Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 20 East Paulding


Phil Kerber
Georgia Scouting Director

The Georgia High School Association has announced that opening day of the 2020 season will commence on Feb. 10. Programs were allowed to begin practicing in an official capacity on Jan. 13, meaning it's time for the PBR Georgia staff to break down the high school baseball scene in the state in the countdown to the first pitch thrown in 2019.Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we will be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2019 spring season, touching on programs spanning multiple state classifications, counting down the official PBR Georgia Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Our Preseason Power 25 rankings coverage starts today.

Team: East Paulding
Preseason Rank:
20
2019 Record:
21-10
Region: 7-5A 
2019 Region Finish: 3rd 
GHSA Classification: 5A
Head Coach: Tony Boyd
Playoff Run: 1st Round
Returning Starters: 7
Returning Pitchers: 3

KEy Players Lost
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Brandon Haston GA East Paulding 2019 OF Georgia State
Tyrell Robinson GA East Paulding 2019 OF/SS  
TOP Players
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Jackson Phipps GA East Paulding 2020 LHP/OF South Carolina
Andrew Pendleton GA East Paulding 2020 RHP/UTL Berry
Eli Studdard GA East Paulding 2020 3B/RHP/C  
Trent Reddick GA East Paulding 2021 SS/RHP Georgia State
Top Newcomers
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Cal Tatroe GA East Paulding 2020 OF/RHP
Dylan Lanier GA East Paulding 2021 OF/3B  
X-Factor
Pitching and Defense.  The Raiders will be led by one of the state's, and country's, top pitching prospects: LHP Jackson Phipps (2020; South Carolina). Phipps is a physical 6-foot-4, 205-pound southpaw. Despite his length and physicality, he keeps his arm action short and quick, allowing him to get out front on-time and work downhill. Phipps routinely sits in the lower-90s with his fastball. His breaking ball can be sharp at-times, but there is room for improvement.

Teaming up with Phipps to create on of the state's most electric one-two punches will be SS/RHP Trent Reddick (2021; Georgia State). Reddick was a familiar face at LakePoint this summer, and it become apparent early on that every appearance was a must-watch. A wiry, athletic 6-foot, 155-pound two-way standout, Reddick utilizes a long arm action that he whips through a 3/4 slot. Able to touch 89 mph with his fastball, he complements it with a 12/6 curveball that has depth and late downward action to it, a true out-pitch. Reddick will also man the middle of the infield, which he has proven in the past he can do to a high degree.
Trent Reddick

Outlook
The Raiders bring back seven starters and their top three pitchers from last season. With that knowledge, it is easy to see why Coach Tony Boyd believes pitching and defense will carry his team. We already talked about how crucial Phipps and Reddick will be to East Paulding's overall success, but they will not be taking up the challenge alone. Super utility prospect Andrew Pendleton (2020; Berry) will see time at nearly every position on the field this season. The switch-hitter is an extremely versatile player and was integral in the Raiders 2019 season. Look for him to take on a larger role and have a greater impact.

With the graduation of OF Brandon Haston (Georgia State) and OF Tyrell Robinson, two spots in the outfield are up for grabs. Newcomers Cal Tatroe (2020) and Dylan Lanier (2021) will vie for those spots. Tatroe has a strong arm from the outfield which will boost the Raiders.

There remain some questions surrounding the Raider offense; will they be able to score enough runs to support their top end starters and high-level team defense? The jury is still not out. 3B/C Eli Studdard will provide some of the firepower, but he will need some help from Phipps, Reddick, Tatroe, Lanier and Co. 

Make sure to follow @PBRGeorgia on Twitter for the most-up-to-date coverage throughout the 2020 season.

Find more information on the 2020 Raiders below:

+ Full Schedule
+ Team Website
+ Team Twitter

Preseason Power 25 Countdown