Nov. 18, 2015
THE FLATS –
Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall announced Wednesday that 12 baseball student-athletes had signed their National Letters of Intent to enroll and play for the Yellow Jackets next season. The class, which Perfect Game has ranked as No. 20, includes 10 from the state of Georgia and two from inside the perimeter.
“This is another very good class coming in next season and one we’re excited about,” said Hall. “Our current freshman class is highly-ranked and this one is as well; so to go back-to-back with two strong recruiting classes really sets us up well for the future.”
On the heels of the 2015 freshman class that was ranked as high as No. 3 nationally and a 2014 class ranked as high as No. 9 by Perfect Game, this 2016 class should provide the Yellow Jackets added depth on the mound while plugging a handful of left-handed power hitters into Georgia Tech’s lefty-friendly Russ Chandler Stadium.
The class features twins Austin and Nick Wilhite from nearby baseball power Buford High School, along with their teammate RHP Griffin Jolliff. Local standouts Taylor Trammell from Mt. Paran Christian and Xzavion Curry from Mays High School are ranked among the top 50 and top 200 players in the nation, respectively. Another highly-touted local product, RHP Garrett Gooden from St. Pius X, was a first-team Under Armour All-American.
In addition to the 10 from Peach State, the class is rounded out by two from Cincinnati, Ohio – OF Chase Murray (Cincinnati Hills Christian) and RHP Jay Wilson (Loveland). Southern Ohio has long been a key area for the Yellow Jackets with head coach Danny Hall’s roots in the Buckeye State.
“Both of our Ohio guys play for Cincinnati Midland and that’s one of the top amateur programs each year, along with the East Cobb Yankees,” said Hall. “To get two guys from there, you know they’ll be battled tested. Our history has been that when we’ve had guys from Ohio, they’ve been really good contributors to our program.”
2016 Georgia Tech Baseball Incoming Class:
Chase Murray | OF, 6-1, 180, L/R, Cincinnati, Ohio / Cincinnati Hills Christian
Perfect Game lists the left-handed hitter as the 328th-best player in the country and fourth-best in Ohio. Murray checks in as the state’s best outfield talent while also playing some catcher. As a junior, Murray led his team to a 26-4 record and hit .440 with 33 RBI. He was recognized as a 3rd team Underclass All-American. Murray plays travel ball with the Midland Redskins.
Coach Hall: “A guy that’s been on our radar for a couple of years, who has really good upside… good outfielder, really good left-handed bat and someone that can come in a play right away.”
Jay Shadday | LHP, 6-1, 190, L/L, Rome, Ga. / Darlington
The southpaw has been ranked as high as 94th among the country’s left-handed pitchers and 10th in the state of Georgia. Shadday (pronounced “shad-EE”) posted a 1.03 ERA in 75 innings with 89 strikeouts as a starter for the Class AA State Finalists. As Darlington’s leadoff hitter he batted .471 with five home runs and 32 RBI. The Rome-News Tribune named Shadday their 2015 Player of the Year. He’ll join his Darlington teammate Burton Dulaney, who is a freshman pitcher.
Coach Hall: “We saw him about a year ago, really liked him and got him to commit. He’s got a chance to be a very good pitcher in our program, who comes from a great high school program and a great family.”
Nick Wilhite | OF/LHP, 5-10, 170, L/L, Buford, Ga. / Buford
Nick was tabbed as a second-team Underclass All-American by Perfect Game this past spring and the recruiting service listed him as the state’s seventh-best outfielder and 214th-overall player nationally in his class. With the help of current Yellow Jackets, Joey Bart and Keyton Gibson, and fellow Tech commits, his twin brother Austin and Griffin Jollif, Nick helped lead Buford to a 34-2 record, a state championship and No. 2 ranking in the national high school polls last season.
Coach Hall: “Probably the fastest guy in this class and someone that could play center and lead off. He’s also 88 on the mound. The thing I like about Nick, and his brother Austin, is that they play at Buford, which is a really good high school program that won the state title last year and has a chance to repeat this year.”
Austin Wilhite | MIF, 5-10, 165, R/R, Buford, Ga. / Buford
A middle infielder, Austin ranks among the country’s top 50 and state’s top 10 second baseman. He can also play shortstop. Both Austin and Nick won a state championship at Buford and played for the East Cobb Yankees.
Coach Hall: “A very good middle infielder, and someone that can also pitch. He’s 87-88 on the mound with a really good breaking ball. He’s got really good speed and we’re excited to have both him and his brother in this class, they’re two guys that can help us in a lot of ways.”
Jay Wilson | RHP, 6-5, 185, L/R, Cincinnati, Ohio / Loveland
A lean right-handed pitcher, Wilson posted a 6-1 record with a 2.71 ERA in 41 innings and hit .372 with 12 doubles in his spring season at Loveland. The 6-foot-5, 185-pound righty was recognized as the third-best pitcher in Ohio and a 2015 Underclass All-American. Wilson plays travel ball with the Midland Tomahawks.
