Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 6 Blessed Trinity


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: Blessed Trinity
Preseason Rank:
6
2020 Record:
12-4
Region: 7-5A
GHSA Classification: 5A
Head Coach: Andy Harlin
Returning Starters: 7
Returning Pitchers: 8

KEY PLAYERS LOST
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Dom Marcoccio GA Blessed Trinity 2020 RHP Wofford
Trey Baker GA Blessed Trinity 2020 OF/RHP Northwest Florida State
Aiden McSherry GA Blessed Trinity 2020 RHP Young Harris
Bret Buursema GA Blessed Trinity 2020 OF Berry College
TOP PLAYERS
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Hayden Grier GA Blessed Trinity 2021 C
DJ Radtke GA Blessed Trinity 2021 RHP/1B Georgia
Max Puckett GA Blessed Trinity 2022 1B/OF
Ben Hamacher GA Blessed Trinity 2022 2B
Matt Turner GA Blessed Trinity 2021 2B
Michael Mitchler GA Blessed Trinity 2021 SS
Evan Bilson GA Blessed Trinity 2021 UTL Mercer
Jonathan Franchi GA Blessed Trinity 2021 3B
Matt McCaffrey GA Blessed Trinity 2022 OF
Joseph Chambers GA Blessed Trinity 2021 RHP Dartmouth
Jack McDermott GA Blessed Trinity 2021 RHP Young Harris
Jackson Seng GA Blessed Trinity 2021 RHP Sewanee
Patrick McDermott GA Blessed Trinity 2021 1B/OF
Will Lusk GA Blessed Trinity 2021 3B/RHP  
TOP NEWCOMERS
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Jake Lankie GA Blessed Trinity 2023 RHP Georgia
Cooper Milford GA Blessed Trinity 2023 OF/RHP Georgia
Justice Haynes GA Blessed Trinity 2023 OF/LHP  
Evan Dickens GA Blessed Trinity 2023 OF  

X-FACTOR
Coach Harlin is going to keep us guessing as what his team's X-Factor will be. He had a few players in mind, but he could not for certain who or what it would be until his time saw some live action. Overall, Blessed Trinity has a deep and talented roster. There are a host of players who could fill this role in reality. It will be fun to see who steps up and makes that impact.
OUTLOOK
Blessed Trinity come into the season as the second highest ranked 5A team, and rightfully so. The Titans have a deep, balanced lineup and depth within their pitching staff. It is also a fairly experienced team with seven starters returning and eight arms coming back who have seen varsity innings.

Last year's pitching staff was on pace to put up some incredible numbers. The staff held opponents to one run or less in nine of their 12 wins. 2021 has the potential to offer similar results. At the very top of the rotation will be one of the premier arms in the state, Georgia commit RHP/1B DJ Radtke (2021). The big-right hander went 4-0 last season, striking out 25 and walking 12 in 24.0 IP, compiling a 1.75 ERA. Radtke is an imposing figure on the mound standing 6-foot-4, 200-pounds. He can work his fastball into the low-90s with a hard sinker and a swing and miss slider.

DJ Radtke 

Despite losing some arms who were key figures in last year's rotation, the Titans bring back arms who are ready to make the jump. Dartmouth commit RHP Joseph Chambers (2021) is a prime candidate to join Radtke in the rotation. Chambers made four appearances last season, going 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA, striking out 11 and walking six. He is another physical arm, check in at 6-foot-2, 205-pounds. the big right-hander sits in the mid-80s with solid feel for his secondary.

Young Harris commit RHP Jack McDermott (2021) and Sewanee commit RHP Jackson Seng (2021) both saw some time out of the bullpen last year and will look for to factor into it once again.

What really sets the pitching staff apart is the development of Georgia commits RHP Jake Lankie (2023) and OF/RHP Cooper Milford (2023). Lankie came out of the gate hot as a freshman, touching 90 mph with his fastball early in the year. Since last year, the fastball velocity has held, but the progress he has made on his curveball is what's really going to help him take the next step forward. A swing and miss pitch, he throws it hard and aggressively.

Jake Lankie

Milford does not have quite the same arm strength Lankie has, yet, but he has great feel on the mound and can pound the zone with a mid-80s fastball. He was especially effective out of the bullpen last year, compiling a 1.24 ERA in 5.2 innings pitched over four appearances, striking out seven and walking two. Then there is OF/LHP Justice Haynes (2023) who did not get an opportunity to play on varsity in 2020 as he was recovering from a preseason injury. He is an elite athlete with big tools who can provide a southpaw for Coach Harlin to deploy on the mound.

On the offensive side of things, this will be a balanced lineup with a good combination of left and right-handed bats, power and speed. Radtke may be a primary pitcher, but he will also provide power in the lineup. He will be joined by physical 6-foot-4 left-handed hitter 1B/OF Max Puckett (2022). Puckett saw time as a sophomore and will be looked upon to step up with the loss of some power bats to graduation.

Manning the middle of the infield and the order will be SS/RHP Michael Mitchler (2021). Mitchler has a large 6-foot-4 frame that uses well to drive the ball from the left-side of the plate. He was off to a hot start in 2020, hitting .395 with one double, nine RBIs and seven runs scored. A year older and wiser, look for him to be a bigger power threat in 2021.

Michael Mitchler

C Hayden Grier (2021) and OF Matt McCaffrey (2022) were every day starters last year and should reprise their roles. Grier is a trusted backstop who anchors the team. McCaffrey adds speed and intensity to the Titans. Players like 2B Ben Hamacher (2022), 2B Matt Turner (2021), Mercer commit UTL Evan Bilson (2021) and 3B Jonathan Franchi (2021) saw limited action and will be fighting to fill in some of the holes left by graduation.

Just like the pitching staff, the sophomore class is going to have some influence over the lineup. Milford and Haynes are dynamic athletes who have game changing tools. It is going to be very difficult to keep them out of the lineup. Even OF Evan Dickens (2023), a speedster, will get opportunities.

If Blessed Trinity can avoid losing players to quarantine, they have a chance to make a deep run in 5A. Especially when considering some of the top teams from last year have moved out of the classification. The Titans will have talent and depth across the board and will be a force this spring.

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

Find more information on the 2021 Titans below:

Full Schedule
Team Website
Team Twitter

Preseason Power 25 Countdown