Prep Baseball Report

State Games of GA: Best Performers seen by @JGoetzPBR

Justin Goetz
Assistant Scouting Director

Although I wasn’t able to bear down on all of my pref list follows in the tourney, many boxes were checked. The looks were a mixture of soon to be eligible ‘24 draft prospects, future draft follows, and uncommitted sleepers of all classes. Here are the 16 that made the loudest noise for me at the State Games of GA.

Joshua Evans LHP, 2024, Peachtree Ridge

UGA Commit. 6-foot-2, 170 pounds. Evans may be raw on the mound, but the athleticism and upside are as high as any player in the class. When he gets in the groove on the bump, few are more dominant. There will be some growing pains on the hill, but he has many traits that are difficult to teach. The trio of things that immediately stand out are the ease of operation, perfect arm action, and fast twitch fibers. All 3 are very similar in quality to what you’d see in the best minor league prospects. Although you can develop each of them in a player - it's rare for a slow twitch guy to become a fast twitch guy, high effort delivery to become low effort, and a bad arm action to become perfect. While his control was sporadic at State Games, he was untouchable when in rhythm. He grabbed a handful of in zone whiffs on the FB, and the pitch showed late tailing action both to the arm side and glove side. We haven’t gotten an outing at LakePoint yet to get his metrics, but I feel spin efficiency could be the secret sauce for his FB carrying+playing up in the zone so well. What makes the pitch even more unique is the diving action he can get down in the zone, and the late tail is always there. The arm action is nearly invisible, and you can add nasty angle to that deception. He landed most of his CB for strikes and buried it for K’s, showing a natural feel to spin that separates him from other “raw” arms.

Jackson Uggla IF, 2024, North Cobb Christian
Uncommitted. 5-foot-10, 175 pounds. Despite being under radar due to size/physicality, this is a player that's nowhere near his ceiling as a baseball player. The swing mechanics, timing, and feel to hit are good and consistently show up each tourney we see him in. Not only does he produce impressive EV’s for his current strength, but also finds holes in deep counts and is a good situational hitter. With his exceptional pitch recognition and plate discipline, it’s quite rare to see him have a bad AB. He always has good rhythm, hip pace, and consistently makes correct swing decisions. The load/trigger is more efficient and repeatable than it was last year, leading to a more consistent swing path and allowing him to trust himself more at the plate. Although he might not jump out at you in the frame department, this is a legit baseball player with good instincts, IQ, and overall feel. Whichever school he ends up playing at in college will be getting an absolute gem whose power production and twitch will take off as soon as the man strength comes.

Ty Bayer RHP, 2024, South Forsyth
Kennesaw State Commit. 6-foot-4, 180 pounds. With his prototype frame and long levers, he surely passes the eye test. While there is some rawness to him, he pitches to his strengths and continues to develop as a pitcher each look we get. His strengths include a live bore-ing FB that eats up the hands of RHH and sprints away from LHH, picking up consistent whiffs in & out of the zone. This is currently a projection+athleticism type prospect who we’re expecting to make a jump in the velocity department over the next year, but he shows intriguing feel to pitch along with it. His approach to pitching is aggressive & confident, challenging hitters without leaving the ball in the middle of the zone. The SL is his go to secondary offering and he’s able to locate it for strikes to both edges and bury it in addition. Although it wasn’t as sharp as the last outing we saw, he was on a pitch count to prepare for East Coast Pro. He still threw a few sharp ones with nice shape and the sweep+depth combo and has AVG or better MLB potential in the future. The few CH he threw were very intriguing, getting 2 in zone whiffs vs R/R hitters on it at 83 mph. This highly athletic mover has a good foundation in his delivery and will make a big jump as soon as the sequencing and connection improves.

