AL HS Team Preview: Saraland Spartans

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: Saraland Spartans

Coach’s Name: Brett Boutwell  

Classification: AHSAA 6A 

2022 Record: 31-7

Area Number: Class 6A, Area 1 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Depth, Pitching, Team Speed, Experienced 

Top Returning Players:

Top 2023 Prospects:

  • RHP Ben Buxton (Mobile, 2023)
  • RHP Grayson Cole (2023) 

Top 2024 Prospects:

  • OF/RHP Mike Smith (2024)
  • RHP/OF Jamison Curtis (2024)
  • RHP/OF Camron Laffitte (2024)

Team Outlook

The Saraland Spartans were one of the top teams in a loaded Class 6A a season ago, turning in a 31-7 record with quality wins over some powerhouse programs. Back in Area 1 in Class 6A this spring, the Spartans look to enough pieces to once again be a real contender when the playoffs come around at the end of the season.

After starting off the year with a 2-2 record, the Spartans really hit their stride down the stretch and defeated some quality teams like Russellville, Sparkman, Auburn, and a host of other during the regular season. The clinch an area title with relative ease and were able to host the 1st round of the Class 6A playoffs against a very talented Northridge team that was ranked inside the Top-10 for most of the season. In that highly-anticipated series, the Spartans took down the Jaguars in three games by scores of 2-6, 5-2, and 5-2 to advance to the Sweet 16 in Class 6A. Facing off against a red-hot Pelham club, the Spartans were once again pushed to three games in their series after splitting Games 1 and 2 by scores of 0-1 and 10-0. In that decisive Game 3 with a berth in the Elite 8 on the line, Pelham was able to defeat Saraland by score of 2-0 to close out the Spartans' season at 31-7. It probably wasn't the ending they were looking for, but it was a very strong season with most of that team coming back in 2023. Depth and pitching should be a couple of this team's strengths this spring with plenty of players that bring back valuable experience at the varsity level. LHP/1B Bryson Goff (East Central CC signee, 2023) has been the unquestioned ace for this staff over the past couple of years and he'll look to lead the charge once again in his senior season. The southpaw has been up to 87 mph with quality secondary offerings that he's used to pitch in some big games in his high school career. He should also help out offensively while playing some first base this spring.

LHP Bryson Goff (1/8/23)

Now back to full-strength, SS/RHP Cam Warren (2024), a Top-40 prospect in the junior class in AL, is a player the Spartans are excited to get back this year after missing all of last spring due to injury. He brings back some valuable experience, however, after starting on the infield and being a key arm in their rotation during his freshman season back in 2020. He's an athletic player that is much stronger now and looking for a breakout junior campaign both at the plate and on the mound in 2023.

SS Cam Warren (1/8/23)

Another prospect ranked inside the Top-40 in the junior class in AL for the Spartans is SS Brooks Womble (2024), who returns to play either the shortstop or third base position this spring. Womble had a strong sophomore campaign last year hitting at the top of the order for their offense, and is coming off a standout showing at the South AL Preseason All-State in January. Look for him to also have a strong year at the plate.

SS Brooks Womble (1/8/23)

3B/RHP Evan Hilliard (2024) is a two-way player that served a vital role on last years both at the plate and on the mound. Hilliard was a key middle-of-the order hitter for the Spartans, while also going a perfect 6-0 on the mound. C Clint Smith (2023) is another upperclassmen returner that brings back plenty of experience after catching 30 games a season ago, while RHP Kade Cook (2023) and RHP Ben Buxton (Mobile signee, 2023) are two senior right-handers that will look to work their way into the rotation this spring. All of these players will look to build off of last year's success in 2023.

3B Evan Hilliard (1/8/23)

Also looking to expand on strong seasons as freshman in 2022, OF Santae McWilliams, Jr. (2025) and INF/RHP Fuller Chisholm (2025) are two underclassmen that are going to be big pieces for this Spartans' offense. McWilliams, Jr, who hit .395 last spring, is a two-sport star both on the diamond and the gridiron, while Chisholm played some third base as a freshman last spring while also throwing some quality innings on the mound.

OF Santae McWilliams, Jr. (7/6/21)
INF Fuller Chisholm (1/27/23)

In addition to these returners, Saraland will need some other players to step in and help fill the needs left behind by last year's graduating seniors. The Spartans have a few players that will look to help out on the mound and provide depth, including RHP Grayson Cole (2023), RHP/OF Jamison Curtis (2024), and RHP/OF Camron Laffitte (2024). OF/RHP Mike Smith (2024) is another junior that is a stellar athlete with elite speed on the bases. With all of these pieces returning for the Spartans this spring, hopes are certainly high once again as we head into the 2023 season. Saraland will compete in Area 1 against Faith Academy, Theodore, Blount, and Murphy for a spot in the playoffs at the end of the season. Expect the Spartans to once again be a strong contender in a deep Class 6A in 2023.


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