Prep Baseball Report

Georgia 2022 Rankings Update - Best of the Rest

Phil Kerber & Justin Goetz
PBR Georgia Staff

Not every good player can make the PBR Georgia top-10 like No. 7 prospect in 2019 OF Michael Harris II for example, who is now the #1 prospect in the Atlanta Braves farm system. There’s just as much talent outside the top-10 each year. Two recent notables being - No. 16 prospect in the PBR Georgia 2019 class, RHP Gavin Collyer, who signed for 575k in Rd 12 with the Texas Rangers, and No. 13 prospect in the PBR Georgia 2021 class, SS Ryan Spikes, who signed for $1,097,500 in Rd 3 with the Tampa Bay Rays. The talent in this state is so dense that less famous players are often coveted by MLB teams. It is important not to underestimate the rest of the pack, as we are evaluating many teenagers who are nowhere near their full potential physically and mentally. With that being said, here are some prospects who fall just outside the top 10.

Making one of the biggest moves in the top-25, LHP Brett Barfield (North Forsyth; Florida State) moves up to No. 11. Barfield has always been known in this class as having one of the top breaking balls. The pitch is a 1/7 curveball that has depth and major bite to it, a true swing and miss pitch. With recent reports of Barfield’s fastball clocking in in the low 90s, there will certainly be added attention on him as the spring comes to a close.

Sitting at No. 12 is RHP Matthew Hoskins (Peachtree Ridge; UGA). At 6 foot 3, 220 pounds with wide shoulders and an incredibly strong build, the best way to describe him is… beast.. A freak athlete who’s been up to 97 mph this spring, runs a 6.6, and can hit the ball a country mile. The scariest, most exciting part about Hoskins? He’s only been a pitcher since last spring and has the potential for 2 plus secondary pitches. His FB sits in the low 90’s with explosive bore, regularly touching 94. Featured a wipeout SL at 79-82 that maintained FB plane very well, dotted multiple 83-84 CH with comeback run+sink away from RHH, and threw a 74-77 CB for strikes. Athletic ability, arm speed, secondary pitches, and lack of mileage are his separators. He should garner plenty of interest on day 1 or 2.

From outside the top-30 to inside the top-15, RHP/QB1 Bryce Archie (McEachern; Coastal Carolina) is up to No. 14. A strong, durable 6-foot-3, 210-pounds, the big right-hander carries himself very well. Archie is an athlete on the mound who has always had an explosive fastball. The pitch has recently taken another big step forward, reaching mid-90s in recent months. Utilizing a short, compact arm action, he gets good extension, allowing for the pitch to play up. Archie is not a one trick pony either. He has great feel for his changeup, and a slider that flashes plus action.

Down a few spots to No. 15, RHP Luke Fernandez (West Forsyth; Oklahoma State). From his dominant East Coast Pro performance to his impressive spring numbers, there are very few arms in the southeast with this track record. From his 6 foot 2, 215 pound frame to his repeatable delivery, everything about Luke is compact. There are many pitchers at the highest level with his stocky frame that continued to increase velo, despite looking mature. He will continue to get stronger and hone in his stuff. His riding FB sits in 90-92 range regularly touching 93, and has been up to 94 this spring. Pitchability stands out in his offspeed stuff. A sharp 77-80 SL with sweep that flashes 2 plane depth, an 81-83 CH with sink+fade is thrown in any count vs RHH & LHH, and a nice low 70’s CB for strikes. Will take off at OK ST.

Arguably the state’s top hitter not named Termarr Johnson, SS Brant Baughcum (Buford; Georgia Tech) is in at No. 17. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound right-handed hitting infielder has a strong build with physical lower half and athletic hands that make him one of the state’s top pure hitters. Baughcum Keeps it relatively simple at the plate with an athletic stance, short stride and a smooth load. With advanced hand-eye and ability to recognize pitches, he can extend bats and rarely chases. What stands out the most though is how consistently he barrels the ball up and can drive to all fields with power to the gaps and pull-side. While he will more than likely be bumped to third or second at the next level, Baughcum’s bat will nonetheless force its way into the lineup.

Riding a hot air balloon up the PBR Georgia rankings as well as draft boards, is No. 21 RHP Brady Jones (Decatur; Georgia State). From touching 95 his last fall outing to touching 96 this spring, he’s proven start after start that he’s the real deal on the bump. 6 foot, 190 pounds but his arms & legs are of someone much taller. Has his dad’s frame, and can see him sitting between 210-220 when he fully matures. His FB currently sits 91-94 with vicious bore, and will likely be sitting upper when that time comes. You could easily argue he has the most raw arm speed of anyone in the class. Couple that with an 81-82 CH with run+sink that can paint both edges & tunnels off his FB perfectly, he has obvious potential for 2 plus pitches. The CB is flashing avg as well. Simply put, the dudes got helium.

Three years from now, we will not be the least bit surprised if No 22. Chandler Pollard (Woodward Academy; Washington State) is one of the top players in college baseball. There are only 2 position players in our top 50 with Chandler’s 5 tool potential, and they sit inside the Top 5. But with the most hits in all of GHSA HS baseball this year, his production is just as loud as his tools. Barreled almost every pitch he saw at our Georgia Dugout Club Tournament in February. He has incredible hand eye & timing at the plate, a short level swing, and some of the most effortless bat speed we’ve seen at the HS level. With his top of the scale speed, ability to hit for avg & power, and explosive actions at SS, the sky might not be the limit for Pollard.

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