Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 25 Hart County


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: Hart County
Preseason Rank:
25
2020 Record:
10-4 
Region: 8-3A
GHSA Classification: 3A
Head Coach: Josh Osborne
Returning Starters: 8
Returning Pitchers: 8

KEY PLAYERS LOST
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Luke Lee GA Hart County 2020  
Chase Dalton GA Hart County 2020 2B  
TOP PLAYERS
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Malachi Thomas GA Hart County 2021 CF Virginia Tech (Football)
Casey Tallent GA Hart County 2021 RHP/SS Clemson
Will Dean GA Hart County 2021 RHP/1B Southern Union State CC
Trey Horton GA Hart County 2021 SS/RHP  
Peyton Powell GA Hart County 2022 1B/LHP  
Paul Davis GA Hart County 2023 OF/C  
Riley Posey GA Hart County 2023 C/INF  
TOP NEWCOMERS
To be determined....

X-FACTOR
COVID-19.  The virus will be a huge challenge the entire season for teams to contend with. There will be the constant fear of losing players to a quarantine period, either through a positive test or contact tracing. This season may just come down to a war of attrition. Who in the end has their key players healthy and ready to make a run.

OUTLOOK
Hart County returns almost the entirety of their starting lineup from 2020, with eight position players and eight pitchers returning. The Bulldogs will be led by one of the top 1-2 punches in the state, in Clemson commit RHP/SS Casey Tallent (2021) and Southern Union State CC commit RHP/1B Will Dean (2021).

Tallent is an athletically built arm, standing a strong 6-foot-2, 185-pounds. He has a short, quick arm, and can pound the zone with three pitches. Tallent can run his fastball up to 90 mph and compliments it with a swing and miss slider. The slider is thrown aggressively, often sitting in the upper 70s to low 80s. Tallent will be one of the top pitchers to watch in the state this season.

Casey Tallent

Dean is a physical arm who can get his fastball into the upper-80s. He has a sharp, big breaking 12/6 curveball that is a swing and miss pitch. Put Tallent and Dean up against any team in state in a three game series, and you will be feeling pretty good about yourself.

Will Dean

A hole that the Bulldogs will have to fill will be the one left by 2B Chase Dalton (2020) and C Luke Lee (2020). Tallent and Dean will play a large part in the offense, along with Virginia Tech commit OF Malachi Thomas (2021) and SS/RHP Trey Horton (2020).

Underclassman 1B/LHP Peyton Powell (2022), UTL Paul Davis (2023), and C/INF Riley Posey (2023) all return after gaining valuable experience in the shortened 2020 season. Losing two of their main contributors to graduation, means there is going to be playing time and production up for grabs. Look for these three to be relied upon to step up and fill in.

The Bulldogs are going to be a battle for any team, across any classification. As Coach Osborne put it, their strengths will be "hustle, scrap and no quit attitude." Combine that with their talent, and Hart County are going to be a force in 3A.

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

Find more information on the 2021 Bulldogs below:

Full Schedule
Team Website
Team Twitter

Preseason Power 25 Countdown