Baseball America on Tech’s Georgia Draft Prospects

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9. Kyle McCann, C, Georgia Tech (BA RANK:135)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 217 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

After producing the No. 2 pick (Joey Bart) in the 2018 draft a season ago, Georgia Tech again has a talented junior catcher in the form of McCann. McCann played mostly first base and was used as a DH during his sophomore season while Bart handled the catching duties, but he hit an impressive .300/.423/.600 with 15 home runs. This spring, McCann has taken over as the starting catcher for the Yellow Jackets and continued to post big power numbers, hitting 22 home runs through his first 54 games of the season—ranking fifth in the country among Division I hitters. He also has a walk rate hovering 21 percent, which ranks among the top 10 in the country. McCann has easy plus raw power from the left side, with a strong 6-foot-2, 217-pound frame, a low handset in his load and a swing that’s geared toward fly balls. McCann has a chance to be a fringe-average hitter, and his production in the ACC is impressive, but scouts wonder how well his approach will translate with a wood bat due to his high strikeout numbers and overall middling summer last year in the Cape Cod League. There, McCann hit .219/.309/.344 and struck out 36 times (32.7 percent) compared to 13 walks (11.8 percent) in 34 games. Defensively, McCann has above-average arm strength, but he needs to improve across the board to stick behind the plate at the next level. He’s slow behind the dish and doesn’t move well from side to side, while his release comes with plenty of length and his footwork needs refinement as well. McCann could go early on Day 2 if a team believes he has a chance to catch and his power is legitimate, but if he is forced to move off the position and slide over to first base his overall profile will take a significant hit.

10. Zachary Maxwell, RHP, North Paulding HS, Dallas, Ga. (BA RANK: 138)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-6 • Wt: 245 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Georgia Tech

A physical righthander with a big, 6-foot-6, 245-pound frame, Maxwell showed arm strength over the summer and got into the low 90s with questionable control. This spring, that velocity has ticked up in a big way, and he’s been as high as 98 mph out of a low, three-quarter arm slot. Something of a split-camp prospect, some teams are in heavily on Maxwell and like him as high as the second or third round thanks to his arm strength and improved secondaries that include a curveball, slider and changeup. Others are more worried about his below-average athleticism and high-maintenance body, as well as the scattered and inconsistent strike-throwing ability he has shown this spring. He has 30-grade control at this point and will need to improve the consistency of his release point moving forward to take advantage of his natural arm strength. If a team believes they can make a few mechanical tweaks and refine his control, they are looking at a righthander who could easily touch triple digits in the future, while those more skeptical will be content to let him get to Georgia Tech and prove it in college.

16. Tres Gonzalez, OF, Mount Vernon Presbyterian HS, Atlanta (BA RANK: 245)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 165 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Georgia Tech

A 6-foot, 165-pound outfielder committed to Georgia Tech, Gonzalez is a plus runner who’s other tools are closer to average. He’s a sound player with good makeup, a line drive swing and good route-running in center field. With solid athleticism and impressive makeup, many area scouts are fond of Gonzalez, though some wonder if he has enough tools to buy out of high school with his current physicality and lack of impact. He does have good contact ability and you could dream on his power potential in the future with increased muscle gains, but he’s a player who could make it to campus, play well and improve his stock in three years.

22. Chase Murray, OF, Georgia Tech (BA RANK: 308)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 188 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

A talented hitter dating back to his days in high school, Murray had a strong sophomore season that featured a .343/.410/.510 slash line before he impressed last summer in the Cape Cod League. There, Murray played center field and hit .317/.363/.446 with a pair of home runs. At that point, Murray was starting to look like an early day two pick, thanks to his hitting ability and plus speed. This spring has been tougher for Murray, who’s hit just .238/.297/.357 through 26 games. He missed time in the middle of the season with an injury. With well below-average power in a 6-foot, 188-pound frame, scouts wonder if Murray has the impact ability to be an everyday player. His spring season will cast even more doubt onto that, but he has history of good performance against solid competition.

