (Carrollton, 2025) the pride of Carrollton, GA was very impressive at PAS23, and it was great to see his tools match up with so many other high profile players. He came away with the fastest 60 time in the entire event (6.72), which is always an honorable title to hold. We got to see just how fast this plus runner was, and it’s not surprising with his strong frame and the quickness of a slot receiver. Maddox moves with lightning actions in everything he does, and that fits his oppo focused approach. He’s looking to find all openings on the field with hard line drives so he can use his speed for XBH’s and runs. Monsour shows some loft to left center, but his inside-out swing is so smooth and most natural to the oppo gap (91.4 EV). He shows tremendous positional versatility, being both a legit defender in CF and the MIF. His fluid hips and speed lead to A/AVG or better range on the grass, and his exceptional footwork on the dirt puts him in a consistently good position to throw (85 INF).

3B Dayson Griffis (Appling County, 2025) showed not only how much bat strength he has, but also how well sequenced and timed up the swing is. He’s very quiet and simplified, so its not just strength being the reason he controls his body so well. His hands are pre set into launch position with almost unnoticeable rhythm in his hands, but there is rhythm. Griffis has a very short stride with his toe and the load is minimal with just a slight rise of the hands allowing him to get in a powerful position for the knob to lead the path. He matches plane extremely well and has a very compact, direct path to the ball. Dayson creates intense lag in the barrel and his hands are extremely balanced throughout the path, getting barrel angle last second. His 96.2 EV was one of the higher recorded in the event, where he showed loud pull side power. Dayson also ran a 6.96 in a ridiculously strong, stocky frame. With innate instincts, smooth hands, and a rocket arm (94 mph) Griffis is a legit two way prospect and one of the most exciting players in the 2025 class.

C Michael Hunter Stonecipher (Clarke Central, 2025) as I said in his tweet, this is going to be a very high level defender in the class, and there aren’t many better total packages 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, were the best at the event, earning him a 1.92 pop time (1.92-2.00 range). 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. We love to monitor his progress and are enjoying his dramatic improvements in each event.

OF Xavier Hill (Harrison, 2025) this dual sport athlete is now firmly entrenched on my sleeper watch list for the 2025 class. He made an extremely loud case for his place in the rankings (41) and has firmly earned it. I would not be surprised to see him continue inching up, especially with good game performance vs quality arms this spring/summer. Hill does some truly special things at the plate, creating effortless perfectly timed separation and one of the most dynamic swing paths in the class. His tomahawk HR to left field was one of the most impressive swings of the entire event, showing an ability to adjust quickly underway and work his hands above the baseball smoothly. This is a dual sport athlete with 6.8 speed and all fields juice. He had the 2nd fastest 10 yard split of the entire event, showing acceleration that makes him a real speed threat on the basepaths. Rangy defender with 81 OF velo.

OF Steele Ingram (North Cobb, 2026) there’s a lot to like about this large frame and effortless swing. There’s even more to like about his hitting approach. Ingram doesn’t over exert himself, choosing precision & balance over recklessness and risk. That's how many hitters at the highest level make their living, focusing on timing and barreling rather than selling out for power. Steele produced one of the most consistent BP’s of the entire event, and showed a solid all around game. The bat speed (70.6) is above average for his age, as well as his exit velo’s (85 avg, 92.2 max). He could surely ramp that up with some more effort in a showcase, but why stray from what works? Many complete hitters in D1/MLB work at 70-80% effort in game, instead of trying to beat power pitching with force. Ingram also showed off considerable arm strength at 78 mph.

3B Judd Puckett (Crawford County, 2023) continued his Home Run Tour which started at Mercer last fall. He then went onto UGA, and finally Preseason All State hitting mammoth 100+ EV 400+ ft shots at each location. He’s not just a power hitter though, as Judd shows plenty enough feel to hit for average. When you combine a walking home run threat with great makeup, you get Judd Puckett. This 6’5 225 lb beast has many traits you look for in a dominant college bat, and got multiple college offers after this event. His 420 foot HR came off the bat at 104.3 and caused many in attendance to drop their jaws. Judd moves extremely well for his size defensively, as I’ve said before he plays SS for his HS team. He will make a solid impact as a 3B at the college level and its only a matter of time before the arm is above 90 mph (87).

IF Jackson Uggla (North Cobb Christian, 2024) one of the most advanced bats in the class continues to go under the radar due to lack of physicality, but I promise you this is a D1 bat. This is a player who has one of the best swings, approach, and some of the best pitch recognition in the state. It’s wild how a guy like that can stay so under the radar considering pitch recognition is one of the biggest keys of hitting and you can’t hit consistently at the games highest levels without it. Uggla’s ability to work himself into advantageous counts and  hit the ball where it’s pitched are on another level, and few in the class are able to decelerate to get on time with breaking balls like him. He might not be the most noticeable prospect now, but if you dig a little deeper this guy has a better chance at being a complete hitter in college than a majority of his class. 90 EV, 81 INF, 7.3 60 (1.75 10 yd).

SS Carson Ray (Woodward Academy, 2026) a much stronger Carson Ray showed up to PAS23, even more impressive than the 2022 future games version of him. With a stocky yet very athletic build, he shows exceptional feel for the barrel and an advanced opposite field approach. But he showed us there was much added power on the pull side, sending multiple line drives that 1-2 the fence in left center. He cut down the 60 time into the 7.4 range, and his 90 EV was eye opening for his class. His sweet spot % (86) was one of the best in the event, as he repeatedly barreled baseballs all over the field.

SS Christian Starks (Pickens County, 2026) this 2022 JFG alumni was one of the most impressive young players in the event. The swing mechanics are extremely advanced and he has an innate ability to match pitch plane with his short, direct path that gets optimal extension. Starks repeats his swing better than most his age, with serious gap to gap juice. He has good hip pace, rides the backside in stride creating some of the best linear connection in the class as the hands are thrown. His weight distribution at landing is perfect, and he routinely catches the ball just outside his front foot for big exit velocity barrels (90.4 EV). Defensively, Starks instincts and solid footwork that work in a constant flow toward the bag. His near sidearm arm action was up to 79 mph and will play at multiple infield positions as he gets stronger.


OF Knox Bingham (Wesleyan, 2026) is an extremely interesting prospect to follow, showing eye opening athleticism a few years ahead of his age. He has long, aggressive strides and continues to turn in impressive run times in the 6.9 range. As he fills into his 5’11 170 frame, Bingham will only get faster and more explosive overall. Knox has an unorthodox, effortless swing (90 EV) that is well timed up and oppo focused. He has all the twitch needed to start using the front arm shrink to turn the barrel in tight space and be more aggressive to the pull side. This is a smooth defender with footwork, and a solid exchange & arm for his age.

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