Joey Bart, Kumar Rocker Top 2018 MLB Draft Prospects From Georgia
1. Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech (BA Rank: 5)
4YR • 6-3 • 225 • R-R •
Bart became the first player ever drafted out of Buford (Ga.) High when the Rays selected him in the 27th round of the 2015 draft, but Bart chose to instead attend Georgia Tech, following in the footsteps of major league backstops like Jason Varitek and Matt Wieters. Since then, Bart has established himself as the top catcher in the 2018 class by a wide margin and there are more than a few people wondering if he’s the best catcher to come through the program—high praise considering the talent and major league success of Varitek and Wieters. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Bart has all the tools necessary to become an above-average defensive catcher at the pro level. He has a strong arm that’s at least above-average and likely plus, as well as strong and quiet hands, footwork that’s online to his target during throws and exceptional game-calling abilities for an amateur. Prior to this spring, scouts questioned Bart’s effort behind the dish, but the recent feedback has been exceptional. When he’s locked in and focused, he looks the part. Offensively, Bart has plus raw power to all fields and has a solid track record in the ACC, hitting 13 home runs during his sophomore season and hitting 11 home runs through his first 37 games this spring. Bart also has a solid wood bat track record, hitting .309/.389/.433 with two home runs in the Cape Cod League in 2016, which should help ease the worries of teams who might knock him for a poor summer in 2017, when he was dealing with a groin injury while playing for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team. Bart does have a history of striking out a bit too much, and most evaluators put the hit tool at fringe-average at best, but the combination of his defensive tools and his ability to get to his power in-game at a position that is incredibly scarce should have him flying off the board early.
2. Kumar Rocker, RHP, North Oconee HS, Bogart, Ga. (BA Rank: 13)
HS • 6-4 • 240 • R-R •
Rocker is one of the most well-known prep names in the 2018 high school class thanks to exceptional stuff—headlined by a fastball that routinely reaches 98 mph—and a physically imposing 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame. Despite his big build, Rocker is athletic for his size and has the bloodlines to back it up, as his father, Tracy, played football at Auburn before a brief NFL career with the Washington Redskins. When it comes to pure stuff, there’s perhaps no pitcher in the high school class who can match Rocker pitch for pitch. His fastball is regularly in the low to mid-90s and reaches the upper levels when he needs it. The pitch is delivered with such ease that is sometimes looks like he’s just playing catch. After that, Rocker has a pair of secondary offerings that have both looked plus, with a power breaking ball—some scouts call it a curve and some dub it a slider—that’s hard and tight in the low to mid-80s with late-breaking action. Rocker’s changeup is firm and has been up to 91 mph this spring, with fading action that allows the pitch to fall off the table at its best. Just grading out the tools, Rocker should be the top high school player in the class, but he got hit around more than his stuff would indicate last summer, especially when his fastball flattened out and stayed up in the zone. Some evaluators wonder if he just lacks deception and whether adding a two-seam fastball with more movement would help him down the road. The reports from his spring season with North Oconee High in Bogart, Ga., have all been exceptional and while he did deal with a minor hamstring injury that pushed back one of his starts, Rocker has done everything evaluators wanted him to do. Moving forward, the Vanderbilt commit needs to be on top of managing his weight as a bigger-bodied pitcher and he’ll need to take steps forward with the command of his entire repertoire once he gets to levels where his stuff alone isn’t overwhelming. Overall, Rocker has the elements to be a future front-of-the-rotation arm and should be a first-round pick.
3. Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central HS, Cumming, Ga. (BA Rank: 18)
HS • 6-6 • 215 • R-R •
Perhaps the most perplexing player in the 2018 draft class, Hankins entered the year with a real shot to become the first prep righthander ever selected with the No. 1 overall pick. The lanky and athletic 6-foot-6 Vanderbilt commit wowed scouts over the summer, when he regularly used a 70-grade fastball in the low to mid-90s that got up to 97-98 mph at its best with elite life and advanced command for his age. Before Hankins began his senior season with Forsyth Central High (Cumming, Ga.), many evaluators expected Hankins to throw into the triple digits. A shoulder injury interrupted his season, however, and while he made his way back to the mound the stuff was not the same. During the showcase circuit with USA Baseball’s 18U National Team, Hankins struck out 27 international batters and walked three in 12 innings. In general, Hankins’ velocity has been down this spring, although he has still reached 96 mph and scouts have still seen some of the plus fastball life that made the pitch such a weapon in the past. Prior to the season, scouting directors voted Hankins as having the best fastball and best fastball movement in BA’s Preseason All-America poll, where he also was named a unanimous first-team pitcher. Hankins has exceptional athleticism and body control, allowing him to spot his fastball and secondary offerings more effectively than a typical prep pitcher at his height and with his velocity. His mid-70s curveball has been inconsistent, likely a fringe offering at its best, though he occasionally snapped off a few plus offerings, with a low-80s changeup that’s in the same boat. Hankins has tinkered with a slider in the past and multiple evaluators believe that will be the breaking ball he ends up developing in the future thanks to his arm slot. But for now, teams are still evaluating and projecting his curveball as well. Hankins’ medical will be crucial in determining his eventual landing spot in the draft, though when he first went down in February, some decision-makers thought he would still go in the top of the first round even if he never came back to throw another pitch. He has returned to the mound, however, and while the stuff hasn’t come all the way back, he’s at least showing teams he can throw regularly. When healthy, Hankins has the potential to be a true frontline starter and would rank as the top high school pitcher in the 2018 class, but his spring has created more questions than answers.
4. Cole Wilcox, RHP, Heritage HS, Ringgold, Ga. (BA Rank: 37)
HS • 6-5 • 220 • R-R •
One of the many talented prep righthanders out of Georgia this year, Wilcox is a projectable, 6-foot-5 Georgia commit who has a solid low to mid-90s fastball with natural running action and a slider that could develop into a plus offering. He also possess a low to mid-80s changeup that could be an above-average pitch in the future. Wilcox has impressive makeup and throws a ton of strikes, leading some scouts to believe that he could turn into a middle-of-the-rotation starter someday with three above-average pitches. The concern with Wilcox is in regards to his delivery. He throws from a low, three-quarter arm slot with some funk and recoil in his finish and a deep arm action in the back, which raises his chances of eventually having to slide to the bullpen. The stuff has been good though, and Wilcox’s slider has even been a tick sharper this spring. He has a lot of projection left to offer as well, with an ideal pitcher’s frame at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds. He should be an attractive arm for a team who believes they can clean up the delivery and continue to develop him as a starter.
5. Anthony Seigler, C, Cartersville (Ga.) HS (BA Rank: 41)
HS • 5-11 • 200 • B-B •
Seigler is one of the more interesting players in the class as a switch-hitting catcher who can also get on the mound and throw in the upper 80s with either his right or left arm. Seigler throws a changeup from the left side and changes his arm slot, while he can reach 92 mph from the right side to go along with a slider. While he could wind up being one of the most impactful college players in the country at Florida as a catcher, righthander and lefthander, Seigler’s pro future is behind the plate. He is an impressive receiver and has a strong throwing arm, with pop times that hover around 2.00 seconds in-game. Some scouts see him as a better defensive catcher than Will Banfield thanks to his receiving, and Seigler did start most of USA Baseball’s 18U Team games over Banfield in the U-18 World Cup. While he doesn’t have plus power from either side of the plate, Seigler has hit well at every level and has more than enough juice and feel to hit to rack up plenty of doubles. There might not be any one plus tool with Seigler, but he does everything well and scouts rave about his makeup and personality, as he is consistently referred to as one of the toughest players in the prep class.
6. Will Banfield, C, Brookwood HS, Snellville, Ga. (BA Rank: 49)
HS • 6-0 • 200 • R-R •
The top high school catcher in the class, Banfield has some of the best defensive potential of any prep catcher of the last few years. The Vanderbilt commit was unanimously voted as the top defensive catcher in the class by major league scouting directors in BA’s Preseason High School All-America poll and also took home the honors for having the best arm among high school catchers. Banfield has at least a plus arm—some scouts have gone higher and called it plus-plus—with loose hips and impressive flexibility behind the plate that allow him to frame low pitches effectively and also help his quick lateral movement on balls in the dirt. With strong forearms and above-average hands, Banfield has all the tools necessary to become a plus defensive catcher, and he’s been working with elite prep arms like Ethan Hankins and Kumar Rocker since he was around 14 years old. Banfield’s bat is what could push him from a backup catcher profile to a potential star, as he has above-average bat speed and plus raw power to the pull side, though there are real swing and miss concerns that followed Banfield throughout the summer. There were reports that his swing was a bit more direct to the ball in the spring, but he’ll need time to figure out hitting at the pro level while also trying to work with a entire pitching staff. Banfield should be able to manage a staff well, however, with impressive maturity, makeup and leadership skills.
