After a disappointing season that saw the Jackets finish with a 27-28 when including ACC tournament play, fans are looking to see what areas are to the issue, one area that fans shouldn’t blame is recruiting.
On Sunday, it officially became 11 seasons since Georgia Tech made the College World Series in 2006. After finishing as the College World Series Runner-Ups in his first season back in 1994, Danny Hall’s teams have returned to Omaha just twice.
Recently, the Yellow Jackets have had high expectations but have fallen short of once again reaching Omaha. In 2017, expectations weren’t necessarily that high but finishing below .500 in total is surely a disappointment.
That being said, Jacket fans are looking at different areas for Georgia Tech that could be to blame for the recent lack of success. One area that the Jackets can’t blame is Danny Hall’s recruitment efforts that have been tremendous in recent years. Here’s a look at some of the most recent recruiting classes.
Class of 2016:
For the 2016 recruiting class, Perfect Game ranked the Yellow Jackets class as the 21st best class in the recruiting cycle. The class featured 14 recruits originally and was headlined by Powder Springs native Taylor Tramell. Tramell was considered the 13th best recruit in the class of 2016 and second best in Georgia.
Tramell went on to get drafted in last year’s MLB Draft in the first round, 35th overall by the Cincinnati Reds. MLB.com ranks him as the fourth-best prospect in the Reds farm system and believes he has a solid chance at being a true five-tool player.
If Tramell decided to forgo the draft and honor his signing with Georgia Tech, the Jackets recruiting class may have finished in the top 15.
Class of 2015:
The class of 2015 was Georgia Tech’s best class in recent memory, finishing third in Perfect Games’ recruiting class rankings.
The class featured six recruits that were drafted in the MLB Draft including first-round pick, 11th overall Tyler Stephenson. Stephenson went on to sign with the Cincinnati Reds and is now their seventh best prospect.
The other five recruits who were drafted were Joey Bart (27th round), Tristin English (39th round), Carter Hall (34th round), Jonathan Hughes (2nd round), and Jackson Webb (37th round). Should be noted that Bart, English, and Hughes were all considered top 200 prospects in the 2015 MLB Draft.
It’s still a bit early to judge the 2015’s performance on the baseball field but Joey Bart has shown the tools that should make him a top catching prospect come next year’s draft.
Class of 2014:
Finding an exact class ranking for the class of 2014 was hard but overall the class wasn’t Danny Hall’s best but it wasn’t his worse. The class was headlined by Kel Johnson, who at the time was a top-100 prospect in the class of 2014.
The rest of the class featured three players ranked in the top 500 while the rest sat around the 1,000 mark. All programs have a down year at times when it comes to recruiting, with this being the senior class, perhaps it’s not shocking that this was the Jackets’ worse season in recent memory.
But it’s certainly not the dead set reason for the recent struggles of the Danny Hall era. Bringing in a top-100 player and three other top-500 players is nothing to scoff at.
Class of 2013:
The 2013 recruiting class was ranked 11th and when all was said and done feature seven different players drafted. Before any of them stepped on campus, Josh Hart and Terry McClure were both drafted and signed.
The class also featured Brandon Gold, Matthew Gorst, Connor Justus, and Arden Pabst. The class of 2013 for Georgia Tech were pretty successful during their time at Georgia Tech as seen by four players being drafted last year.
Once again, it shows that recruiting hasn’t been Georgia Tech’s issue during the last few seasons as the Jackets continue to miss the College World Series.
Out of the four recruiting classes that were briefly looked at, three of them ranked in the top 25. Danny Hall’s recruitment classes have featured three first-round draft picks in the last four classes. Outside of the 2014 class, the Jackets classes have been amongst the best in college baseball and most of the results on the field prove that. The Jackets aren’t struggling to get to the College World Series due to talent.
As this week goes on, Yellow Jacked Up will take a look at other areas of the Georgia Tech baseball team to find out why the team has struggled to get past in the NCAA Regionals.