Banks County Baseball Commerce Dawson County Featured Habersham Central Jefferson Lumpkin County Power Rankings Rabun County Stephens County Tallulah Falls Towns County Union County White County

Baseball Preseason BLITZ Power Rankings

2019 is about to heat up for the boys on the diamond! Here's our initial outlook on each team!

Crump GIF 2018

No matter what happened on Groundhog Day, baseball is fixing to throw out the first pitch in 2019 whether we called it Spring or Winter. With the locals hitting the diamond, take a look at our Preseason Power Rankings!

#1 JEFFERSON DRAGONS

2018 RECORD: 28-12
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region Champs / 4A State Champs
HEAD COACH: Tommy Knight
KEY LOSSES: Patrick Hickox, Brandon Trefren, Will Wood, Hart Blackstock, Billy Finch, Clayton Jones, Justin Cole
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Lane Watkins, Zac Corbin, Sammy Elegreet, Ryan Godfrey, Vinny Farley, Trey McEver, Kade McNally, Brett Bell, Garrett Catanach, Colby Clark, Derek Vaughn

Jefferson had a ridiculous tournament run last season on the way to the Class 4A State Championship, going 10-3 once in the playoffs (18-9 before that). Losing Patrick Hickox, the Region Pitcher of the Year, will be tough to replace, but the defense and pitching coming back is more than capable. Lane Watkins (UGA signee), Vinny Farley, and Derek Vaughn provide a crazy-good rotation and pitching depth. Zac Corbin (Kennesaw State signee) and Ryan Godfrey (Snead State signee) also bring back great depth. Dropping down into class 3A means spells trouble for others in Region 8-AAA. This could be another banner year for Jefferson.

#2 STEPHENS CO INDIANS

2018 RECORD: 21-11
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 4th / 4A State Playoffs Round 1
HEAD COACH: Greg McCall
KEY LOSSES: Chaz Bridges, Austin Page, Cole Beitzel, Griff Pruitt, Zach Boyd, Dawson Dean, Kole Rogers, Bryson Fowler
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Dawson Sorrells, Davis Swenson, Cayden Maxwell

The Indians bring back the best 1-2 punch in the area in Dawson Sorrells and Davis Swenson, two next-level pitchers. There is a slew of talented players coming back, but replacing last year seniors Chaz Bridges, Austin Page (.410 avg, 20 RBI), and Cole Beitzel definitely will be challenging. Still, we’re expecting big things from this seven-senior veteran team.

#3 COMMERCE TIGERS

2018 RECORD: 20-13
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 3rd / 1A Sweet 16
HEAD COACH: Steve Cottrell
KEY LOSSES: Charlie Ledford
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Nate Ray, Jacob Welch, Colby Rogers, Chase Bridges, Chandler Martin, Sam Roach, Evan Davis, Hayden Hutto, Ty Davis

The Tigers return a glutton of talent and experience in 2019! This team is loaded to the brim with an ace pitcher, Nate Ray (6-3, 1.39 ERA) and offensive stars like Jacob Welch, Colby Rogers, Case Bridges, Chandler Martin, and many others. Losing Charlie Ledford definitely hurts, but he was one of two seniors. This group is poised for a HUGE 2019!

#4 DAWSON CO TIGERS

2018 RECORD: 10-17
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 5th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Dwayne Sapp
KEY LOSSES: Palmer Sapp, Nate Sorrells, Connor Bearden
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Hudson Sapp

Let’s be real. Last season was a bad-luck season for Dawson, who suffered its worst record under Dwayne Sapp. The Tigers were marred by injuries and bad breaks despite a very talented lineup. Without Palmer Sapp, a three-year standout who now plays at the next level, things won’t come easy. Younger brother Hudson Sapp (Ole Miss commit) is the #8-ranked OF in the class of 2020, and #37-ranked player in the nation. He’s that good, and hits low 90s on the mound, and hits using all parts of the field. The Tigers need him to hit another level this season, and as a group need to remain healthy in a competitive 7-AAA field.

2019 Jacky Jones GIF

#5 LUMPKIN CO INDIANS

2018 RECORD: 13-15
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 6th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Jonathan Gastley
KEY LOSSES: N/A
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Jacob Martin, Dalton Stephens, Connor Pierce, Braylen Chastain, Matthew Grizzle, Nick Turner, Logan Choflet, Dalton Caldwell, Tucker Kirk

The Indians lost just one senior and didn’t miss the playoffs by much. There is a lot of talent back and experience. That doesn’t always mean wins, but Lumpkin is a quick team (72 stolen bases), and with more than 40 extra-base hits, that’s a dangerous combo. The offense will again be one of the best in the region, but the pitching needs to improve this year after allowing 6.5 runs/game. It should be a good season for the Indians!