7. Parker Meadows, OF, Grayson (Ga.) HS (BA Rank: 56)
HS • 6-4 • 195 • L-R •
The younger brother of current Pirates prospect Austin Meadows, Parker doesn’t have the same hype coming out of Georgia that his older brother did as a high schooler in 2013, but as a 6-foot-4 outfielder with a bevy of tools he still has a lot of teams interested. Meadows is a plus runner out of the box and better underway in center field, with plus raw power and a plus arm. As a long-armed lefthanded hitter with a hitch in his swing, his contact and hit tool have been questioned in the past, although he has hit against solid Georgia competition this spring. Regardless, Meadows will likely need to iron out some timing issues that coincide with his long swing once he reaches the professional ranks. If a team believes in Meadows’ ability to hit, then they are dreaming on a potential All-Star with tools across the board and the ability to stick in center field.
8. Luke Bartnicki, LHP, Walton HS, Marietta, Ga. (BA Rank: 112)
HS • 6-3 • 210 • L-L •
Bartnicki has an interesting background as an athlete who developed a reputation as an impressive swimmer before he began to progress on the baseball field. A 6-foot-3, 210-pound lefthander, Bartnicki brings physicality to the mound and a broad frame unusual for a swimmer of his caliber, but one that is perfect for a durable arm on the mound. The Georgia Tech commit has reached the mid-90s in shorter stints, but mostly sits in the 89-92 mph range, with natural arm-side run and sink on his fastball from a lower three-quarter arm slot. He has a slider that’s been inconsistent this spring, looking like an above-average pitch with late-breaking action at times but also backing up and showing well below-average with poor spin and bite. He’s shown solid feel for a low- to mid-80s changeup as well that should become an average offering. Bartnicki has a slightly unorthodox delivery that can get out of sync at times but also leads to above-average deception and helps his fastball play up. The southpaw has a lot of exciting ingredients, such as his size, strength and athleticism. He could take huge steps forward as he gains consistency with his secondaries and refines his delivery.
9. Taj Bradley, RHP, Redan HS, Stone Mountain, Ga. (BA Rank: 146)
HS • 6-3 • 215 • R-R •
A Georgia pop-up player, Bradley is tremendously young for the 2018 class. Born in March 2001, Bradley oozes upside in part because of his youth, as well as his 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame, physicality and athleticism. One of the more raw pitchers in the class, Bradley has played a lot of outfield but is newer to the mound, where he has a higher upside in pro ball. He throws in the low 90s and gets up to 93 mph at times, but his curveball is presently below-average and certainly a work in progress. A South Carolina commit, Bradley has been crosschecked regularly this spring and also pitched in a prominent late spring showcase with several Georgia players, including Ethan Hankins. A team will have to dream on his secondaries and overall polish, but Bradley is young enough to get more leeway and has exciting potential that could prevent him from getting to the Gamecocks.
10. Austin Cox, LHP, Mercer (BA Rank: 212)
4YR • Jr. • 6-3 • 205 • L-L •
A 6-foot-3, 205-pound lefthander with a pair of above-average breaking balls, Cox has posted big strikeout rates for Mercer in the Southern Conference. However, he’s been hit regularly and has a poor statistical record outside of the strikeout numbers. A firm slider is his most consistent breaking pitch and it’s a current above-average offering, although at times he can get around the side of the ball. Cox also has curveball with more 1-to-7 shape that he gets on top of more regularly and with his arm slot, might be the best pitch for him in the future. Cox has been up to 94 mph this spring with his fastball, but that’s more of an average pitch that ticks lower as he gets deeper into games. Cox also has feel for a solid changeup. The stuff is all there for an interesting back-end starter, but Cox has some work to do in his delivery. He gets rotational at times and also cuts himself in his landing. He’s athletic enough to make the adjustments, but teams might also be leery of a small-school pitcher without much track record of success—elite strikeout rate or not.
