Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 8 Allatoona


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: Allatoona
Preseason Rank:
8
2020 Record:
9-5
Region: 6-6A
GHSA Classification: 6A
Head Coach: Keith Hansen
Returning Starters: 7
Returning Pitchers: 8

KEY PLAYERS LOST
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Carter McWilliams GA Allatoona 2021 2B/3B Georgia Highlands
Simon Aluko GA Georgia Premier Academy 2021 LHP/OF Charleston Southern
TOP PLAYERS
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Logan McGuire GA Allatoona 2021 RHP Georgia Tech
Fisher Paulsen GA Allatoona 2021 LHP Citadel
Hunter Paulsen GA Allatoona 2021 LHP/1B Georgia Highlands
Brett Blomquist GA Allatoona 2021 C/UTL Western Kentucky
Ben Crawley GA Allatoona 2021 SS/RHP Andrew College
Hayden Soley GA Allatoona 2021 OF  
JP Mosier GA Allatoona 2021 DH/C  
William Mosley GA Allatoona 2022 3B/C/RHP  
Taylor Shultz GA Allatoona 2022 SS/2B  
Aidan Jolley GA Allatoona 2022 1B/C  
Landon Perkins GA Allatoona 2022 RHP  
Riley Gaskins GA Allatoona 2022 RHP  
Jackson McElvy GA Allatoona 2022 MIF/OF/RHP  
Ethan Sutton GA Allatoona 2023 RHP/OF/3B  
TOP NEWCOMERS
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Michael Barron GA Allatoona 2022 OF/LHP   
Brody Bearden GA Allatoona 2022 RHP
Bradley Beavers GA Allatoona 2022 RHP
Blake Wootton GA Allatoona 2022 C/OF
Tyler McGuire GA Allatoona 2023 1B/C  
Ethan Crawley GA Allatoona 2023 MIF  

X-FACTOR
RHP Riley Gaskin's (2022) development and the big game experience of Georgia Tech commit RHP Logan McGuire (2021), Citadel commit LHP Fisher Paulsen (2021), and Georgia Highlands commit LHP/1B Hunter Paulsen (2021).

Coach Keith Hansen has identified Gaskin's as the most improved arm on his team from last season. Gaskin's has gone from sitting in the upper 70s, touching low 80s, to now sitting in the mid-to-low 80s. He also developed a nice arsenal of secondary pitches. He can control the zone with a slider, cutter and changeup. Adding Gaskins to the mix of already elite level arms gives the Bucs an even deeper staff.

McGuire and the Paulsen brothers are no strangers to the varsity level. All three were key parts of Allatoona's state runner-up finish in 2018 as freshmen. Things have changed quite a bit since then. McGuire now stands a long, lanky 6-foot-3, 180-pounds and is one of the premier arms in the state. He is capable of sitting in the low 90s and can put batters away with a sharp 12/6 breaking ball. 

Logan McGuire

Both Paulsen's are high pitch-ability arms. They attack the zone consistently and know how to get outs. Fisher has a little more giddy up on his fastball, sitting in the mid-80s and topping out in the upper 80s. He has one of the best sliders in the state as an out pitch. Hunter, on the other hand, sits more in the low-80s with a big sweeping curveball. Both are effective in their own way and should be in for big years.

Fisher Paulsen


OUTLOOK

Allatoona expects to contend for the region title, and with their talent, a state title will not be that far out of reach. The Bucs are going to have a strong pitching staff that is experienced, and it does not stop with the four arms mentioned above. Western Kentucky commit C/UTL Brett Blomquist (2021) can hop on the mound and bring some funk with different slots and deliveries, all while working in the mid-80s. RHP Landon Perkins (2022) will be a key part of the bullpen, proving he can consistently get outs at the varsity level last season.

Allatoona also has two of the top uncommitted prospects in the 2022 and 2023 classes with 3B/C/RHP William Mosley (2022) and RHP/OF/3B Ethan Sutton (2023). Both players have some serous power in their arms, working into the upper 80s.

Ethan Sutton

Defensively, Allatoona will be strong up the middle. Blomquist is a highly capable backstop. Andrew College commit SS Ben Crawley (2021) and SS/2B Taylor Shultz (2022) have chemistry up the middle and are both savvy defenders. OF Hayden Soley (2021) is back to man center field too.

Taylor Shultz

The offense is going to be an explosive one. Blomquist will be the anchor, as the swiss army knife type guy. He is an emotional leader, who can set the tone at the top of the order. He has a quick, smooth swing, and drive pitches to all fields.

Brett Blomquist

The aforementioned Mosley and Sutton will bring some thump to the lineup. Mosley has a big power swing. Hs biggest impact will for the Bucs will no doubt be at the plate. Mosley has some of the top power in the state and should be approached with caution. 1B/C Aidan Jolley (2022) adds a little bit of everything to lineup. He is a player that we have seen hit over and over again. Jolley flies a bit under the radar given some of the bigger names around him, but he has a chance to have a breakout year.

William Mosley

Crawley, Shultz and MIF/OF Jackson McElvy (2022) will add some pesky bats to the lineup too. These guys will make you work to get them out and are high contact hitters.

This is about as complete of a team as you will come across in the state this year. They have front line starters in the pitching staff, a good mix of power and contact bats, and solid team defense. They will take on a tough schedule, but should see dividends come playoff time.

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


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Preseason Power 25 Countdown