AL HS Team Preview: Pell City Panthers


PBR Alabama Staff

High School: Pell City Panthers

2019 Record: 23-12

Head Coach: Andrew Tarver

AHSAA Classification: 6A

AHSAA Area: 12

2019 Area Finish: 1st

2019 Playoff Run: Lost in 2nd round

 

RETURNING STARTERS: 

’20 OF Clayton Hildebrant

’20 RHP/INF Drew Wilson

’20 C Alex Tate

’20 RHP/OF Mitchell Gossett

’21 C/INF/RHP Jackson Sweatt

’20 RHP Jack Wood

 

OTHERS TO WATCH: 

’21 INF Grayson Willis

’21 OF Carson Walker

 

TEAM STRENGTHS: 

Very sound defensively

High pitchability with the pitching staff

Unselfish hitters

 

OUTLOOK: 

The Pell City Panthers won 6A Area 12 in 2019 and advanced to the second round of the AHSAA state playoffs before losing a deciding game 3 to eventual state champion Cullman. Coach Andrew Tarver welcome back six positional starters and seven pitchers that saw innings on the mound from the 2019 team. One of the returners that will be looked on for leadership is senior OF Clayton Hildebrant. He is a physical player with some pop off the bat that will be entering his second season as a full-time center fielder. The Middle Tennessee State University signee hit over .400 as a junior. ’20 RHP/INF Drew Wilson is a big-time competitor and shows plus command of all three pitches. Wilson has been a starter for four years and a big year is expected out of him at the plate and on the mound, where he had a 1.47 ERA a year ago. He will be attending Central Alabama CC on a baseball scholarship. C Alex Tate returns as the starting catcher this year. He works well with pitchers and can expand the strike zone with his receiving skills. He also shows nice catch and throw skills and has put on some weight and strength in the offseason. This added strength should help his power numbers this year. Senior RHP/OF Mitchell Gossett is a fearless player that is destined for a breakout season in the outfield and on the mound. He has a very solid skill set to go along with exceptional arm strength. Junior C/INF/RHP Jackson Sweatt is a “jack of all trades” and can do a ton of different things on the field. He is a three-year starter and is a natural catcher but will play shortstop this year as this is where his team needs him. Sweatt, who will also see time on the mound, has a high baseball IQ and can hit in any count at the plate. Senior RHP Jack Wood is expected to be a solid arm in the rotation and shows solid command of all three pitches. The 6’4 senior can play just about anywhere on the field and has a solid stroke at the plate. ’21 INF Grayson Willis is a very solid defender in the dirt and is a tough out at the plate and simply grinds out at bats. Junior OF Carson Walker handles the bat very well and has solid athleticism. He does a nice job tracking balls down in the outfield while showing nice arm strength.

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