11. Justin Wrobleski, LHP, Sequoyah HS, Canton, Ga. (BA Rank: 215)
HS • - 6-2 • 180 • L-L •
An athletic lefthander, Wrobleski has solid strike-throwing ability with a fastball that’s mostly in the 88-92 mph range and a sharp slider. His fastball has been up to 94 mph at its peak, but it’s currently more of a fringe-average offering. His slider is his out-pitch—a low-80s breaking ball with late-biting action that was responsible for most of his strikeouts during the summer showcase circuit and is a 55-grade offering. At 6-foot-2, Wrobleski has a slightly lanky frame that can add more weight. He throws from an easy, three-quarter to low three-quarter arm slot, occasionally falling off to the third base side in his landing. Without a plus pitch, Wrobleski could end up at Clemson, where he’ll have a chance to dramatically improve his stock thanks to his tough, competitive mentality on the mound and his remaining projection.
12. Kendall Logan Simmons, 3B/SS, Tattnall Square Academy, Macon, Ga. (BA Rank: 226)
HS • 6-3 • 190 • R-R •
Something of a split-camp player, Simmons has a few plus tools including 60-grade raw power and a plus arm, but teams are mixed on his ability to stick at shortstop, as well as his feel to hit. He had a poor summer with a lot of swing and miss, but when Simmons does connect with balls they go a long ways and he’s driven homers with authority in front of the right people at times. The power comes more from natural strength than twitchiness, which doesn’t ease the concerns that he’ll always swing and miss too much to get the most of his juice in-game. Defensively, Simmons has solid hands and defensive actions but again, he’s not super twitchy and he’s just an average runner, leading many teams to look at him as a third baseman. His spring was inconsistent and he’d occasionally start to barrel balls all over the field, but scouts would also leave fields wondering if he would ever hit, in part because the competition he’s facing is not great. There’s a good chance Simmons gets drafted higher than his ranking as some teams think he’s a shortstop with a plus arm, plus power and a chance to hit while an equal amount see a third baseman with raw power but no way to get to it consistently.
13. Cooper Stinson, RHP, Norcross (Ga.) HS (BA Rank: 229)
HS • 6-6 • 240 • R-R •
The younger brother of Graeme, a flamethrowing sophomore reliever for Duke, Stinson is a big, 6-foot-6, 240 pound righty out of Georgia who’s made big strides in the last year. Previously a soft bodied pitcher in the 88-90 mph range with mediocre spin, Stinson popped a bit at Perfect Game’s World Wood Bat Association World Championship, where he was in the 90-93 mph range and showed feel for an average slider. This spring he’s touched 94 mph and he routinely shows a power slider that in the mid 80s that looks like a future plus pitch. On top of that, Stinson also has a split-change that he breaks out occasionally and also has the look of a 60-grade offering. With a clean arm action and above-average body control, Stinson is an appealing and projectable arm who should be throwing in the mid 90s with more regularity in the future thanks to a strong arm and big frame. A team might like that overall package now, but he could easily get to Duke, where he will work on improving his command and poise on the mound, and attempt to gain consistency that he currently lacks.
14. Christopher Williams, OF/LHP, River Ridge HS, Woodstock, Ga. (BA Rank: 258)
HS • 6-1 • 195 • L-L •
Williams is an interesting two-way player who most teams prefer as a hitter because of his extremely loose hands and average raw power at the plate, as well as his plus arm in the outfield. A Florida International commit, Williams is still raw at the plate, but his bat speed and the looseness of his swing have scouts and crosscheckers alike excited for his future potential. Most of his power is of the doubles variety presently, although he has hit several home runs to right-center, which helps when projecting his power in the future. An average runner, Williams profiles best as a corner outfielder, where his arm is strong enough to play in right field. Evaluators are mixed on his potential on the mound, with some scouts giving him a fringe-average fastball grade with a promising slider that cuts in on lefthanded hitters. Others say Williams’ fastball is poor with a fringe-average delivery and strike-throwing ability.
