Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 9 Decatur

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: Decatur
Preseason Rank:
2019 Record:
Region: 6-5A 
2019 Region Finish: 1st
GHSA Classification: 5A
Head Coach: Robby Gilbert
Playoff Run: Semifinals
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 11

KEy Players Lost
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Hayden Flinn GA Decatur  2019 OF   
JG Stanford GA Decatur 2019 1B  
TOP Players
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Jordan Walker GA Decatur 2020 INF/RHP Duke
Jaylen Paden GA Decatur 2020 MIF/RHP Georgia Southern
Lukas Clark GA Decatur 2020 C/1B Johns Hopkins
Eddie Galatas GA Decatur 2020 RHP North Georgia
Jackson Hills GA Decatur 2020 1B/RHP  
Marshall Toole GA Decatur 2021 OF/C Wofford
Top Newcomers
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Cole Turner GA Decatur 2021 UTL
Brady Jones GA Decatur 2022 UTL  

Experience. Decatur brings back a six of their starters and 11 players who saw time on the mound last season. The senior class is littered with players who have been starting on varsity for two or three season apiece. Leading the way will be the state's No. 1 ranked 2020, 3B/RHP Jordan Walker (Duke). Walker is an electric five tool prospect, who swings the bat with an immense amount of power and then can hop onto the mound and fire off a fastball in the low-90s. At 6-foot-5, 210-pounds he is a superb athlete with nimble feet. The sky may truly be the limit for this special prospect. Each and every appearance at the plate and on the mound will be must watch, and you can guarantee there will be a crowd of scouts on-hand to see Walker play every game.

Jordan Walker

Flanking Walker will be another two-way standout in RHP/SS Jaylen Paden (Georgia Southern). Paden is a fiery athlete at 5-foot-10, 170-pounds who can also run his fastball into the low-90s. The combination of Walker and Paden on the mound will give the Bulldogs two of the top power arms and bats in the state of Georgia. 

Jaylen Paden

A ton of focus from opposing team's will be on how to handle and work around Walker and Paden, and rightfully so. However, Coach Gilbert has other weapons in his arsenal that can hurt you. C/1B Lukas Clark (Johns Hopkins) and 1B/RHP Jackson Hills will be looked upon to step up for the Bulldogs. Clark has long been one of the leaders of the team. Given the power arms he is working with, he does a great job in calling games and putting his body on the line defensively. Hills finished the season strong offensively. The hope will be that he can carry his success from a year ago over to this season.

Reprising his role as the leadoff man will be left-handed hitting OF/C Marshall Toole (2021; Wofford). Toole is another superb athlete who is an extremely tough out. He has good feel for the barrel and can spray line drives around the entire diamond. Once on base, hold on, because this speedster will cause havoc for any defense.

Marshall Toole

The rotation will be bolstered by Hills and RHP Eddie Galatas (North Georgia). Galatas sits in the mid-80s with his fastball and has a solid three pitch mix. His feel for a breaking ball and changeup give him a high level of pitchability. Look for Galatas to eat innings this spring and be at the front of the rotation.

Eddie Galatas

One thing Coach Gilbert is worried about is his overall team depth. Two newcomers to the roster should help put his mind at ease: UTL Cole Turner (2021) and UTL Brady Jones (2022). Turner had an impressive fall, as we got a chance to see him at LakePoint and at the Deep South Invite. A right-handed hitter, he has a strong build at 6-foot-1, 180-pounds. Every time we laid on eyes on him, he was doing one thing: hitting. As the saying goes, hitters hit. Turner could be in store for a big spring if he carries his performance in the fall over. Jones offers a different look. While there is undeniable power in his swing, he is still developing the contact portion. If it all comes together this spring, he will put up some big power numbers. But what really stands out when it comes to Jones is his advanced arm strength. The 5-foot-11, 170-pounder is already equipped with a 90+ mph arm across the infield, topping out at 92 mph at the Underclass Invitational. We have yet to see him on the mound, but one can imagine he is the next big power arm to come out of Decatur.

Brady Jones

Coach Gilbert has high expectations for his team this season. After just falling short of an appearance in the state finals, losing to Ola in the semis, the Bulldogs are back and hungrier than ever.

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

Find more information on the 2020 Bulldogs below:

+ Full Schedule
+ Team Website
+ Team Twitter

Preseason Power 25 Countdown