Preseason All State: Top Uncommitted 2023's and 2024's

PBR Georgia Staff

In one of our most talented events to date there were many committed players proving why they have earned a spot at the next level. The players mentioned below stacked up side by side with those players posting some of the best stats in the event. These juniors and seniors proved to our staff why they deserve a spot at the next level. Our staff highlights some of their abilities that stood out in a showcase setting. We look forward to following these players closely during the spring season. 

Trace Hodges OF / RHP / Crawford County, GA / 2023

Put in plenty of good work offensively with up to 92.5 EV and produced tons of rotational acceleration (29.4). He produces big time pop from an old school, non-manufactured swing with a very smooth toe tap that allows him to clear the hips in stride. He turns on the baseball with ease and backspin to both gaps. He doesn’t get into the common launch position you typically see these days, but he checks all the boxes and possesses all the absolutes of hitting. It’s a sweet finish that consistently keeps his top hand palm up thru contact. The combo of he and Puckett this spring gives Crawford County two big bats in their lineup. On the mound, Hodges shows plenty of arm potential in a generic all stretch delivery. There are a few steps he can take to re create his 88 mph OF velo on the mound. The first part is coming set with more pressure on his legs (slight bend in back knee, minimal bend in front so you feel quad/hammy pressure). Secondly, he can focus on holding his upper body over the rubber as he strides, which will create a stacked backside for his arm to explode to the plate with and a connected arm. The arm currently works alone on the backside, which is unlike his OF throws. He threw strikes in the low 80’s and spun the breaking ball well in the upper 60’s.




Judd Puckett 3B / SS / Crawford County, GA / 2023

Puckett 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).




Ryan Renfroe RHP / Thomasville, GA / 2023

Renfroe has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the fall/winter with two standout performances in our events. His Thomasville squad went to the 2A State Championship in 2022, and with his amazing jump in velocity they will surely be contenders again. Renfroe has only been pitching for one year, and is already putting up ridiculous velo numbers! Despite his minimal time on the mound, he already has one of the most explosive deliveries in the class. The way his arm action connects with the largest muscles on the back side (post hand break) is elite mechanically, and they fire violently to the plate together post landing. It's a very clean, lengthy full circle OH AA that will only get more efficient over time. The arm speed is loud, as the ball comes out of the hand screaming. This fall at our Campus Tour : Georgia Southern he was 88-90 T91 and put himself on the map with a sharp SLV in the 72-75 range up to 2500 rpm. Just two months later the FB is 89-92 T93!! He has a unique approach angle due to a lean in his delivery that keeps him inside the ball and creates not only bore in on RHH, but a very steep plane down in the zone. It’s different, but I feel it adds something unique and shouldn’t really be adjusted. In his uber athletic 6’3 200 lb frame and lightning quick arm speed, the sky is truly the limit on Renfroe’s velo potential. His sharp SLV is further developing into a SL now with a 3 mph increase in velo, sitting 75-78. The shape on the pitch is still similar, with sharp sweeping action and some depth. Only having a short time to develop the pitch, it surely has hammer potential in the future. Innings are what Renfroe needs most, and he will get that at Thomasville this year and at the next level. He has a chance to be a sneaky draft prospect this year before being committed to a college. Late bloomers are part of what make baseball great.




Carson Taggart LHP / OF / Blessed Trinity, GA / 2023

6-foot-4 185-pounds. Tall, lanky lefty continues to tick up on the mound. He is continuing to grow and adding velocity and strength to all pitches. He sits in the high ¾ slot, hiding the ball really well. His frame is intimidating on the mound, and he runs the fastball up to 85pmh. He mixes in a change-up and slider that are both around a 10mph difference on his fastball. BIg things to come from Taggert since the lefty will continue to fill out the 6-4 frame.




