Prep Baseball Report

Prep Baseball Georgia: All-Upperclass Team

Ian Smith
Assistant Scouting Director

2024 All-Upperclass Team

As we get deeper into the 2024 GHSA playoffs, it's time to dive into what has been an outstanding season of Georgia High School baseball.

This being my first full spring season in the state, I wanted to jump in head first and see as much of the state as we could this spring. Our expansion of high-school coverage was a main focal point heading in, and we ended the season with a wide array of talent seen.

I wanted to create All-Upperclass and All-Underclass teams to point an emphasis on what I was able to see over the 100+ games attended over the last three months as we ramp up for summer. In-person scouting is a massive part of who I am, so trusting my eyes is always going to be a huge part of evaluation. The happy medium between data and trusting your eyes is how I feel you can completely understand a player. There was absolutely no way I could fit every player that was worthy on this list, so I apologize for players not mentioned. There will be all-state teams coming soon as we wrap up the playoffs, so the recognition is coming.

That being said, let's get into it with the 2024 All-Upperclass team…

*Stats not including the playoffs*

Catcher: Chase Fralick, 2024, McIntosh

Key Stats: .415/.529/.768, 5 HR, 12 2B, 26 RBI, 19/5 BB:K

It was only early February, and it was clear Chase Fralick was one of the premier bats in the class. The Auburn commit showed up to Georgia Dugout Club and displayed an advanced approach backed by oppo bombs and 105 mph exit velocities off the batter’s eye. Fralick carried that hot start into an overall strong spring. The ability to get his front foot in the ground while firing plus bat speed and matching plane at high level throughout the zone leads me to project an above-average hit tool at the next level fairly easily. There’s present 60 grade raw power in the 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame and Fralick has shown signs to tap into it in-game without selling out. There's flashes of long-term potential behind the plate with present above-average arm strength and strong receiving while showing improved flexibility as the spring went on. Sticking at catcher will strengthen the profile but the bat will absolutely carry the profile behind the plate or even in a corner infield spot. Fralick brought out scouts in quite a few games this spring, and could be a name to watch in July.

Corner Infield: Judson Hartwell, 2025, Prince Ave Christian

Key Stats: .471/.585/.714, 3 HR, 8 2B, 32 RBI, 21/11 BB:K

Coming off one of the hottest summer/fall campaigns in the state, Hartwell came into the spring with lofty expectations and easily matched them. The former Future Gamer put on lean muscle in the off-season filling out a broad shouldered, projectable 6-foot-4 frame and started to tap into the impressive raw power we’ve seen in the past at a much higher rate. Hartwell stays simple from the right-side with a quick trigger and excellent plate coverage through the zone. Very minimal chase in a line-drive approach allows for Hartwell to find hard-hit barrels to all-fields. The Georgia Tech commit will create good carry to the pull-side when extended, only helping the future power potential. With a high-80s arm across the diamond and good lateral actions paired with the XL frame, Hartwell profiles well at third-base while having the athleticism to stick in a corner outfield spot as well. There's plenty to like in the profile, with the production to match, and Hartwell may be poised for an even bigger summer.

Corner Infield: Cade Brown, 2024, Parkview

Key Stats: .494/.612/1.097, 12 HR, 11 2B, 45 RBI, 25/14 BB:K

A year removed from hitting .486 with 14 home runs, the Georgia commit came into his senior season as one of the best returning bats in the state, and proceeded to rake once again while walking more and striking out less. Currently Top 3 in the country in home runs with 14 more extra-base hits. Brown has been an elite source of power for the Panthers in his career, and that stems from the above-average bat speed and effortless loft he creates from an uphill bat bath. There's strong body control and balance throughout and always seems to get his best swing off leading to one of the best hit/power combos among his peers. Showed great instincts on the base paths stealing over 20 bags as well against one of the harder schedules you'll see. Light on his feet at the hot corner, Brown made good strides as a defender this spring while showing range and accurate carry across. There’s tools in Brown’s profile that will allow the glove to play in a corner anywhere, whether infield or outfield. If Brown ends up making it to campus this fall, there's real potential to be a college star in Athens.

Middle Infield: Josh Gibbs, 2025, Forsyth Central

Key Stats: .449, 1.155 OPS, 40 H, 10 XBH, 20 RBI

There might not be a player in the 2025 class with more twitch than Josh Gibbs. A sleeper cell frame at 6-foot-0, 160-pounds, the Georgia commit boasts real strength and athleticism that stands out on the field in many facets. With many moving parts at the plate, Gibbs does a great creating separation while getting well synced-up backed by explosive bat speed. There's an advanced feel for the barrel that leads to a quality hit tool that utilizes the whole field. Raw and game power remain similar for Gibbs with ability to generate triple digit exit velocities both in BP and even to the backside in-game. Present plus arm strength for the shortstop who’s been up to 92 on the mound as well gives Gibbs a carrying tool at the position with good lateral range and soft hands that can keep him in the middle of the field long term, potentially even in centerfield. There’s shades of a young Zach Neto in the profile, and that can only bode well as pushes among the top players in the class.

Middle Infield: Adrian Jimenez, 2024, Parkview

Key Stats: .474/.534/.800, 17 XBH (5 HR), 39 RBI, 13/10 BB:K

With a lineup that's as deep as you'll find in the state, it's not too surprising to see two Panthers make this list. Jimenez showed some of the best hands I saw this spring both at the plate and with the glove. With a stocky, athletic 5-foot-10, 175-pound frame, the VCU commit showed sneaky pop this spring, launching 5 home runs while going foul pole to foul pole. Strong hands/wrists allows for Jimenez to snap the barrel through the zone with great leverage and advanced barrel accuracy. It will be hit over power long term, but it's a hit tool with above-average upside. Soft and fast hands in the dirt allow Jimenez to attack the ball with confidence from a low-center of gravity with good lateral range. Does a great job of maximizing his arm strength with consistent accuracy from multiple angles that leads me to believe he will stick in the middle-infield long term. Jimenez will continue to check many boxes with a very-high floor to match.

Outfield: Terrence Kiel II, 2024, Pace Academy

Key Stats: .519/.609/.880, 20 XBH, 38 R, 27 SB, 17/7 BB:K

Dynamic is a word I've used many times this spring when talking about the dual-sport Texas A&M commit, and that's still the best way to describe how good Kiel was this spring. Showing the plus-plus speed on a nightly basis, the outfielder created havoc on the bases while getting on-base 60% of the time. Bat-to-ball skills are immense and can use the whole field with ease. Its present gap power where the speed can thrive but has flashed solid raw power at times this spring including one of the more impressive opposite field shots I saw this high school season.

Plus range in center field where the foot speed plays way up as well, Kiel can make low-probability catches seem routine. The chance for an above-average to plus defender is well within Kiel’s profile. Tools litter the profile for Kiel who will garner plenty of pro interest this summer as well as an NIL magnet if he makes it to College Station.

Outfield: Collin Brightwell, 2025, Redan

Key Stats: .477/.609/.830, 16 XBH, 41 R, 59 SB, 21/9 BB:K

Electric. That's the easiest way to describe how the Oklahoma commit’s spring campaign went. Plus athlete at 6-foot-1, 165-pounds, Brightwell got on-base at a substantial clip while swiping over 2 bases a game and putting immense pressure on the defense at all times from the above-average to plus speed. The switch-hitter shows strong bat-to-ball skills with excellent ability to stay on-plane from both sides of the plate and an advanced eye for the zone. Brightwell has the aptitude to work backside often where the speed thrives, and flashed some good raw pop as the spring went on, especially to the pull-side. Surefire tools to stick in center that's backed by big-time present arm strength. The projectability remaining for Brightwell is immense and will be parlaying this big spring into potentially a hot commodity this upcoming summer.

Outfield: KT Thompson, 2025, Cherokee Bluff

Key Stats: .512/.594/.834, 3 HR, 8 2B, 5 3B, 37 RBI, 31 R, 27 SB

The Georgia Southern commit has been a staple in the Cherokee line-up the last couple of years. He has been a steady performer over the years on the summer circuit when he isn’t at 7 on 7’s for football. Here in the last couple months KT has really started putting everything together. From multi home run games to making things happen with his feet on the base paths. Thompson has a strong frame at 6-foot 2 190-pounds, and runs a 6.7 60-yard dash. He has a powerful first step that allows him to run balls down with ease in the OF. Athletes like KT just figure out a way to get it done, and when everything starts clicking they can be game changers. The month of April it seemed like KT never got out. He was a home run short of the cycle in a region championship series with 2 triples. The swing is simple from the left side, and he has really found ways to slow the game down, and find barrels consistently all year. Thompson will be a catalyst for Cherokee Bluff as they head into the Elite 8.

Two-Way: RHP/3B Alex Hernandez, 2024, Forsyth Central

Key Stats: .394, 7 HR, 26 RBI, 21/11 BB:K; 38.0 IP, 10 ER, 57 K, 16 BB

Another player who shined at Georgia Dugout Club, and straight into a big spring is the Georgia Tech commit. Hernandez showed real impact in the barrel throughout the season, producing exit velocities up to 107 MPH and putting balls out to every part of the field. The swing path is geared for damage with the ability to create easy leverage in a steep path consistently. Not to mention, the feel to hit is equally as strong for Hernandez with a good understanding of the zone and feel for the barrel. Operating as the ace for Forsyth Central, the feel for a strong three-pitch mix was on display throughout. Heavy 89-92 with arm-side run that limits hard contact very well and shows present command throughout the zone. Power curveball at 80-82 has potential to be an out-pitch long term with good depth and feel to spin that misses a ton of bats. Low-80s changeup can be flat out unhittable to left-handed bats at times with late arm-side tumble from the same fastball slot. The strong two-way profile is a tremendous ball of clay for James Ramsey and Matt Taylor to work with at the next level.

Utility: Brady Christman, 2025, Mary Persons

Key Stats: .438, 9 HR, 12 2B, 33 RBI, 17 SB

The 2023 Future Gamer and Georgia Southern commit has had a comeback season after surgery on his hip. Christman is not afraid of hard work, and takes his strength training seriously, taking his game at the plate to the next level. The balls that Christman consistently hits hard is what impresses the most. He has the ability to match plane and see spin early leading to big swings on pitches that he knows he can do damage on. The home runs he hits look like hard line drives that carry out of the park with ease. He is versatile in the field with the ability to stick behind the plate long term or move into the outfield. He runs really well with a powerful first step and closing speed. Brady was a junior future gamer in 2021, and it has really be fun to watch him develop.

Starting Pitcher: RHP Jackson Barberi, 2024, Brookwood

Key Stats: 38 IP, 8-0 record, 0.55 ERA, 3 ER, 59 K, 14 BB

Across the board, Barberi has been a standout in multiple looks this spring. With a lean 6-foot-3 frame and just 17 years old, the Florida commit has been up to 97 this spring while holding mid-90s velocity deep into outings with strong command. Fastball generates excellent carry through the zone from an innate feel to spin (2500+ RPM) and late hop that misses barrels at will. Overall shape and feel of the slider at 81-85 has improved this spring with Barberi throwing it with more intent and getting sharp late bite for swing-and-miss and flashing as a potential above-average offering. Huge confidence in the low-80s changeup that he will throw in any count that shows good fade and ability to maintain arm speed well. When you are apart of one of the best pitching staffs in the *country*, you garner some expectations and Barberi lived up to those while showing an even greater upside.

Starting Pitcher: RHP Reid Worley, 2025, Cherokee

Key Stats: 44.1 IP, 0.95 ERA, 6 ER, 71 K, 31 BB

Worley showed up to Preseason All-State in January and put on a show. The Kennesaw State commit then proceeded to hit personal bests in seemingly every category this spring, while putting up equally impressive numbers. Primarily a stretch only guy coming into this year, Worley has now added the windup to his repertoire and it has paid dividends quickly. The fastball has been 89-92 with hard arm-side run and showing ability to maintain velocity for entire outings in a low-effort delivery. If there's a plus breaking ball in Georgia’s junior class, it’s the sweeper from Worley. Working 79-82 while averaging upwards of 18 inches of horizontal break and nearly 3000 RPM, Worley will get hitters to chase at a high clip with the offering while backing it with above-average command to land for in-zone misses as well. Changeup made strides this spring as a true third offering with late fade and diving action that will freeze both sides of the plate. With advanced body control and good projection left in the lean 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame paired with the budding pitch mix, Worley has top arm in the class upside.

Starting Pitcher: LHP Jackson Peavy, 2025, Peach County

Key Stats: 59 IP, 0.79 ERA, 5 ER, 140 K, 37 BB

One of the more outrageous pitching stats you’ll see this spring comes from yet another former Future Gamer, who struck out a robust 60.7% off every batter faced this spring or better yet, 21.3 strikeouts per nine innings (!) A true power LHP who’s been up to 94 this spring while working downhill in the low-90s with deception. Compact arm circle with impressive arm speed allows Peavy to get on top of hitters quickly with the fastball. Big looping curveball in the mid-70s holds 11/5 shape extremely well while creating a ton of depth and is very tough to pick up out of hand. Mixes in a good changeup at 78-80 with good arm-side fade and velo separation that pairs well off both the fastball and curveball. Swing-and-miss stuff and a high-waisted, lean 6-foot-2 frame that is just scratching the surface physically gives Peavy truly high-level potential remaining.