Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 16 Starr's Mill


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: Starr's Mill
Preseason Rank:
16
2019 Record:
29-6
Region: 3-5A 
2019 Region Finish: 1st 
GHSA Classification: 5A
Head Coach: Brent Moseley
Playoff Run: 2nd Round
Returning Starters: 8
Returning Pitchers: 6

KEy Players Lost
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Brian Port GA Starr's Mill 2019 SS Coastal Carolina
TOP Players
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Eli Jones GA Starr's Mill 2021 RHP/INF South Carolina
Daniel Courtney GA Starr's Mill 2021 LHP/OF  
Sean White GA Starr's Mill 2021 C Georgia Southern
Chay Yeager GA Starr's Mill 2021 INF Wofford
Declan Dun GA Starr's Mill 2021 LHP  
Thad Ector GA Starr's Mill 2021 OF South Carolina
Beau Gardner GA Starr's Mill 2020 OF  
Hunter Lawson GA Starr's Mill 2020 OF/C  
Ryder Wagenknecht GA Starr's Mill 2021 INF  
Top Newcomers
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Bryson Daniel GA Starr's Mill 2021 LHP
Ben Moseley GA Starr's Mill 2022 RHP/INF  
Alex Ukleja GA Starr's Mill 2022 INF/RHP  
Devin Embry GA Starr's Mill 2022 C  
Cole Sanders GA Starr's Mill 2021 INF  
Wes Haney GA Starr's Mill 2021 OF  
Nate Kearns GA Starr's Mill 2021 OF  
Noah Preuer GA Starr's Mill 2020 OF  
X-Factor
Underclass experience. The Panthers return nearly their entire roster, the majority still underclassmen, after a 2019 campaign that saw them win 29 games. 2019 was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Starr's Mill, but the 2021 class had other thoughts. The work horses of the staff are back, having gained valuable experience in 2019. RHP/INF Eli Jones (2021; South Carolina) will headline the group. Jones is an advanced pitcher who currently operates in the upper-80s. Joining him in the rotation will be LHP Daniel Courtney (2021) and LHP Declan Dun (2021). Both pitcher work in the mid-80s and provide a more finesse look than what Jones can offer. 

Back to help the offense are C Sean White (2021; Georgia Southern), SS Chay Yeager (2021; Wofford), and Thad Ector (2021; South Carolina). These three will help form the core of the Panther offense. Starr's Mill will lean heavily on these juniors to help propel them to another big year. Plus, the development of INF Ryder Wagenknecht (2021) will be a nice addition to the overall roster.

Ryder Wagenknecht

Outlook
As we detailed in the X-Factor, the Panthers are bringing back some big name juniors to help lead the way. If their junior class can perform anywhere close to how they did last season, look for Starr's Mill to be playing late into May.

Coach Brent Moseley will benefit this year from senior leadership and offensive production. Two of the offensive leaders from last year, OF Beau Gardner (2020) and OF/C Hunter Lawson (2020), will reprise their roles and be counted on even more. Both hit over .300, with Lawson adding five doubles.

Starr's Mill has all the pieces to be the team to beat in 5A, not only in 2020 but also 2021. If the likes of Ector, Yeager, White plus the seniors can perform at the plate, and Jones, Courtney, Dun can lead the way on the mound, Starr's Mill will enter the postseason as the team to beat.

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

Find more information on the 2020 Panthers below:

+ Full Schedule
+ Team Website
+ Team Twitter

Preseason Power 25 Countdown