Fisher Cantrell RHP / 1B / Harris County , GA / 2024

This ultra projection arm with plus ease of operation had all 3 pitches working with serious movement at PAS23. Cantrell has plenty of starter qualities - the delivery is clean, he’s an above average athlete, and has lots of feel for his size and frame well before filling out physically. It’s not what he is now, it’s what he will be two years from now. The physical strength he develops from here on will determine the ceiling on his arm, and we feel the potential is very high. I saw him have an amazing outing this summer and have been in on him since then. His vertically shaped KCB was locking up RHH in low 70’s (27-2800) & back dooring LHH in all counts. Worked 85-88 T90 FB run+sink to all quadrants & lived on edges, also throwing multiple nasty CH’s with sudden fade and depth. While his stuff was down a bit from this summer, that's to be expected with cold weather in a 6’5 175 lb frame. All pitches still had the traits you look for and his FB(2360 RPM), KCB(2680) both registered high spin. There is no doubt another jump in velocity is coming, the only question is when. Regardless of when he reaches his ceiling, he can get by on a very good feel for pitching and high level movement on 3 pitches.




Collin Ewaldsen RHP / SS / Appling County , GA / 2024

Took big steps to becoming a more complete pitcher at PAS23. Few pitchers work harder off the field than Ewaldsen, as he is very focused on strength training, arm care, and developing his pitches. It was very encouraging to see his CB with such consistent shape, which is to an extent what we’ve been waiting on for Collin to show. Keeping chest balanced over feet in stride sharpened the 70-72 CB w/ sweep & 2 plane depth. FB worked in 85-88 range up to 21 IVB. CH 74-77 fade. This is a serious athlete who’s pound for pound one of the strongest players in the class weight room wise. He has an efficient, short circle arm action with explosive arm speed. It’s only a matter of time until he keeps it connected with the back side in stride and makes a jump in velocity.




Ellington Hodge SS / RHP / Decatur, GA / 2024

Hodge stood out athletically, with a compact delivery and impressive arm speed. He really drove the ball downhill well and I was impressed with the balance throughout the delivery. His FB worked in the 84-87 range with steep plane and pretty violent run at times. His offspeed stuff was hit or miss, but look for his FB to garner some college interest this spring, as it will undoubtedly tick up.




Coy Argo OF / RHP / Commerce, GA / 2024

well with a 7.07 lazer timed 60-yard dash. At the plate, he produced power to all fields recording a 98mpb exit velocity. His approach is simple, picking the foot up and putting it down, using his legs to carry his power through the swing. His “hard hit”, “sweet spot”, and “line drive” percentages per Trackman were some of the best of the day. He fits well as a corner OF, and can stack up anywhere in the line-up.



JJ Howe OF / 1B / Veterans, GA / 2024

6-foot 170-pounds. Quick twitch, lanky athlete. Howe posted a 6.74 60 yard dash earning the 5th spot on the leaderboard for the event. During BP his Blast Motion metric really stood out. Nearly all metrics were off the chart. Hand speed of 24 and max bat speed of 79.5 along with 29.5 in rotational acceleration translated to hard, consistent line drives in his batting practice round. His speeds plays as advertised in the OF, and he posted a 87mph velocity from right field to home plate. His athleticism will continue to stand out in his game.




Ajay Jones OF / North Hall , GA / 2024

5-foot-8 155-pounds. 2022 Future Games participant that caught the eye of many scouts/schools with his ability to run the bases. Right-handed hitting outfielder, athletic build, lean muscle throughout, an elite athlete. High energy, plays every play like it is his last. Wreaks havoc on the basepaths, will test the boundaries of a defense as he looks to be ultra aggressive. With 6.5 speed, he has a high success rate on the bases. At the plate, Jones has a line drive approach, looking to put the ball in play, emerging power as he fills out.



Lenox Lively C / 1B / Swainsboro, GA / 2024

6-foot-3 190-pounds. Strong, left-handed hitting catcher is all you need to know about Lively. The rest of his game falls into place. He produced one of the best rounds of BP for the lefties. His actions behind the plan are clean, simple and consistent. He had some of the more consistent pop times with accurate throws. The frame will continue to fill out, turning him into power hitting LH catcher that all coaches dream about.




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