Coach Hall: “May have the biggest upside of any of the pitchers that we’re bringing in. He’s already over 90 on the mound with a good breaking ball and a good body. He’s a guy that can make an impact for us if we can get him through the pro draft.”
Parker McCoy | MIF, 5-11, 165, L/R, Marietta, Ga. / Walton
The left-handed hitter and middle infielder led Walton to a 30-7 overall record and a state title appearance in Class 6A. Perfect Game lists the 5-foot-11, 165-pound McCoy as the nation’s 128th-best shortstop and 91st overall player in Georgia. McCoy plays travel ball for 6-4-3 DP Athletics.
Coach Hall: “Parker is a really good infielder that reminds me a lot of Wade Bailey, except he hits left-handed. He’s a top-of-the-order-type guy with a very high baseball IQ.”
Garrett Gooden | RHP, 6-5, 210, R/R Decatur, Ga. / St. Pius X
Gooden is a 2015 first-team Underclass All-American and led St. Pius to a state quarterfinal appearance last spring. He ranks as one of the country’s top-50 right-handed pitchers according to Perfect Game. The 6-foot-5 righty recently appeared in the 2015 Under Armour All-American game at Wrigley Field where he tossed one scoreless inning against the nation’s best high school talent. Aside from baseball, Gooden is also a standout wide receiver for St. Pius X.
Coach Hall: “A great athlete that also plays football at St. Pius. He played growing up for one of our former players, Heath Honeycutt, in the Ninth Inning Royals program. He’s already over 90 with a quality breaking ball. He’ll have a chance to go pretty good in the draft this year, but he’s a guy that can go really high if we can get him for a couple years in our program.”
Taylor Trammell | OF, 6-2, 195, L/L, Powder Springs, Ga. / Mt. Paran Christian
Trammell (pronounced “TRA-mel”) is a second-team Underclass All-American that hit .393 and scored 29 runs for Mt. Paran this past spring. Perfect Game rates Trammell as one of the country’s top 50 players and top 10 outfielders while Baseball America described him as a “plus-plus runner.” Trammell participated in the Under Armour All-American game at Wrigley Field last summer and reached in all five of his plate appearances via a single, three walks and a hit by pitch and swiped a bag. Trammell also plays for Mt. Paran’s football team serving as a wide receiver, defensive back and kick returner.
Coach Hall: “Taylor is probably the best overall player in this class. He’s a lefty that can hit for average and power and has really good speed. He was in a lot of the top events last summer and someone that will be scrutinized heavily for the draft. Taylor’s a two-sport star that can win a state championship in both football and baseball at Mt. Paran Christian.”
Kyle McCann | C, 6-3, 205, L/R, Suwanee, Ga. / Lambert
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound catcher, hit .295 with three dingers from the left side for Lambert this past spring. Perfect Game tabbed him as a second-team Underclass All-American and the state’s fifth-best catcher. McCann ranks among Perfect Game‘s top 300 players. He won a Connie Mack World Series with the East Cobb Yankees this past summer.
Coach Hall: “Kyle’s a left-handed hitting catcher that plays at Lambert, another one of the top high school baseball programs in our state. He’s got a got a good arm, a good body and a guy that hit with power.”
Connor Thomas | LHP, 6-0, 155, L/L, Omega, Ga. / Tift County
Thomas was pegged by Perfect Game as the 105th-best left-handed pitcher in the nation and the 11th best in the state of Georgia. Thomas led Tift County to a 23-7 mark and a region championship in class 6A last season. The lefty has played his summer ball with the strong Team Elite program.
Coach Hall: “He’s an outstanding left-handed pitcher that could probably come in right away and compete for a weekend starting spot. He’ll be 88-89 with a really good breaking ball, and a guy that really competes on the mound. He works fast and will be someone that our defense will really enjoy playing behind.”
Griffin Jolliff | RHP, 6-2, 200, R/R, Buford, Ga. / Buford
Jollif (pronounced “JAL-if”) attends Buford and joined the Wilhites and current Yellow Jackets Joey Bart and Keyton Gibson in leading the Wolves to a 34-2 record and Class 4A state title and a No. 2 national ranking last season. Jolliff has been recognized as the 251st-best player in his high school class and one of the top 20 right-handed pitchers in Georgia.
Coach Hall: “A guy that has a really good fastball and breaking ball, but has been in the shadow a bit because Buford was loaded the Division-I pitchers last season. He’s played at a high level both in high school with Buford and in the summer with Team Elite.”
Xzavion Curry | MIF/RHP, 6-0, 180, R/R, Atlanta, Ga. / Mays
Curry (pronounced “ZA-vee-on”) hails from Atlanta’s Mays High and was a 2015 first-team Underclass All-American. He’s also been recognized by Perfect Game as one of the top 200 players in the nation and the 37th-best shortstop. Curry plays for the East Cobb Astros on the travel circuit, and his dad played college football at Clemson.
Coach Hall: “A sleeper in this class for sure. He is a tremendous athlete that has a chance to be a very impactful two-way player for us. His fastball has been a little better than 90 and a really good breaking ball. We felt like from mid-summer on, he was one of the best pitchers in our state.”