Maybe it’s something in the water in Georgia.
After all, Dale Sutton is the latest in a long line of talented players to come out of “The Peach State,” an uncommitted 2025 grad class standout out of Georgia Premier Academy.
“Honestly, I think it’s just the ability to play baseball year-round and then all the facilities around, especially in the Atlanta area,” Sutton told FSS Plus. “Every 20 minutes there’s a baseball field that’s turfed out with batting cages. I guess we’ve just got a different kind of grind down here in the South; even Florida, Louisiana, we do it different down here in the South.”
As it turns out, however, Sutton’s story goes far deeper than just that. A self-described “military brat,” the talented corner infielder moved as his family did growing up, going from Wisconsin to Oklahoma to Germany and then, as of 2018, Georgia.
It’s there where he’s established himself as one of the top uncommitted talents in his grad class, thanks in part to consistent big showings with the New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series. Sutton has been at many signature events over the past few years, including the Fresh 50, Underclass Elite and Caribbean Classic, and says his time with the FSS has been “one of a kind.”
“It’s definitely something that I recommend everybody go to,” Sutton said. “All my teammates in high school, in travel ball, I try to put it on everybody, because it’s such a different experience than other organizations. It’s a one-of-one coaching staff, one-of-one gear, one-of-one stadiums; even the college stadium in Arizona (for the 2022 Fresh 50) was a dream. The staff is really what sets it over the edge; big leaguers, Hall of Fame scouts, you can’t get any better than that.”
The last time we saw Sutton, of course, was in the Dominican. While it was an eye-opening trip for everyone involved, with Sutton’s military family background — his father served for 20 years before a fairly recent retirement — he had more of an idea of what to expect away from the resort that players and families were staying at. That didn’t make it any easier to see, of course, he said “your heart just sinks” in seeing some of atmosphere around the facility, but that it also showed him what other kids who are trying to live the same dream he is have to go through to try to get there.
But, it also opened his eyes on just how high the level of competition is all across the world, not just the talent he’s become familiar with by playing at major events domestically.
“I think some of those kids are freaks,” he said. “It’s like ‘how old is that kid, he’s 13 and he’s six-foot-two and throwing 100, OK.’ They work every day. They don’t have XBox or Playstation or whatever, they have the baseball bat, and they play. It puts it in the back of your mind like, ‘Hey, I have to work today and put down the controller.'”
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The Caribbean Classic was, for many reasons, Sutton’s favorite event of the summer, but in large part because of how well he played down there against a high level of competition. It was, he says, “an experience I’ll never forget” and one that he earned after a big year that included another big showing at the Underclass Elite.
It was there where Sutton got to play in a professional setting — the event was held at both Dunkin’ Donuts Park, home of the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats, affiliate of the Colorado Rockies and Delta Dental Stadium, where the Toronto Blue Jays Double-A team, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, play — and really get a taste of what he hopes his future will entail.
“100 percent,” he said. “Would have loved to have had the opportunity to play at Fenway, but the rain, you know, God’s timing, so it was a one-of-one experience playing at Dunkin’. That’s probably the nicest stadium I’ve ever played in…it was breathtaking.”
Sutton can handle both first and third base with his six-foot-two, 215-pound frame, but his carrying tool as of right now is likely his power. It’s an interesting overall package that would fit in seamlessly at a big school — no less professional baseball — and he says he’s stressed just continuing to keep his head down and work while that process unfolds.
Waiting for it all to happen isn’t as difficult for him as you may think.
“I’m here to have fun, baseball’s a game, and I know that will come,” he said. “I know I’m good enough to play at the next level, so I’m going to let that come to me. I like to call myself a gritty player, I’m a team player. I’m here to win. I don’t care so much about numbers or stats, I just want to go out there and win baseball games.
I think I have a lot of power, and I think I’ve proven that these last couple of summers. I feel like I’m solid at both corners, but I’m going to hit.”
Sutton is confident in his abilities without question, but also confident in his path, one that’s taken him to Georgia Premier Academy, which has helped produce players like FSS alums Daniel Espino, Javier Santos, Tyler Kennedy and Erian Rodriguez.
“I think Georgia Premier has done its part in proving that it can get guys in schools, even to the big leagues,” Sutton said. “Espino, he just got added to the 40-man roster, and I met that guy when I was in seventh grade, and he was a freak then and he’s a freak now. Being at Georgia Premier is a blessing, and something I never regret. I think being there is a pathway to success…I think it drives you. They have a board there, and our coach is always like, ‘Who’s going to be the next guy, who keeps the streak,’ because we’ve had a guy drafted every year except for COVID, I think, since 2015. It makes you put your head down and go get it…it just takes you to that next level and it pushes you to be better.”
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