Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 25 Fannin County


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: Fannin County
Preseason Rank:
25
2019 Record:
26-9
Region: 7-3A 
2019 Region Finish: 1st 
GHSA Classification: 3A
Head Coach: Travis Stone
Playoff Run: Quarterfinals
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 6

KEy Players Lost
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Chandler Kendall GA Fannin County 2019 RHP/UTL Tennessee Wesleyan
Hunter Gray GA Fannin County 2019 1B Lipscomb
TOP Players
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Carson Beavers GA Fannin County 2020 LHP/OF Winthrop
Matthew Shirah GA Fannin County 2020 RHP/UTL Navy
Blake Rogers GA Fannin County 2020 RHP/OF Reinhardt
Gabe Buchanan GA Fannin County 2020 RHP/INF Reinhardt
Jerritt Holloway GA Fannin County 2020 C/INF  
Miles Johnson GA Fannin County 2020 DH/1B  
Top Newcomers
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Wyatt Rogers GA Fannin County 2021 RHP/INF
Brady Martin GA Fannin County 2021 RHP/UTL  
Bradley Holloway GA Fannin County 2021 LHP/1B  
Logan Hughes GA Fannin County 2021 RHP/INF  
Seth Reece GA Fannin County 2022 C/OF  
X-Factor
Fannin County does not have many holes to fill after they lost very little from last year's region champions and quarterfinals team. This means the junior class will be looked upon to fill three starting spots that are up for grabs. The biggest hole will be the replacement of 7-3A Hitter of the Year 1B Hunter Gray (2019; Lipscomb). An impact player at the plate, he will most be missed on the defensive side of things. 

As a group, the five newcomers to the varsity squad will have to make up some big offensive numbers posted by Gray and RHP/UTL Chandler Kendall (2019; Tennessee Wesleyan). One youngster who has a chance to make an impact this year, and for years to come, is C/OF Seth Reece (2022). Reece is a switch-hitting backstop who can also play the outfield. If he, along with the four other juniors, can turn into run producers, this Fannin County team has a chance to make a run at the 3A state title.

Outlook
Returning most of their squad from last year has Fannin County sitting pretty entering the 2020 season. Last year ended in heart breaking fashion as they pushed eventual state champions Pike County to three games in the state quarterfinals before falling 2-0 in the winner-take-all game.

Although they lost one of their top pitchers in Kendall, they return the rest of their staff. LHP/OF Carson Beavers (2020; Winthrop) returns after posting an 8-2 record with an 1.46 ERA, earning 7-3A Pitcher of the Year honors. Beavers is a superb athlete and capable of running his fastball up into the upper-80s, touching 90 at-times. With that type of arm strength, Beavers is set to have another huge season. Also returning to be a centerpiece in the rotation is 6-foot-5 RHP/UTL Matthew Shirah (2020; Navy), who had a 5-2 year with a 2.33 ERA. Shirah is another arm capable of pitching in the upper-80s and he maximizes his length, staying tall and working downhill. This one-two punch on the mound gives Fannin County a good chance to take any three game series this year.

Rounding out the pitching staff will be Reinhardt commits RHP/INF Gabe Buchanan (2020) and RHP/OF Blake Rogers (2020). Buchanan will fill out the starting rotation, while Rogers returns to fill his role as the closer, picking up six saves in 2019. Rogers is an imposing 6-foot-4, 215-pounds and will certainly strike fear into any batter via his sheer size.

There is no question that the veteran pitching staff will carry Fannin County as far as they can. The biggest question mark that remains is whether or not the offense can step up and give them the necessary run support. This is where the junior class and Reece will be integral in their success. Coach Travis Stone is confident that the team will be competitive each and every game, and that through the leadership of his veterans, the underclassmen will be pushed to their best. 

The Rebels will face a number of tough challengers in the 3A however. Regional rival North Hall have a strong chance to take them down, and the likes of Hart County, Westminster, Jefferson, Redan and Calhoun all look to be as equally as competitive. 

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

Find more information on the 2020 Rebels below:

+ Full Schedule
+ Team Website
+ Team Twitter

Preseason Power 25 Countdown