Maverick Torres RHP, 2024, Seckinger
Uncommitted. 6-foot-2, 165 pounds. As a California native, it didn’t take long for Torres to make big noise in the peach state with his special arm talent. It’s exciting to have a player of this caliber move into GA, as it seems like we typically lose a handful of good players every year to other states. Although I’ve been hearing about him for quite some time, this was my 1st official look at him. It couldn’t have been more impressive, as he started off the outing with 3 no hit innings and the K’s to match. There are many reasons to be excited about him, but what jumps out to me is the projection+delivery combo. The baby faced boss has a high waisted, rangy frame and is nowhere near his physical ceiling. His frame is built to stay lean and twitchy, and the velocity it produces is quite shocking. Maverick’s delivery is the definition of rhythm and fluidity, and they're a big reason he produces such effortless arm speed. But he wouldn’t be nearing the 90 mph mark without good timing, a well connected arm action, and vast hip/shoulder separation. He builds pace perfectly with elite balance/body control for his weight, and his ideal up+down+out phases lead to good direction & high amounts of strikes. Torres is very locked in on the hill and repeats extremely well, allowing him to consistently miss hitter’s barrels and execute pitches at a high level. The heavy FB shows plenty of life and it gets beat into the ground, helping him keep down pitch counts. His SL has tons of potential, showing tight 9-5 shape with sweep+depth.

RJ Cope LHP, 2026
, Georgia Premier
Uncommitted. 6-foot-7, 235 pounds. This mountain of a young man was back on the bump at LakePoint, but this time at 2 inches taller and a leaner build. He’s obviously put in some great work on his body, and is a much better mover now with the twitch starting to surface. The delivery creates plenty of force due to his sheer size, but now there’s explosiveness and arm speed starting to stand out. The tempo in his delivery has picked up greatly, going from slow paced throughout to a more medium tempo that builds to fast post landing. The athleticism for his size seems to be trending pretty quickly in the right direction and this is an arm whose ceiling has no end in sight. His delivery is very funky yet intimidating to hitters with the highest glove pump you’ll ever see, and he has a well above average MLB release height due to overall posture. What’s unique is that the slot is L3/4, giving his FB atypical life for a high release height so high. The biggest difference I saw in his FB was the ability to reach back for more velo on command when he needed it, as he’s always been able to locate it. As I haven’t seen him since last fall, the breaking ball has taken an enormous jump. Last fall it was easy to pick up out of hand with minimal/inconsistent shape, but it’s a much different pitch now. Now the shape is consistent with much more sweep, and absolutely disappearing depth at times. It looks to be falling down from the sky as it spins, making it very tough to track for hitters. Cope also flashed a CH and has been on a steady incline since last fall.

Bradley Anderson RHP, 2025, Silver Bluff (SC)
Uncommitted. 5-foot-11, 150 pounds. Watching “undersized” arms with incredible fast twitch fibers are always so fun to watch. Guys with smaller frames have to be extremely well connected and explosive to produce bigger outputs of velocity. After getting an extended look at him, it’s very clear that Anderson has all the traits needed to continue to climb stuff wise as he gets stronger. The delivery builds from medium to fast tempo and the hips+shoulders stay perfectly square to the plate throughout, allowing him to really feel the stretch in separation and create unreal torque in stride. His lightning quick short circle arm action (H3/4) has a textbook elbow spiral you look for, allowing the arm to stay extremely well connected to his largest muscles on the backside and move as fast & efficiently as possible. Despite the compactness in his delivery overall, he has very good posture which creates a steeper plane down in the zone (more depth on CB, FB has hop), while at the same time making it easier to locate in the upper quadrant and take advantage of his carry FB. He also has other unique traits you see in undersized hard throwers such as finishing on his toe post release. The CB has big potential and varies from 12-6 to 11-5 shape and gets freezes vs RHH. While the velo was a little down on this day, he’s been up to 90 very recently. But 90 will be a distant memory when he adds more lean muscle to the frame. 15 pounds from now, this is a mid 90’s arm who will blow hitters away and have all of college baseball talking about him. Don’t be late to the party!

Duke Stone RHP, 2024, Jeff Davis
UGA Commit. 6-foot-5, 225 pounds. It was an intriguing look on the ever projectable Stone, as he really pitches with a plan and sticks to it. That plan right now starts and finishes with his bowling ball SNK that hitters repeatedly pound into the ground. This is an enormous weapon and allows him to keep down pitch counts as well as take pressure off his secondary pitches. Duke broke 2 bats into dust on this day vs a very good lineup, and his low spin FB (1800-1900 range) is a definite rarity in this new age of spin rates that will carry him into a lengthy career. The most important part of the pitch is that he’s going to sit in the mid 90’s with it. It’s very difficult for a SNK to be dominant these days without mid 90’s velocity, and I am certain he will be able to sit there with the pitch. He is rumored to have T95 this spring, and that doesn’t surprise us for a multitude of reasons. When breaking him down - The delivery builds pace, proper hip hinge that he sits into well, creates space in separation, optimal stride length, and very good extension. He has a feel for stacking the backside but the upper half does prematurely follow the front side in stride which causes a late arm and impacts his breaking ball (FB at times). If the shoulders can be flat at landing instead of pointed south, the CB shape and overall consistency will really take off. The pitch still got some whiffs and the constant threat of his FB plays it up. He also flashed a CH in the 80 mph range that has potential. Although raw, this is a righty with insane potential and a future power SNK that can dominate games.

