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October 25, 2012

Baseball class No. 3

The 2013 Georgia baseball newcomer class has been tabbed No. 3 in the nation by Baseball America, the publication announced Thursday.

Baseball America's Aaron Fitt described the top 25 classes in detail on the publication's website, and the rankings are based on conversations with college coaches and professional scouts across the country. Here's a portion of his breakdown on Georgia:

"The Bulldogs built one of the nation's deepest classes in part by targeting slightly undersized prospects with big tools, like two-way duo Kyle Carter and Sean McLaughlin," said Fitt.

McLaughlin, Carter, pitcher David Gonzalez and infielder JT Phillips were ranked among the Baseball America pre-draft Top 500 last spring. McLaughlin wound up a 38th round pick of the Atlanta Braves while the New York Mets in the 40th round selected Gonzalez. The publication also mentioned Bulldog catcher Zack Bowers, pitchers Palmer Betts, Austin Wallace and Michael Peel and first basemen Daniel Nichols and Morgan Bunting.

After fall practice, McLaughlin and Gonzalez appear to be strong candidates for the starting rotation while Carter and McLaughlin should see time in the outfield too. Bowers will see action behind senior catcher Brett DeLoach. Phillips displayed his versatility around the infield while Nichols, Bunting and Cody Sheedy look to provide a boost to the offense as well.

The Bulldogs concluded fall practice earlier this week, and Georgia coach David Perno said he liked what he saw from the newcomers.

"We have a talented class, and they were everything we thought they were," Perno said. "We'll probably have four to five freshmen in the lineup on a regular basis and have four impact guys pitching for us. We felt good about them when they arrived on campus, and we feel good about them after the fall."

Baseball America's top five classes were Vanderbilt, UCLA, Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina. The SEC placed four in the top 10 and 12 of the top 25, the most ever for ac onference.



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