23. Tristin English, RHP/OF, Georgia Tech (BA RANK: 330)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 208 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Indians ’15 (39)

English is a 6-foot-3, 208-pound two-way player that shows impact on both sides of the ball. While he hasn’t collected many strikeouts this spring, English has good stuff on the mound. He shows good control with his fastball that sits in the low-90s and tops out at 96 mph out of the bullpen. He also has a slider with a short break and curveball that has good downward tilt. He isn’t deceptive, but generates soft contact. English shows the ability to play an average outfield in addition to pitching. He shows plus power but has some swing and miss tendencies as well, though he significantly cut his strikeout rate from the 2018 season and had a career-best year with the bat, hitting .324/.414/.688 with 15 home runs. English pitched and hit in the Cape Cod League last summer and did well on both sides of the ball. He’s done enough with the bat that scouts think he can be an average hitter with plus raw power. English clearly makes the most of his athleticism, yet scouts are divided as to whether he’s a hitter or a pitcher at the next level. Scouts have seen enough progress with English in the outfield to think he has a chance to play a corner spot or first, defensively.

25. Connor Thomas, RHP, Georgia Tech (BA RANK: 360)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 173 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

A 2018 member of the All-ACC first team after a 2018 season in which he struck out 106 batters while walking just 10, Thomas has exceptional command of a solid repertoire of pitches. While his fastball is a below-average offering that sits in the 86-89 mph range, Thomas has a plus slider and an above-average changeup that he uses to get plenty of swings and misses. There’s reason to wonder what his stuff will play like against better competition, and he did allow almost ten hits per nine innings this spring, but his 60-grade command could make him an exciting pick late on day two or on day three. There’s not much to project on with Thomas, who is listed at 5-foot-11, 173-pounds.

32. Xzavion Curry, RHP, Georgia Tech
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 185 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Curry has worked as a starter for Georgia Tech his entire college career, tossing 57 innings with a 10.36 strikeouts per nine. His fastball sits in the lower 90s and tops out at 94 mph while also throwing two breaking pitches. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound righthander has a strong body and profiles more as a bullpen arm in pro ball.

37. Andrew Jenkins, 3B/C, Pace Academy, Atlanta
Source: HS • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 205 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Georgia Tech

Baseball America Top 500 Draft Prospects

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The BA 500

8) Joey Bart

“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. ”

“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.”

 

113) Luke Bartnicki

“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 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.”

 

228) Kendall Logan Simmons

332) Reese Olson

418) Tristan English

 

Baseball America: State of Georgia Draft Report

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From Baseball America:

“Georgia’s baseball culture has led it to become one of the most productive states in the nation. The state pumps out first round picks every year, with the Atlanta area usually home to several. This year, most of the prep talent in Georgia is far from Atlanta, with top prospects coming from the southern and eastern parts of the state .

“The college players in Georgia are way down. Neither Georgia Tech nor Georgia—the only power conference schools in the state—has a formidable draft prospect for 2017.”

Read more at http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/2017-state-draft-report-georgia/#XhJJ3SFFhvpP6RWD.99

State Rankings
10. Oscar Serratos, SS/RHP, Grayson HS, Loganville, Ga. (No. 313 nationally)
18. Devonte Brown, SS/RHP, East Coweta, Sharpsburg, Ga.
19. Baron Radcliff, OF, Norcross (Ga.) HS
23. Jason Rooks, OF, Walton HS, Marietta, Ga.
28. Trevor Craport, 3B, Georgia Tech
30. Kel Johnson, 1B/OF, Georgia Tech
32. Wade Bailey, 2B, Georgia Tech
40. Michael Guldberg, OF, Walton HS, Marietta, Ga.
41. Zac Ryan, RHP, Georgia Tech
46. Colin Hall, OF, Wesleyan School, Peachtree Corners, Ga.

 

From Baseball America: Oscar Serratos Scouting Report

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Oscar Serratos   SS/RHP     Grayson HS, Loganville, Ga.

Ranked 314th nationally, 10th in Georgia

Serratos has a projectable 6-foot-1 frame and a solid all-around collection of tools. He shows smooth footwork and actions in the infield to go along with above-average to plus arm strength. Serratos flashes quick hands in the batter’s box and can show natural timing in batting practice with the ability to spray line drives to all fields. Scouts aren’t sold that his line-drive ability can play against elite pitching; he showed some swing-and-miss on the showcase circuit and this spring. Serratos is an average runner and not a lock to stay at shortstop. He’s an exciting prospect on the mound, where he has less experience. Serratos can reach the low 90s with his fastball and has shown promise with a changeup. He is young for the class and won’t turn 18 until September. Serratos is committed to Georgia Tech.

