Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 21 Walton


Phil Kerber
Georgia Scouting Director

The Georgia High School Association has announced that opening day of the 2021 season will commence on Feb. 15. Programs were allowed to begin practicing in an official capacity on Jan. 18, 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 2021.Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we will be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2021 spring season, touching on programs spanning multiple state classifications, counting down the official PBR Georgia Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Team: Walton
Preseason Rank:
21
2020 Record:
9-5
Region: 3-7A
GHSA Classification: 7A
Head Coach: Shane Amos
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 5

KEY PLAYERS LOST
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Colin Stewart GA Walton 2020 RHP Oglethorpe 
TOP PLAYERS
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Jared "Bear" Jones GA Walton 2022 C LSU 
Kristian Campbell GA Walton 2021 SS Georgia Tech
Eli Pilger GA Walton 2021 3B  
Adam Haber GA Walton 2021 OF
Evan Carter GA Walton 2022 LHP/OF Kennesaw State
Jack Story GA Walton 2021 OF Vassar
Oliver Wood GA Walton 2021 RHP Georgia Highlands
TOP NEWCOMERS
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Barrett Eldridge GA Walton 2022 1B/C 
X-FACTOR
The X-Factor for Walton will be their inexperienced pitching staff. Coach Shane Amos is confident his team will be able to produce runs on a consistent basis and defend across the board. However, there are question marks surrounding the pitching staff. With the season being cut short last year, many of the underclassmen lost an opportunity to gain valuable experience. They will have to mature quickly if Raiders want to compete in a fairly tough region with the likes of North Paulding, North Cobb, Harrison and Hillgrove.

One arm that could assume the role of staff ace is Kennesaw State commit LHP Evan Carter (2022). Carter is a physical southpaw, standing in at 6-foot-4, 205-pounds. Carter has seen a 10+ mph jump in velocity over the past 12 months, and has the makings of a workhorse type arm. 

OUTLOOK
While the Raiders wait for the pitching staff to gain experience, they will rely heavily on an explosive offense. If the state of Georgia does not know yet, they will learn quickly about potentially the top power hitter in the entire country: LSU commit C Jared "Bear" Jones (2022). Jones is a monstrous figure weighing in at 6-foot-4, 230-pounds. He can absolutely change the game with just one swing, showing power to all fields. Jones will be a must watch this spring.

Jared Jones

The firepower does not stop there either. Georgia Tech commit SS Kristian Campbell (2021) is a high level athlete who can bang the ball around the park. He and Jones will form one of the toughest top of the orders to get through in the state. Campbell is also one of the premier defenders at shortstop in the country. 3B Eli Pilger (2021), OF Adam Haber (2021), and Vassar commit OF Jack Story (2021) also return with another year under their belt. All three factored into the Raiders offense in a shortened 2020 season.

Kristian Campbell

Newcomer 1B/C Barrett Eldridge (2022) had a strong fall and will look to carry momentum into spring. He is yet another physical bat at 6-foot-4, 200-pounds who has huge power potential at the plate. We have seen Eldridge consistently put up 90+ mph exit velocities with a gap-to-gap approach. 

Barrett Eldridge

Walton is expected to be in the playoff mix in 2021 and will well tested with a tough schedule. The pitching staff will have to learn on the fly, but they will get plenty of support from the Raider offense and defense.

Make sure to follow @PBRGeorgia on Twitter for the most-up-to-date coverage throughout the 2021 season.

Find more information on the 2021 Raiders below:

Full Schedule
Team Website
Team Twitter

Preseason Power 25 Countdown