15. Keegan McGovern, OF/1B, Georgia (BA Rank: 282)
4YR • Sr. • 6-2 • 220 • L-R •
A four-year starter with Georgia, McGovern had a breakout season this spring and hit .324/.442/.627 with 14 home runs and 12 doubles. He was named a first-team all-SEC player for his performance. That effort comes on the heels of a solid, yet unspectacular junior campaign when McGovern had 14 multi-hit games but just a pair of home runs. With McGovern’s above-average raw power beginning to show in games, teams could think of him as a quality senior sign. He has little track record with a wood bat, however, and he will be limited to a corner outfield position in pro ball. During McGovern’s one summer in the Cape Cod League in 2016, he hit just .156/.301/.312, though he is a completely different hitter nearly two years later. McGovern has battled back injuries throughout his time with Georgia, including a brief spell this spring, but he’s played at least 48 games in each of his four seasons at Georgia.
16. Lawrence Butler, OF, Westlake HS, Atlanta (BA Rank: 332)
HS • 6-4 • 192 • L-R •
Butler is a powerful, 6-foot-4 outfielder who is young for the class and fairly raw at the plate. He brings plus raw power to the table, however, and has loose wrists with a solid feel to get the bat on the baseball. His pitch selection and timing at the plate is raw, and while Buter is playing center field now, he’s like a corner outfielder in the future. He’s an above-average runner with an athletic body that should allow him to continue adding more strength and power. A West Virginia commit, Butler is considered singable and many teams have had scouting directors and national cross-checkers in to see him this spring.
17. Reese Olson, RHP, North Hall HS, Gainesville, Ga. (BA Rank: 336)
HS • 6-1 • 155 • R-R •
A 6-foot-1, 155-pound righthander, Olson pitches above his size, sitting in the 90-94 mph range this spring thanks to an extremely fast arm. He also gets good life on the pitch. Because of his frame and the fact that he’s a prep righthander, many teams will be out on Olson entirely, but he’s a solid athlete, throws strikes and also has shown an above-average curveball and changeup—though both pitches are inconsistent. A Georgia Tech commit, Olson is considered signable and might not make it to campus with several teams very much in on him.
18. Carter Raffield, RHP, Bleckley County HS, Cochran, Ga. (BA Rank: 341)
HS • 6-4 • 215 • R-R •
A 6-foot-4, 215-pound righthander who’s shown electric stuff in the past, Raffield dealt with an injury this spring, which might clear a path to Clemson, where he is committed. When healthy, Raffield has been up to 94 mph with excellent feel to spin a downer, 12-to-6 curveball. Scouts like his feel for a changeup as well and think it could be a plus pitch for him in the future. There are some things to clean up in Raffield’s delivery, including significant head whack and recoil in his finish, but he has a terrific frame, strength and the athleticism to dream on.
19. Ben Harris, LHP/OF, Milton (Ga.) HS (BA Rank: 364)
HS • 6-1 • 185 • L-L •
A participant in the 2017 Under Armour All-America Game, Harris is an impressive two-way player with three pitches that have a chance to be average or slightly above-average and a strong lefthanded bat. A Virginia commit, Harris has a chance to follow in the shoes of Adam Haseley and impact the Cavaliers as a middle-of-the-order hitter and on the mound. When on the rubber, Harris has been up to 91-92 mph and throws from a clean, repeatable, high three-quarter slot. He sat mostly in the upper 80s and low 90s with his fastball over the summer, but this spring was frequently in the mid-80s. In addition to his fastball, Harris throws a mid-70s, 12-to-6 curveball and a low-80s changeup. He has solid feel for both pitches and gets on top of his breaking ball consistently.
20. Kelvin Smith Jr., SS, Redan HS, College Park, Ga. (BA Rank: 368)
HS • 6-0 • 185 • R-R •
A Missouri commit, Smith Jr. shows all of the actions and tools necessary to stick at shortstop, although he still needs some additional reps and added polish. He has average arm strength and solid-average footwork to go along with quick hands and the ability to make plays on the run and throw from multiple slots. He tends to play with flair at times, which showcases his natural ability but also leads to fairly routine errors. Offensively, Smith Jr. has plus bat speed and at least average raw power. He’s also an above-average runner and has the work ethic needed to make adjustments going forward.
