Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Future of Georgia Baseball

There is something special about Perno's Dawgs this year. Obviously it helps to have the best player in the country and the best closer in the country. The Dawgs have had great success this decade with 2 SEC titles (about to be 3) and trips to the CWS in '01, '04 and '06. If the Dawgs make the CWS this year, I think they will win it all. This team is built to win it all....they just gotta get to Omaha.

Is the offense anywhere near the '01 team led by Jeff Keppinger? Not even close. (Keppinger hit .500 with 9 hr's in 10 postseason games including a blast off unhittable Mark Prior of USC). But if Beckham's postseason matches his regular season he could give Keppinger's clutch numbers a run.

Even the '06 CWS team led the SEC in hitting spearheaded by Joey Side's 111 hits and Josh Morris' 23 hr's. Plus you can't talk about that '06 team without mention of setup man Rip Warren putting up zero's before handing the ball to Freshman All-American closer Joshua Fields.

The best team we have fielded outside of the 1990 National Champions is the '04 team that won the SEC. Led by the three headed pitching monster of Lubrano, Hyle and Ruthven with Startup acting the part of shutdown closer, the '04 team ended up 3rd in the CWS.

This team Perno has a similar makeup to that '04 team. The pitching depth and the defense is arguably the best ever in Athens. 2 wins vs Ole Miss this weekend will go a long way in locking up the SEC title. With the SEC title will come a national seed that will help Perno's chances of getting back to Omaha. IF Perno can get the Diamond Dawgs to Omaha I believe he brings another National Title home. They remind me of last years OSU team.


Quietly, Perno has been LOADING up on talent. The incoming class is possibly the best Georgia has ever had. Perno has locked down the state of Georgia. The players that tech and Clemson used to get are now all wanting to play in Athens. If a couple of these recruits get to campus instead of signing with mlb, then Perno should have many chances at the CWS in coming seasons.

Perfect Game has our 2008 class ranked #2. You can check out the rankings here.



The scouts at Real Baseball Intelligence have broken down some of the '08 recruits that have signed with Georgia. Here is what they had to say about a few of them:

Xavier Avery
School: Cedar Grove HS (Georgia)
Class: HS Senior
Height: 6′0″
Weight: 160 lbs.
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Pos: of
Hometown: Ellenwood, GA
Commitment: Georgia (Football/Baseball Recruit)
Previously Drafted: None

Strengths:
Avery is an intriguing athletic specimen who excels in two sports. At Cedar Grove High, Avery is a running back for the football team in the fall and an outfielder in the spring. He has outstanding speed (he runs a 60 yard dash in 6.17 seconds). His swing has plenty of holes but he has raw power.

Weaknesses:
Avery is raw even for a prep talent. He’s committed to Georgia as a running-back, where the Bulldogs expect him to be an All-American candidate. He will be hard to sign because of his dual commitment and his strong academics, but Avery has the raw tools to be an impressive big leaguer.

The Future:
Late first-round/supplemental round.

Brett DeVall
School: Niceville HS (Florida)
Class: HS Senior
Height: 6′4″
Weight: 205 lbs.
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Pos: lhp
Hometown: Niceville, FL
Commitment: Georgia
Previously Drafted: None

Strengths:DeVall has three plus pitches: a 88-92 mph sinking fastball, a plus slider and a plus changeup. He shows an advanced feel for pitching and has good mechanics .

Weaknesses:He doesn’t have as much raw stuff as many other high school pitchers in the draft. He’s a very good student, which may make him difficult to sign.

The Future:DeVall deserves a pick in the supplemental round.

Michael Palazzone
School: Lassiter HS (Georgia)
Class: HS Senior
Height: 6′3″
Weight: 190 lbs.
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Pos: rhp
Hometown: Marietta, GA
Commitment: Georgia
Previously Drafted: None

Strengths:Palazzone is a polished high school pitcher with the stuff and potential to become a #2 or #3 starter in a big league rotation. He’s a product of the prestigious East Cobb baseball program and shows two plus pitches: a low 90s fastball and a hard curve. He’s got room to fill out, so scouts are expecting he’ll be able to reach the mid 90s consistently in pro ball. Unlike most high school pitchers, he’s shown the ability to set up hitters and has good mound presence.


Weaknesses:Palazzone doesn’t have the raw stuff or projectability of Tim Melville or Alex Meyer. He may be a hard sign, because Palazzone is a good student and is committed to a local powerhouse.

The Future:Late first round/supplemental round.

Cecil Tanner
School: Ware County HS (Georgia)
Class: HS Senior
Height: 6′6″
Weight: 190 lbs.
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Pos: RHP
Hometown: Waycross, GA
Commitment: Georgia
Previously Drafted: None

Strengths:Tanner is another member of a deep Georgia recruiting class that includes seven of Baseball America’s top 100 high school draft prospects. If he makes it to campus, he could join Brett DeVall, Michael Palazzone and Xavier Avery. Tanner throws a hard 94 mph sinker.


Weaknesses:Tanner is raw. He needs to improve his secondary pitches.

The Future:Second round.

3 comments:

The Ghost of Jay Cutler said...

Thanks for the link to the Cup. Say, this seems like a new blog. What are you going for with this? Georgia stuff?

Bop said...

We will have a few authors with the common link of Athens. There will be quite a bit surrounding Georgia sports I'm sure. Thanks for stopping in...Good stuff on the Cup.

Bop said...

Oh and I almost died in Oxford back in '97 drinking out of a Red Solo Cup. There is an Oak somewhere on campus whose shade during the 4th quarter probably saved my life.