AL HS Team Preview: Alexandria Valley Cubs

PBR Alabama Staff

The 2023 high school baseball season is quickly approaching and as usual, excitement abounds throughout the state. Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season and, as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across Alabama.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in the Jacksonville/Oxford/Montgomery area at the AISA or AHSAA state championships, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes reality. We hope to familiarize our readers with many of the teams across the state as we preview individual teams across Alabama. We will take you right up to first pitch this season with these team previews and by continuing our scheduled podcasts and releasing our preseason Top 10 in each AHSAA classification. 

Please keep checking back throughout the season as we will be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across the state. Each week we will be releasing our players of the week, updating the Top 10 in each AHSAA classification as well as a Power 25. One thing that you especially don’t want to miss are our scheduled podcasts with guests from across the state as well as recaps and previews of big games across the state.  

*Please note that all information is based on team preview questionnaires that were sent out and returned by the participating high school coaches.

High School Name: Alexandria Valley Cubs 

Coach’s Name: Zac Welch 

Classification: AHSAA 5A 

2022 Record: 24-15

Area Number: Class 5A, Area 12 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Quality Pitching, Defense 

Top Returning Players:

Top 2024 Prospects:

Top 2025 & 2026 Prospects:

Team Outlook

The Alexandria Valley Cubs eclipsed the 20-win mark in 2022 for the second-consecutive season and reached the 3rd round of the Class 5A playoffs in process. There's plenty of optimism surrounding the Valley Cubs' program heading into the 2023 season with the hopes of being back in the mix in Class 5A once the end of the season comes around.

The Valley Cubs will move to Area 12 this spring after competing in Area 11 for the past few years and will face off against Southside-Gadsden and Lincoln for a berth in the Class 5A playoffs. Going back to last year's season, Alexandria played a fairly-tough schedule and recorded some big regular season wins over Gadsden City, Piedmont, and Fairhope among others en route to a 25-14 record. After winning their area in 2022, the Valley Cubs swept through their 1st and 2nd round playoff matchups against Fairview and John Carroll Catholic while outscoring them 40-8. They were faced with a difficult opponent in Madison Academy in the Elite 8, and were ultimately defeated in two games to end their successful season. They will look once again to be back deep in the playoffs this spring using six positional starters and four pitchers returning to the roster. The Valley Cubs should rely on some quality pitching on the mound as one of their strengths and should be a solid club offensively, as well. INF Seth Johnson (Shorter signee, 2023) will look to continue build off of his strong junior campaign and will be one their top leaders offensively hitting towards the top of the order.

INF Seth Johnson (8/28/22)

His brother, OF Aaron Johnson (Shorter signee, 2023), will also be a key piece to their offensive success. Aaron has been a big component over the past couple years and brings back plenty of experience playing at the varsity level heading into his senior season.

OF Aaron Johnson (8/28/22)

Looking to build off of his strong sophomore campaign will be OF Ian Cartwright (2024), who has been a standout at numerous PBR events over the past year. Cartwright is a good athlete that has been a sub-7.0 runner in the past to go along with pull-side power hitting from the right side of the plate. He should be one their primary run-producers offensively hitting near the middle of the order this spring.

OF Ian Cartwright (1/7/23)

Another upperclassmen that looks poised for another strong season is C Aiden Brunner (2024), who will be another player that returns to the middle of their order. Brunner has gap-to-gap pop hitting from the right side, and has excellent catch-and-throw ability from behind the plate with a chance to shutdown an opponent's running game. He's also one of the top uncommitted backstops in the junior class in AL.

C Aiden Brunner (1/7/23)

Another strong right-handed hitter that should bring plenty of power to the Valley Cubs' order will be 1B Samuel Henegar (2024). Henegar is expected to build off of his sophomore season and be one their primary run-producers offensively. Returning on the mound, the Valley Cubs have two experienced juniors that will look to lead their efforts on the bump. RHP Andrew Allen (2024) should be their ace in the rotation and saw his fastball reach 87 mph at this month's North AL Preseason All-State event. The uncommitted junior consistently fills up the zone with all four of his quality offerings and should only continue to get better as he continues to mature and develop. LHP Tripp Patterson (2024) also returns to the pitching rotation and provides a different look compared to Allen on the mound. The uncommitted junior is a crafty southpaw that has good command of his three-pitch arsenal. Both of these pitchers are expected to once again lead the rotation in addition to some other players.

RHP Andrew Allen (1/7/23)

In addition to these returners mentioned above, the Valley Cubs also have some other players who are expected to step into larger roles and replace some of the production left by some of the seniors who graduated from last year. Some of those players to look out for this spring will be INF Evan Snow (2024), INF Brodie Slaton (2024) and INF Ty Brown (2024). All of these players should see time on the infield and look to make an impact in the lineup offensively.

INF Evan Snow (6/21/22)

Although the Valley Cubs bring back a strong amount of returning upperclassmen talent, LHP/OF Bray Goode (2025) is a sophomore who will be expected throw some quality innings on the mound and be a key piece out of their bullpen. He'll be a younger player that should continue to see his role increase as he gains more experience. Alexandria looks to be strong once again this spring and should be a very competitive ball club like they were a season ago. They've shown the ability to make it deep into the playoffs over the past couple of years, and will look to take another step in Class 5A in 2023.


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