21. Jarrett Ford, SS/2B, Decatur HS, Decatur, Ga. (BA Rank: 377)
HS • 5-10 • 170 • R-R •
A small middle infielder, Ford has a lot of strength in his 5-foot-10, 170-pound frame with wiry forearms that lead to more pop than expected. A Florida International commit, Ford is likely a second baseman because of his below-average arm, but he is twitchy in the field with impressive glove work, good balance and the ability to make accurate throws. Offensively, Ford operates with a crouched stance and sprays hard line drives from gap-to-gap. While he doesn’t have plus power, he should have enough pop to leave the yard from time to time. Ford is an above-average runner.
22. Isaiah Byars, SS, Parkview HS, Lilburn, Ga. (BA Rank: 380)
HS • 6-1 • 180 • R-R •
One of the best shortstops in Georgia, Byars is an Alabama commit with quick, above-average hands and smooth defensive actions. He has fringe-average arm strength, but it’s more than enough to make throws across the diamond thanks to his solid footwork and ability to work behind the ball. An above-average runner, Byars has a clean swing and shows good balance at the plate. He’s got an athletic, projectable body and should continue to add strength that could help him improve both his arm strength and raw power, the latter of which is currently below-average.
23. Caberea Weaver, OF, South Gwinnett HS, Snellville, Ga. (BA Rank: 393)
HS • 6-3 • 180 • R-R •
A plus runner, Weaver is an athletic, wiry outfielder with impressive athleticism that should allow him to become an above-average defender in center field. There is a lot of rawness in Weaver’s current game, both offensively and defensively. At the plate, Weaver has a whippy, quick bat and present strength that should continue to improve as he fills out a thin, 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame. There are some moving parts and length to his swing, however, and the questions surrounding his hit tool have gone unanswered this spring. Additionally, Weaver is a better runner underway than he is from home to first, with more average run times to the bag than you would expect given his natural speed. A team high on his tools could try to sign him out of his Georgia commitment, but there’s a lot of polish necessary to project Weaver becoming anything more than a future fourth outfielder.
24. David Hollie, OF/1B/3B, Cross Creek HS, Augusta, Ga. (BA Rank: 400)
HS • 6-3 • 210 • R-R •
Listed at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Hollie performed well against some of the best competition in the 2018 prep class over the summer, including an East Coast Pro appearance where he barreled a pitch from Ohio righthander Austin Becker. Hollie sets up with his hands slightly below his shoulders and transfers his weight back into his load with a toe tap before driving the ball with a downhill bat path and solid bat speed. With a few changes to his setup—including a more level or uphill bat path—Hollie could unlock more power with a chance for above-average raw power because of his present physicality. There is some current stiffness to his game and he profiles best as a corner outfielder.
25. Tristin English, 1B/RHP, Georgia Tech (BA Rank: 415)
4YR • RS-So. • 6-3 • 214 • R-R •
English was named first team all-ACC and selected to the all-ACC freshman team in 2016, when he hit .315/.351/.477 while starting 58 games—including 52 at first base—for the Yellow Jackets. English has shown the ability to hit and he has some raw power at the plate, although he’s proven to be interesting on the mound as well. After missing the entire 2017 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, English has thrown 51 innings as a starter and reliever with Georgia Tech in 2018. He’s posted a 4.59 ERA with 43 strikeouts and 12 walks. He has an average fastball in the 90-92 mph range, a mid-70s, get-me-over curveball, a mid-80s breaking ball that blends between a slider and cutter and a low-80s changeup with arm-side sinking action. Nothing in his pitching repertoire is above-average or plus, but he’s shown solid strike-throwing ability with his entire arsenal. His loudest tool is his power, and he has more collegiate success with the bat than he has on the mound, but a team could expect reasonable gains on either side once he focuses exclusively on hitting or pitching in pro ball.
