Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 10 North Paulding

Phil Kerber
Georgia Scouting Director

The Georgia High School Association has announced that opening day of the 2020 season will commence on Feb. 10. Programs were allowed to begin practicing in an official capacity on Jan. 13, meaning it's time for the PBR Georgia staff to break down the high school baseball scene in the state in the countdown to the first pitch thrown in 2019.Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we will be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2019 spring season, touching on programs spanning multiple state classifications, counting down the official PBR Georgia Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Our Preseason Power 25 rankings coverage starts today.

Team: North Paulding
Preseason Rank:
2019 Record:
Region: 3-7A 
2019 Region Finish: 2nd
GHSA Classification: 7A
Head Coach: Dennis Jordan
Playoff Run: 2nd Round
Returning Starters: 7
Returning Pitchers: 3

KEy Players Lost
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Chandler Wood GA North Paulding 2019 RHP Chattahoochee Valley
Zach Maxwell GA North Paulding 2019 RHP Georgia Tech
Mikade Johnson GA North Paulding 2019 RHP BYU
TOP Players
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Grayson Taylor GA North Paulding 2022  
Chris Cole GA North Paulding 2021 OF  
Mitchell Heer GA North Paulding 2021 SS/RHP  
Dylan Rhadans GA North Paulding 2021 LHP  
Davis Rowell GA North Paulding 2021 OF/RHP  
Marco Colina GA North Paulding 2020 INF Young Harris
TJ Worley GA North Paulding 2020 C Reinhardt
Tyler Roon GA North Paulding 2020 RHP  
Top Newcomers
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Evan Maddox GA North Paulding 2021 RHP
Logan Lynch GA North Paulding 2021 RHP/OF  
Ethan Lecca GA North Paulding 2021 OF  
Justin DiCono GA North Paulding 2021 C
Jake Hembree GA North Paulding 2023 LHP Georgia

Impact of underclassmen. The Wolfpack return a plethora of talent from a 25 win team a season ago, many of whom are underclassmen. SS/RHP Mitchell Heer (2021) and LHP Dylan Rhadans (2021) both return to form the front-end of the North Paulding rotation. Heer had an outstanding sophomore season on the mound. The 6-foot right-hander is an all-around athlete. He is able to sit in the mid-80s with his fastball and get into the upper-80s when needed. Heer compliments his fastball with a curveball and changeup mix. Not only will he be relied upon to get the job done on the mound, but also his bat and defensive work up the middle will be integral in the team's success. As for Heer, he is a long, lanky 6-foot-4, southpaw. Heer does a nice job using his length to get his mid-80s fastball on batter's in a hurry. 

Two talented newcomers who will be big parts of the pitching staff are RHP Evan Maddox (2021) and LHP Jake Hembree (2023; Georgia). Maddox is a towering 6-foot-7, 195-pounds, with plenty of room to add more physicality. He uses his height to his advantage, working downhill to the zone with a fastball that sits in the mid-80s. There is plenty more in the tank and it would be no surprise to see him working into the upper-80s this spring. Although Hembree is only a freshman, he has a chance to see varsity innings. The 5-foot-11 lefty was impressive all summer with his mature approach and advanced feel for pitching. His fastball already plays up to 85 mph, and will only gain more velocity as he continues to mature and gain strength in his whip-like arm. What really sets Hembree apart is his curveball. He has feel for the pitch as it plays in the low-70s and has a 2700 spin rate, will be able to get a lot of swing and misses with.

Jake Hembree

In the field, C Grayson Taylor (2022) is back to help lead the offense. Taylor was a member of Team Georgia at the PBR Future Games, and continued his success into the fall where he was a plus performer from the left-side of the plate. Look for Taylor to have an even bigger role and year for the Wolfpack this season.
Grayson Taylor 

Coach Dennis Jordan's North Paulding Wolfpack will go as far as their underclassmen can take them this season. Coming off a 25 win season, the feeling is optimistic. There was valuable experience gained on the varsity level for the now junior class. As detailed in the X-Factor section, the pitching staff will be young with some inexperience. However, the talent will be undeniable. Newcomers like Maddox, RHP/OF Logan Lynch (2021), and Hembree will have to mature quickly, while Heer, Rhadans, and Davis Rowell (2021) guide them in the early part of the season. After a lights out season in 2019 as the closer, posting a school record 10 saves and a 1.00 ERA, RHP Tyler Roon (2020) is back to make sure any lead the Wolfpack have is safe. If they can all come together, throw strikes, and perform at a high level, North Paulding will be set to have a big 2020. 

The offense will be have experience. led by seniors Marco Colina (Young Harris) and C TJ Worley. Colina is a physical 6-foot-4, 185-pounds. This fall at LakePoint, he impressed with his pop at the plate and his ability to make consistent contact. Given his size, he as the potential to add a serious amount of power and strength to his swing.

North Paulding will enter 2020 as the team to beat in their region after state runner-up Hillgrove lost a large portion of their roster to graduation. If the pitching staff can mature quickly, and the offense provide early season run support, the Wolfpack may be one of the team's to beat in Class 7A.

Make sure to follow @PBRGeorgia on Twitter for the most-up-to-date coverage throughout the 2020 season.

Find more information on the 2020 Wolfpack below:

+ Full Schedule
+ Team Website
+ Team Twitter

Preseason Power 25 Countdown