Reid Worley RHP, 2025, Cherokee
Kennesaw State Commit. 6-foot-3, 170 pounds. With a prototype frame, uber athletic delivery, and a deadly high spin arsenal, this is the definition of a high ceiling prospect. Reid started off this outing with a CB freeze for a strike, hammered a future power SNK low & in, and went right back to the CB to the glove side for a K looking. This is a perfect example of the uniqueness that you get with Worley as an arm. The arsenal is very unpredictable and hitters can never sit on one pitch, which brings a multitude of whiffs and freezes. What was most shocking in this 2 INN look was the development of his 3rd pitch, the CH. He was able to throw it in any count with a very similar life to the FB. It absolutely hits the brakes as it nears the zone, keeping anyone trying to sit on his FB completely off balance. The delivery is both very natural and advanced mechanically, and he continues to control his body and repeat better each time we see him. This is a player who is only at the ground floor of his eventual ceiling physicality wise, the velocity will climb each year he begins to fill into the frame. While there is plenty of rawness to his overall game, the athleticism and advanced stuff for his age put him ahead of most arms in the class. Patience is all it will take for this one to be a very intriguing draft prospect.

Michael Mullinax CF, 2024, North Cobb Christian
UGA Commit. 6-foot-1, 190 pounds. This was just another tournament of Mullinax showing his incredibly loud tools. Game after game, Michael’s raw power continues to show in the form of 2B’s/3B’s/HR’s. The trajectory of each XBH is like a plane taking off, and few can create the consistent lift that this 5 tool prodigy produces. This rare ability takes elite linear connection, the shoulders working on a diagonal plane, and the hands working close to the body (back elbow tuck, barrel layback) to match that plane. The entire industry knows about Mulli’s freakish strength, but the secret ingredients that allow him to create the optimal launch angle and perfect trajectory for HR’s are - his advanced hip timing of release points that allow him to catch the ball consistently outside his front foot. This allows his top hand to develop perfect barrel angle late in the swing at full extension (without the ball getting on him) after keeping the barrel in the zone for extended time. The way he stacks his backside and separates the stride from the rest of his body creates an uphill angle in the hips for the shoulders and swing path to mimic post layback. There are so many important traits in his swing that allow him to produce big juice, but Mullinax does it naturally without thinking. Have we talked about his 3 tools that play every day regardless of what he does at the plate? His top of scale arm, plus speed, and impressive defense really make him an impact player every inning of every game. If you blink, you truly might miss something special. For example, I was watching him play CF in the ‘22 state championship game. He made one of the best throws I’ve ever seen from the OF wall to home plate on 1 hop that had to be upper 90’s. This was after hitting 3 HR in 1 AB. He’s a smart base runner and a constant threat to steal bags. Watching him play for free seems like stealing.

Jay Abernathy Jr. SS, 2024 North Cobb
Tennessee Commit. If there’s one player in the state of Georgia that I would consider an “electric factory”, this is him. The energy he brings on the field is second to none. He plays with rhythm and quick actions in everything he does, and is an absolute blur on the field. This is an easy top of the scale runner who can truly end up off the scale in the next 2 years as he continues to sculpt strength into the frame. Not only does he cover ground quickly, but the run is powerful and he’s a ball of muscle without an ounce of fat on him. He can dominate the short game with his bunting ability and situational hitting, and anything hit on the ground has a real chance of being beat out. He has every quality you’d look for in a leadoff hitter - pitch recognition, the ability to waste pitches, advanced LC to RC approach, and the discipline to lay off pitches. Not only does Jay have incredibly quick hands, he can manipulate the barrel at an extremely high level. His path is naturally level, allowing him to make contact at a high clip. But as you see below, Abernathy is now learning how to manipulate his shoulder plane for perfect loft. As you see in the tweet below, he now has the feel to create loft. His shoulders tilt south in stride (on diagonal plane) and replace each other post landing, working on a perfect incline for his well connected swing to match. Not only did Jay Jr. hit 2 HR, but he had multiple clutch singles that changed games where he took what was given to him and didn't try to do too much. This is the advancement in him as a hitter that has us so excited, increasing his ability to hit for average. His singles are typically just as exciting as the XBH’s, as his lightning quick hands & compact stroke send lasers all over the field. He’s just as exciting in the field with instincts, aggressiveness, quick exchange, and a strong+accurate arm.