26. Brian Eichhorn, RHP, Georgia Southern (BA Rank: 417)
4YR • Jr. • 6-0 • 205 • R-R •
Georgia Southern’s Friday night starter, Eichhorn jumped into a regular starting role since his freshman year with the Eagles and is coming off his best season this spring. In 14 starts and 88.2 innings of work, Eichhorn posted a career-best 3.15 ERA with 106 strikeouts and 29 walks. Eichhorn pitches off of a fastball in the 90-93 mph range that plays up thanks to his exceptional command of the pitch. He’s never walked more than 3 batters per nine innings over the course of a season and also had an impressive 29.2-inning stint in the Cape Cod League last summer where he struck out 25 batters to five walks, with a 3.34 ERA. Eichhorn also throws a fringe-average changeup, but he’ll need to develop a usable breaking ball to have sustained success in the pro game. His curveball is below-average currently and gets slurvy so adding a slider or even a splitter or cutter given his fastball command might help round out his repertoire.
27. Michael Curry, OF/DH, Georgia (BA Rank: 420)
4YR • Jr. • 5-11 • 212 • R-R •
Curry is a powerful, righthanded bat who’s had three straight double-digit home run seasons with Georgia and this spring hit .327/.403/.505 with 10 home runs. After starting 43 games at catcher as a freshman, Curry has transitioned into a primary DH role with the Bulldogs the last two seasons, and some teams might be out on him entirely thanks to his lack of a defensive home. He’s most likely a corner outfielder or a designated hitter, which puts significant pressure on his bat—though he has plus raw power. He’s a short, squatty hitter who gets out on his front foot at times and also swings and misses—his strikeout rate is right around 20 percent for his career—but he did show impressive plate discipline in the Cape Cod League last summer, with 23 walks and 14 strikeouts in 33 games. Curry is also lauded for his impressive makeup.
28. Connor Pavolony, C, River Ridge HS, Woodstock, Ga. (BA Rank: 429)
HS • 6-0 • 185 • R-R •
A 6-foot, 185-pound catcher committed to Tennessee, Pavolony showed off some exciting tools over the summer, including above-average bat speed and raw power. Pavolony sets up with a slightly wide stance at the plate and generates power with a sharp leg kick and aggressive weight transfer that could create timing issues in the future. Despite those moving parts, he’s shown an impressive ability to sync everything up and backspin the baseball regularly. Behind the plate, Pavolony has plus arm strength but needs to clean up his footwork and improve his accuracy.
29. Ryan Bliss, SS, Troup County HS, LaGrange, Ga. (BA Rank: 450)
HS • 5-9 • 165 • R-R •
A small, righthanded hitting shortstop, Bliss has terrific hands and impressive footwork that gives him a chance to be an above-average up-the-middle defender, though his arm strength might be best suited for second base at the next level. He’s also an above-average runner. At the plate, Bliss has a simple and compact swing and shows good natural rhythm and timing, though his size might prevent him from having significant impact or power potential. Committed to Auburn, Bliss could follow in the path of many other small college players who improved their draft stock significantly by performing on both sides of the ball in a Power 5 conference.
30. Robert Broom, RHP, Mercer (BA Rank: 453)
4YR • Jr. • 6-1 • 180 • R-R •
A sidearm righthander out of Mercer, Broom is an unconventional pro prospect but should get drafted because of his incredible effectiveness, as well as his three-year track record in the Southern Conference. He has been the Bears’ relief ace since 2016, and in three years he has compiled 260 strikeouts and just 69 walks in 194 innings. Broom throws in the upper 80s with an immensely low arm slot and—true to his name—has a sweeping slider that is a nightmare for righthanded hitters. To his credit, Broom has also been effective against lefthanded hitters, striking out 36.9 percent of the lefties he has faced in 2018. A changeup that moves away from lefthanded hitters helps him avoid damaging platoon splits, but his slider has also been useful against both righties and lefties. Broom is more than just a one-inning reliever, as 21 of his 28 appearances this spring have lasted longer than one inning.
31. Davis Sharpe, RHP/3B, Mill Creek HS, Hoschton, Ga. (BA Rank: 479)
HS • 6-4 • 205 • R-R •
A 6-foot-4, 205-pound righthander with a fringe-average, 88-91 mph fastball and a lights-out curveball, Sharpe has been difficult for scouts to see this spring. Pitching on Friday nights in high school is a challenge in general, and that’s especially the case in a loaded year for Georgia pitchers. Sharpe also hasn’t been fully healthy this spring. He has, however, been around the national circuit for awhile and has shown tremendous feel to spin a breaking ball since he was 15 years old. It’s a sweeping, mid-70s breaking ball that gets slurvy at times but shows occasional two-plane breaking action. Sharpe also throws a changeup in the low 80s. His arm action leaves something to be desired, with a high back elbow and violence throughout his delivery.