Updated @BaseballAmerica Top 500 Draft Rankings

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Updated draft rankings from Baseball America

13. Taylor Trammell
Trammell made a name for himself on the showcase circuit with his blazing speed. He is a plus-plus runner in game action, with the ability to reach first base in less than 4.1 seconds after the ball comes off his bat. Trammell also shows upside with the bat; he has above-average bat speed and a sound understanding of the strike zone. Trammell made steady progress throughout the summer and fall, and has shown intriguing power this spring, with some rating it as an average tool. One of the biggest weaknesses in his game was his arm strength, and he worked hard in the offseason to improve it. What was once graded as a well below-average tool now earns 45 grades from some scouts, giving him enough arm strength for center field. Trammell is an exceptional athlete and the needle is pointing up on him. He is committed to Georgia Tech, but his strong spring performance could make him a day one pick.

122. Connor Justus
Known more for his smooth actions at shortstop, Justus produced excellent offensive results for Georgia Tech this season. His swing starts with a high hand set, then he drops his hands down and back to load up. He shows the ability to pull the inside pitch over the fence, or stay back and hammer the outside pitch to the gap in right-center field. Justus has shown more selectivity at the plate this season, and as a result he’s accumulated more walks than strikeouts. His carrying tool will be his defense at shortstop, where he shows above-average body control and the ability to range to either his left or his right. He has an average arm.

123. Kel Johnson
Johnson has long been known among the amateur scouting community for his right-handed power bat, but there were major concerns on his bat coming out of high school. He struggled on the showcase circuit and played meager competition in the spring, playing in a league for home school students. Johnson was the No. 268 prospect in the 2014 BA 500, and now he’s back in the rankings as a draft-eligible sophomore. He hit the ground running at Georgia Tech, batting near .300 and swatting 10 home runs as a freshman. His production improved this spring too, leading to less concern over the utility of his power. Johnson still has a swing built for both power and swing-and-miss, but some scouts believe there’s enough thunder in his bat to produce 25-30 home runs, even if his ability to hit for average plays as a below-average tool. Johnson has played the outfield and been a DH for the Yellow Jackets, and will have to prove himself as an outfielder at every step up the ladder. He lacks ideal foot speed and range for the position and does not have plus arm strength.

341. Brandon Gold

359. Matt Gonzalez

462. Matthew Gorst

Looking ahead to the MLB Draft: @BaseballAmerica and @MLBPipeline on Taylor Trammell @TayTram24

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From Baseball America:

32. Taylor Trammell, of, Mount Paran Christian School, Kennesaw, Ga.

Trammell made a name for himself on the showcase circuit with his blazing speed. He is a plus-plus runner in game action, with the ability to reach first base in less than 4.1 seconds after the ball comes off his bat. Trammell also shows upside with the bat; he has above-average bat speed and a sound understanding of the strike zone. Trammell made steady progress throughout the summer and fall, and has shown intriguing power this spring, with some rating it as an average tool. One of the biggest weaknesses in his game was his arm strength, and he worked hard in the offseason to improve it. What was once graded as a well below-average tool now earns 45 grades from some scouts, giving him enough arm strength for center field. Trammell is an exceptional athlete and the needle is pointing up on him. He is committed to Georgia Tech, but his strong spring performance could make him a day one pick.
Read more at BaseballAmerica.

 

From MLB.com

31. Taylor Trammell

Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 70 | Arm: 45 | Field: 60 | Overall: 50

Trammell was the Georgia Class A football offensive player of the year after rushing for 2,479 yards and 36 touchdowns last fall and could have played football in college. Instead, he has decided to focus on the diamond going forward. He has committed to Georgia Tech for baseball only and is unlikely to join the Yellow Jackets because he figures to go in the first two rounds of the Draft.

Because he has divided his time between two sports, Trammell still is learning how to recognize pitches, handle offspeed offerings and tap into his raw power. He does show some feel for hitting and his well above-average speed will help him reach base. With his bat speed and strength, he could develop average or better pop.

Trammell also is figuring things out defensively, but he has the tools to be an asset in center field. He’s working on improving the strength of his arm, which should be fine for center.

2015 Draft: Tech recruits in the @BaseballAmerica Top 500 Prospects

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From “The BA 500

15) Tyler Stephenson

Stephenson didn’t attend many of the big summer showcases last year, instead focusing on playing summer ball in the competitive East Cobb program (East Cobb Yankees). That kept him out of the spotlight, but not off of scouts’ radars, and he also was one of the stars of the WWBA World Championships last fall. He missed a few weeks this spring due to an oblique injury, but played well in his return and subsequently shot up draft boards, even generating some buzz as a potential first overall pick. In a class that is light on catching, the Georgia Tech commit stands out. Stephenson is big for a catcher (listed at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds), but he is an excellent defender. He is very quiet behind the plate and frames pitches well thanks to his strong, soft hands. He has plus arm strength and once he gets his footwork down has the potential to be an above-average defender. Offensively, he creates raw power thanks to his strength. There is some length to his swing and he didn’t hit all that well with a wood bat last summer. But his advanced skills behind the plate will allow a team to be patient has he figures things out offensively.

