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2018 NHSI Team Preview: Walton



USA Baseball’s annual high school tournament, the National High School Invitational, is one of the premier high school tournaments in the country and one of the biggest events on the draft schedule as well, bringing together 16 of the top teams in the country. This year’s tournament will have some of the most impressive talent in the event’s seven-year history and will take place in Cary at USA Baseball’s National Training Complex from March 28-31. Baseball America will preview teams as we lead up to the event.

Overview

Walton (Marrieta, Ga.) High joins the 2018 NHSI field as a well-known Georgia powerhouse, which has won three state championships in the state’s 7A class—the highest in the state—and has had 18 players selected in the MLB Draft since 1990.

The 2018 edition of Walton’s baseball team should add a 19th player to that list, as the team is led by lefthanded pitcher Luke Bartnicki who is one of the top lefthanders in the 2018 class. Bartnicki leads a team that has nine college commitments, including five division I commits, and has five returning players from a 2017 team that went 27-8 and won its region with an 11-4 record.

Walton has a strong rotation that could give teams trouble with the amount of lefthanded talent it has, with 2019 lefthander Jacob Baldino (committed to Virginia) right behind Bartnicki—who recently signed with Georgia Tech. With 2018 righthander Cam Bloodworth (committed to Wofford) in the fold as well, the team has returned three starting pitchers and should also be a strong club in the field defensively.

Head coach Shane Amos lost a decent number of hitters to graduation, so the lineup is a bit more of a question mark, but the talent is there on the mound to compete against anyone in the tournament.

Head Coach: Shane Amos

2017 Record: 27-8

Projected Lineup

  • C: Jack Schad (2018)
  • 1B: Luke Boynton (2019)
  • 2B: Jaeger Keeline (2018)
  • 3B: Cam Bloodworth (2018)
  • SS: Pierce Gallo (2019)
  • LF: John Giesler (2019)
  • CF: Baker Fullerton (2018)
  • RF: Bobby Spencer (2019)
  • #1 P: Luke Bartnicki (2018)
  • #2 P: Jacob Baldino (2019)
  • #3 P: Cam Bloodworth (2018)
  • #4 P: Bobby Spencer (2019)

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College Commitments: 9

Division I Commitments: 5

Returning Starters: 5

Top draft prospects

  • 2018: Luke Bartnicki
  • 2019: Luke Boynton, Pierce Gallo

Multi-Sport Athletes

  • Luke Boynton (football)
  • Luke Bartnicki (swimming)

BA 300 Prospects

  • Luke Bartnicki (59)

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