Alabama High School Team Preview: Pell City Panthers


PBR Alabama Staff

The 2022 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 Montgomery 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: Pell City Panthers  

Coach’s Name: David Collins

Classification: AHSAA 6A 

Area Number: Area 13 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Hitting and Defense

Top Returning Players:

Top 2023 Prospects:

Top 2024 & 2025 Prospects:

  • 3B/RHP Aston Ham (2024)
  • RHP Brayley Smith (2024)

Team Outlook

The Pell City Panthers were just a few wins away from reaching the Class 6A State Playoffs last spring, but ultimately fell short in a really tough area with Oxford, Springville & Southside-Gadsden. The Panthers relied on some juniors and sophomores last spring that return this year more motivated and ready to take that next step in 2022.

Although a few seniors were lost to graduation last spring, the Panthers retain the bulk of their lineup and rotation from that team. The middle of the lineup and defense should be one of this team's strong suit with multiple returners coming back. OF Kentrell Borden is one of the top returners coming back for the Panthers this spring. Borden is a senior who plays with a high motor and uses his speed well both offensively and defensively. 1B/RHP Austin Greene is another senior for the Panthers who looks poised for a strong spring. Greene has a short and compact swing from the right side that finds consistent hard contact. MIF Baylor Smith comes back as one of the leading hitters from last year's team. Smith is the returning three-hole hitter for the Panthers and posted a .356 batting average as a junior. SS Nick Wilson (Lawson State CC) is moving from third base to shortstop this spring after adding some muscle and athleticism in the off-season. Wilson was last year's four-hole hitter and posted a 1.165 OPS in the process. OF/LHP Tait Nunnally (Eastern Kentucky) & OF/LHP William Perry are both returning outfielders who will play big roles both at the plate and on the mound. Some other notable returners are LHP/OF Daniel Cain, C Andrew Hardy & RHP Brady Laminack.

The Panthers also have some players who enjoyed strong off-seasons and will look to build off successful summers in the spring of 2022. A few of these names to watch for are RHP/OF Dylan Golden, 1B Curtis Collins, 3B/RHP Aston Ham & RHP Brayley Smith. Pell City should continue to build off of a successful 2021 by taking the next step this spring.

 

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