145) Tristin English

English came late to pitching, spending much of his early high school career as a catcher. He was again an imposing presence in Pike County’s lineup this spring and hit .632/.740/1.279 with seven home runs and didn’t strike out in 104 plate appearances, but his baseball future is on the mound. English throws his fastball in the low 90s and can get up to 95 mph with the pitch. His high three-quarters arm slot adds deception and sink to the ball. He throws a curveball and a slider, both of which have plus potential. He occasionally showed a nascent changeup last summer, but it needs more development. English was kept off the mound by a shoulder injury for a few weeks this spring, but returned to pitch before the season ended. He presents an intriguing set of raw tools for a team to develop if they’re able to sign him away from his Georgia Tech commitment.

183) Joey Bart

After handling a strong pitching staff and helping Buford High to a state championship this spring, Bart is now poised to become the first position player drafted in school history. He stands out most for his prowess at the plate. Bart generates easy bat speed that translates into above-average power potential. He also shows enough feel for the barrel to hit for average in addition to power. The bigger questions revolve around Bart’s defense. He called his own games in high school and has improved as a receiver. But he struggled at times this spring, especially early in the season, and many scouts think he’ll eventually move to first base. Bart is committed to Georgia Tech, as is fellow power-hitting Georgia prep catcher Tyler Stephenson, though it’s more likely Bart makes it to campus.

247) Brandt Stallings

Stallings won the home run derby last summer at the Perfect Game All-American Classic and then led King’s Ridge Christian to a state championship this spring. But scouts are emphatically divided on his professional potential, much as they were a year ago with Kel Johnson, another Atlanta-area slugger who was committed to Georgia Tech. Stallings has plus raw power, but a lot of swing-and-miss comes along with it. He’s listed at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds and likely will end up at either left field or first base, though he’s played center field this spring. Stallings’ power will play no matter where he ends up defensively, as long as he’s able to tap into it consistently.

254) Jonathan Hughes

Hughes spent last summer pitching to catchers Tyler Stephenson and Joey Bart, who rank Nos. 15 and 183 on the BA 500, on the East Cobb Yankees and, like his summer teammates, is committed to Georgia Tech. Hughes is listed at 6-foot-2, 185, and can run his fastball up to 95 mph. He more typically pitches with a bit less velocity, but gets good life on the pitch when he keeps it down in the zone. He throws two breaking balls, with his slider slightly ahead of his curveball, and occasionally mixes in a changeup. Hughes earns praise for his athleticism and competitiveness.

448) Matt Gonzalez

Gonzalez was drafted by the A’s in the 11th round in 2012, but chose to attend Georgia Tech instead of signing. He’s had a solid college career, but hasn’t developed quite as much as scouts would have liked. Gonzalez is an aggressive hitter with above-average speed and some raw power, but hasn’t been able to consistently get to it in games. He’s been a versatile player for the Yellow Jackets, and could end up as a utility player or a corner outfielder as a professional. Gonzalez earns praise for his makeup and work ethic.

Baseball America on Tech recruit Tyler Stephenson

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Kennesaw (Ga.) Mountain High catcher Tyler Stephenson has picked up steam this spring, and now projects as an early first-round pick. With a thick lower half and wide shoulders, Stephenson’s game is built around the power in his core. The Georgia Tech commit showed a plus throwing arm and advanced receiving skills on Friday. Stephenson is a little flat-footed behind the plate, but he remains agile, and he showed the ability to catch the ball cleanly when thrown high or deep into the lefthanded batters’ box.

Offensively, Stephenson generates plus bat speed with a relatively short rotational swing. He starts with a leg kick before landing with a wide base. Stephenson drove well with his hips, but there is room for even more separation. His bat is in the zone for quite a while, with his swing plane looking like a sideways parenthesis. Stephenson finished way ahead of a pitch in his first at-bat, and hammered it hard into the ground and through the left side.

See full story.

 

Video: @MLBDraft Prospect No. 91 – Tech signee Tristin English

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Video: @MLBDraft Prospect No. 47 – Tech signee Tyler Stephenson

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