32. Kevin Smith, LHP, Georgia (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr. • 6-5 • 224 • L-L •
A funky, 6-foot-5 lefthander, Smith has an interesting three pitch mix including a fastball in the upper 80s, a sharp slider and a fringe-average changeup. He's got a long arm action that adds to his deception and allows his otherwise vanilla stuff to play up. He posted a 3.17 ERA through 59.2 innings this spring splitting time between starting and relieving.
33. Noah Bryant, RHP, Georgia Highlands JC (BA Rank: N/A)
JC • 6-3 • 200 • R-R •
Bryant has been up to 97 mph at times late this spring, with solid life on his fastball. His slider is raw, but shows occassional flashes, and Bryant might have some more upside than the typical arm as a converted catcher out of high school.
34. Nick Gatewood, C, Georgia State (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Jr.
34. Grant Williams, 2B, Kennesaw State (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • 5-9 • 155 • L-R •
35. Joey Demasi, SS, Georgia Highlands JC (BA Rank: N/A)
36. Kel Johnson, OF/1B, Georgia Tech (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Sr.
37. Mark Mixon, RHP, South Georgia State JC (BA Rank: N/A)
JC • So.
38. Cameron Hearn, OF, Georgia Highlands JC (BA Rank: N/A)
39. Wade Bailey, INF, Georgia Tech (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • Sr.
40. A.J. Moore, RHP, Kennesaw State (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • 6-4 • 210 • R-R •
41. Zackary Miller, OF, Georgia Highlands JC (BA Rank: N/A)
42. Keyshawn Askew, LHP, McEachern HS, Powder Springs, Ga. (BA Rank: N/A)
43. Drew Hamrock, C, Milton (Ga.) HS (BA Rank: N/A)
44. Will Shirah, LHP/OF, Fannin County HS, Blue Ridge, Ga. (BA Rank: N/A)
45. Jonathan Hughes, RHP, Georgia Tech (BA Rank: N/A)
4YR • RS. So.
46. Devin Warner, SS, Cartersville (Ga.) HS (BA Rank: N/A)
47. Makenzie Stills, RHP/MIF, Fayette County HS, Fayetteville, Ga. (BA Rank: N/A)
48. Jared Hart, OF, Lassiter HS, Marietta, Ga. (BA Rank: N/A)
49. Nick Swanson, RHP/C/1B, Mount Paran Christian HS, Kennesaw, Ga. (BA Rank: N/A)
50. Andrew Moore, RHP, Jackson (Ga.) HS (BA Rank: N/A)
51. Bay Witcher, RHP/1B/OF, Loganville (Ga.) HS (BA Rank: N/A)
52. Tanner Green, OF, Loganville (Ga.) HS (BA Rank: N/A)
53. David Smith, C, Allatoona HS, Acworth, Ga. (BA Rank: N/A)
54. Trevon Flowers, SS, Tucker (Ga.) HS (BA Rank: N/A)
54. Jack Alexander, C, Mount Paran Christian HS, Kennesaw, Ga. (BA Rank: N/A)
55. Hayden Milling, OF, King's Ridge Christian HS, Alpharetta, Ga. (BA Rank: N/A)
56. Jaree Pledger, OF, Georgia Highlands JC (BA Rank: N/A)
57. Michael Wein, 3B/OF, Kings Ridge Christian HS, Alpharetta, Ga. (BA Rank: N/A)
58. Holton McGaha, LHP/OF, Madison County HS, Danielsville, Ga. (BA Rank: N/A)
59. Jack Friedman, RHP, Paideia HS, Atlanta (BA Rank: N/A)
60. Kennedy Norton, RHP/3B, Home schooled (BA Rank: N/A)
61. Logan Cerny, C, Parkview HS, Lilburn, Ga. (BA Rank: N/A)
62. Michael Trautwein, C, Northview HS, Johns Creek, Ga. (BA Rank: N/A)