2019 Bob & Teds GIF

#6 HABERSHAM CENTRAL RAIDERS

2018 RECORD: 13-13
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 5th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Chris Akridge
KEY LOSSES: Jarred Jones, Hunter Ingle, Dalton Munroe
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Payton Irvin

Thank goodness the Raiders have Payton Irvin coming back. He had a stellar 2018 season. Losing Jarred Jones and Hunter Ingle is extremely difficult to fill, but others in the lineup can use this as an opportunity to make a name for themselves. The Raiders’ have suffered bad luck to close out each of the last two seasons, falling a centimeter short both times for a state playoff bid. That’s a factor, as these guys returning are hungrier than ever, and know what they need to do to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

#7 RABUN CO WILDCATS

2018 RECORD: 12-18
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 4th / 2A State Sweet 16
HEAD COACH: Kevin McConnell
KEY LOSSES: Chase Horton, Grayson Lane, Gavyn Jones, Jonathan Henson
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Brody Jarrard, Jon Sego, Sean Thompson

Rabun County opens 2019 with a lop of upside, but some questions as well. The pitching takes a big hit with losing both Chase Horton, Jonathan Henson, and Grayson Lane, who were all sub-2.50 ERA starters. New coach Kevin McConnell becomes the fifth head coach of the program in six years, so the Wildcats need some consistency. McConnell’s young age brings a relatable knowledge and passion for the game to his players. The Cats will miss Lane, Horton, and Gavyn Jones in the lineup, who combined to hit over .300 and drive in a bulk of the runs. Brody Jarrad, Jon Sego, and Sean Thompson provide a nice core in the lineup returning, however.

SBT Team online ad FOOTBALL

#8 BANKS CO LEOPARDS

2018 RECORD: 13-17
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 5th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Peyton Hart
KEY LOSSES: CJ Thomas, Grant Rylee
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Caden Cotton, Clay Angel, Braxton Simpson, Dylan Greenway

Peyton Hart enters his second season as head coach in a program that has featured five coaches in eight years. The Leopards narrowly were left out of the playoffs last season. Losing CJ Thomas from last season is a huge hit, as he carried a 1.69 ERA and six wins as the ace of the staff, and led at the plate with a .511 average, 22 stolen bases, and 18 RBI. Still, there is enough of the lineup intact and upcoming players to make a run in 8-AA.

#9 UNION CO PANTHERS

2018 RECORD: 10-19
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 7th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Zach Odom
KEY LOSSES: RJ Banton, Patrick Baggett, Logan Dyer
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Ean Harkins, Jackson Colewell, Coleson Daniel, Hunter Kelley, Cayden Rich

The Panthers open a new era with Zach Odom at the helm, an alum with great college experience and zeal for the game. There is enough thump in the lineup (Ean Harkins, Jackson Colewell, Coleson Daniel, Hunter Kelley, Cayden Rich) to help alleviate the loss of RJ Banton and Patrick Baggett, but the pitching needs a boost for 2019 to be a solid playoff run. The 2018 version gave up a region-most 241 runs.

#10 TALLULAH FALLS INDIANS

2018 RECORD: 12-12
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 8th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Mark Wilcox
KEY LOSSES: N/A
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Gage Webb, Chathan Clouatre

The Indians return a talented roster in 2019, led by Gage Webb, who gets it done on the mound and at the plate. Tallulah Falls will need to be more consistent though, as 8-A provides a tough region. This should be a playoff team.

Casas en Georgia

#11 WHITE CO WARRIORS

2018 RECORD: 7-19
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 5th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Jim Waits
KEY LOSSES: Weston Bray
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
J Ben Haynes, Jared Johnson, Jordan Palmer

Weston Bray (.352 avg, 3 HR, 20 RBI), Jared Johnson, and Jordan Palmer were key cogs to a team last year that narrowly missed out on the postseason. Bray is gone to Berry College. There are more than enough playmakers to make a good run at region 7-AAA this year.

#12 TOWNS CO INDIANS

2018 RECORD: 2-21
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 11th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Shannon Floyd
KEY LOSSES: N/A
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Andrew Griffin

Andrew Griffin (.407 avg, 13 RBI) anchors a Towns County lineup that will seek for much better luck than last season.

SKINNY AD - DCMM GIF
Advertisements

0 comments on “Baseball Preseason BLITZ Power Rankings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: