Ten Georgia high school players are Baseball American’s list of the top 100 senior prospects in the country. Here is a closer look at each with an update in most cases of how their senior seasons are going.
Georgia is fertile territory for center fielders. Five of the 10 below are playing center field for their high school teams.
4. D.L. Hall, Valdosta (LHP) – Hall, a Florida State signee, led Houston County to the Class AAAAA championship last season and threw a one-hit shutout in the championship game. After two years at Houston, he transferred back to Valdosta for his senior year. Hall is primarily a pitching prospect, but he’s also a good hitter for Valdosta (11-3). Hall is hitting .500 with 11 extra-base hits in 34 at-bats. On the mound, he is 1-2, with a 2.10 ERA but with 33 strikeouts in 13.1 innings. Hall pitched at the Under-Armour All-American game at Wrigley Field in Chicago and the Perfect Game All-American game at Petco Park in San Diego during the summer. It will be interesting to see if the Braves, who seem to like Georgia products, will go after Hall. They pick No. 5 in the June draft.
17. Cole Brannen, Westfield School (CF) – Westfield of Perry is a team in the Georgia Independent School Association. Brannen is one of two top-100 Georgia players from GISA. Steven Williams of Deerfield-Windsor is the other. Brannen reportedly is the fastest high school outfield prospect in the country, although he’s only recently converted to the outfield. He ran a 6.18-second 60-yard dash at a Florida showcase last summer. He played in the 2016 Under Armour All-American game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field. He hit .450 with seven homers and 13 steals last season.
28. Drew Waters, Etowah (CF) – Waters has missed six games with an ankle sprain but returned last week and homered against Roswell. He's hitting .400 (14-for-35) with five home runs, four doubles and a triple. (See his season-opening homer against River Ridge below.) In November, Waters made news when he organized a home-run derby in Marietta to benefit Carson Rozsman, a 9-year-old with a brain tumor. Tom Glavine showed up for that. The Cherokee Tribune reported that Waters wore a patch that honored Rozsman at the Under Armour All-American game and had his ring from the Perfect Game All-American game sized for him. The HR derby raised more than $11,000. Waters will follow older siblings Zach (baseball) and Caroline (soccer) to Georgia.
44. Steven Williams, Deerfield-Windsor (C/OF) – Williams is a rugged lefty-hitting catcher (6-3, 210). He and Waters are the best power hitters on this list. Williams led Deerfield-Windsor, a GISA school in Albany, to a second straight state title last year, when he hit .524 with 11 homers and 30 extra-base hits. He hit .521 as a sophomore. Williams has signed with Auburn, with which he’s been committed since he was a sophomore.
66. Zach Daniels, Eagle’s Landing Christian (CF) – Daniels, usually ELCA’s leadoff hitter, is batting .311 (17-for-46). His OBA is .492 as he’s frequently pitched around. He's stolen 17 bases and been caught once. He's scored 19 runs in 17 games. Daniels has signed with Tennessee.
67. Baron Radcliff, Norcross (RF) – Radcliff was Norcross’s 6-foot-4, 215-pound quarterback (threw for 2,504 yards, 25 touchdowns) and has an excellent arm. He’s the baseball team’s right fielder. He’s batting only .259 with four home runs, but .400 with two homers and a .559 OBA over the past 10 games. Radcliff is one of six Gwinnett County players who have signed with Georgia Tech’s top-20 recruiting class.
69. Kyle Jacobsen, Allatoona (CF/P) – Allatoona is 16-2 and ranked No. 12 nationally in MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25, and Jacobsen is the Buccaneers’ leading hitter and pitcher, making him a prime candidate for state player of the year. He’s batting .447 (21-of-41) seven extra-base hits. As a pitcher, he’s 5-1 with an 0.27 ERA. He can hit low-90s, which means he can bring it from the outfield, which pro scouts love. Jacobsen ran a 6.49 in the 60-yard dash at the Perfect Game All-American Game last summer in San Diego. Jacobsen, recruited primarily as an outfielder, has signed with South Carolina.
84. Oscar Serratos, Grayson (SS/RHP) – Serratos is a long, rangy shortstop (6-3, 180) with great speed. Serratos is batting .344 with three home runs and 28 runs scored for Grayson (16-5). He’s stolen 16 bases. He’s made four relief appearances, pitching just an inning each time, and has seven strikeouts. Like Baron Radcliff of Norcross, Serratos is a top-100 prospect from Gwinnett who is headed to Georgia Tech.
91. Austin “A.J.” Gardner, Whitewater (CF) – Whitewater is just 6-13, a odd-looking record for a program with six state-semifinal appearances in the past seven years, and Gardner is hitting only .279, but coach Russell Bennett is optimistic. ‘’We have played a really tough schedule,’’ Bennett said. “Kids are playing hard. We are hoping to get things going and start clicking before the state playoffs.’’ Gardner’s strengths are his arm and power. He is going to Alabama State, not a common destination for a top prospect. ‘’He just said he liked it there,’’ Bennett said.
99. Luis Campusano, Cross Creek (C) – Campusano is hitting .537 (22-of-41) with three home runs and five doubles. He’s walked 16 times and scored 20 times for an 8-7 team. He was the Augusta-area player of the year as a junior. Campusano was a starting catcher in the PG All-American Game in San Diego last summer. He has signed with South Carolina.