Bishop Quarles CF, 2024
Ohio State Commit. 6-foot, 170 pounds. One of the best built players for his size you’ll see, as the lengthy frame and lean muscle make him appear much bigger than he is. His ability to keep his hands inside the baseball consistently separates him from the rest of the pack. He rarely gets beat by inner half FB’s, but if he does, he’s able to manipulate the body and path (barrel inside hands until hitting zone is reached) to deflect for hits to the opposite field. Whether the pitch is in the upper/lower quadrant on the inner half, he’s able to flatten or steepen barrel angle to find holes. This is the mark of a player who will hit for average (EX: Melky Cabrera). But what he can also do that allows him to cover the entire zone with ease is front arm shrink to turn the barrel in tight space. He’s not just an all backspin LC to RC gap hitter, Quarles is able to top spin balls with authority for pull side 2B’s. There’s considerable strength projection in the frame, and I feel the bat speed will be absolutely freakish 15 lbs from now. His ability to hit baseballs to all fields with carry, and the feel to know when to sell out for top spin show me he’s going to hit for some real power production in the future. The baseball IQ and instincts stand out greatly above his peers of similar talent. Combine that with his plus speed and precise routes, and I feel this can be an A/AVG defender in CF. Not only will he save runs, but his strong, accurate arm will cut down XBH’s with regularity.

Sebastian Haggard RHP, 2024
Uncommitted. 6-foot-4, 175 pounds. What Haggard did at State Games earlier in the week was nothing short of legendary. He went from sitting 86 T88 last Saturday to sitting 88-89 T90 3x on Tuesday. We made some simple adjustments that have taken him to the next level velocity wise, and now the projection looks all that much sweeter. With his big stuff jump he goes from an under the radar mid major guy at best to a possible sleeper draft prospect who can pitch right away at a mid major. His adjustments? Tilting his shoulders gradually north at the same pace of his stride, enabling him to stack the backside so he lands in a powerful position and gives his arm time to develop. A big key to this is the lead elbow slowly climbing in stride to create a lever to pull with and match his shoulder rotation, keeping him more linear and prevent him moving away from his target. His new stack is creating more space in the arm action, is no longer jumping to the front side, and allowing him to have more posture in the lead leg. Haggard is now driving the ball downhill and taking advantage of his height, and the release height has increased drastically. Sebastian is now on top of the CB instead of his hand being below it, and is ripping the pitch with much more shape and depth overall. His incredible aptitude to make 2-3 adjustments in between starts is what’s most impressive about the entire situation. These are adjustments only a good athlete can make, and we are beyond excited to see him throw tomorrow at 1:10 pm, Field 16!

Tyrese Robinson OF, 2025
Uncommitted. 6-foot-2, 155 pounds. This rangy athlete is the definition of projection, and he’s a very natural ballplayer with solid feel to hit. The swing is level and contact oriented which you don’t typically see in a player so tall and lean. They would commonly have a steeper path and not be able to cover the entire zone vertically, but that’s not the case with Tyrese. He has a selective aggressive approach, feel to steepen the barrel, and can decelerate to get on time with offspeed pitches. Although this was our 1st look at him, he impressed in all facets of the game. It’s an A/AVG runner who looks like he can stick in CF, and the speed will continue to climb as he gets stronger. So will the raw power tool, which he showed this spring at Dublin HS with 4 HR. He can already hit for average judging by his .357 AVG as an underclassmen. This is a player who is rightfully trending up in our rankings and we will continue to bare down on him and track progression.

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