Alabama High School Team Preview: New Hope Indians


PBR Alabama Staff

The 2021 high school baseball season is quickly approaching and as usual, excitement abounds throughout the state. That excitement may be at an all-time high entering this high school season as the 2020 high school baseball season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season during an offseason unlike any other and as always, 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 note that all information is based on team preview questionnaires that were sent out and returned by the participating high school coaches.

 

High School: New Hope High School

Classification: AHSAA 4A Area 14

Positional Starters Returning: 5

Pitchers Returning: 7

Team Strengths: Depth on the mound, team speed and 5 seniors

Team Weaknesses: Youth in certain spots and depth in certain positions

 

Top Returning Players:

2021 OF/LHP Dominic Banas 

2022 INF/RHP Hudson Hill 

2024 C Charlie Harbin 

2021 RHP/OF Gage Clark 

2022 C/RHP Jaxon Stapler 

 

Top 2022 Prospects:

2022 1B/LHP Riley Seymour

2022 1B/3B/RHP Cody Sigler


Top 2023 Prospects:

2023 C/RHP/MIF Eli Lawler 

 

Outlook: 

The 2021 version of the New Hope Indians enter the 2021 looking to earn a state playoff spot and will depend heavily on the depth on the mound and their team speed. The group will be depending on some young players to step into key roles this spring. One senior that will have a lot to do with the Indians success is senior LHP/RHP/OF Dominic Banas. The Indians will go as he goes whether that be on the mound, in the outfield or in the box. He is a 4 year starter and the coaching staff is expecting big things from him this year in a leadership role. Yes, you read his positions correctly as Banas will mainly pitch from the left side but will also switch around and throw from the right side as well. Another key returner is junior INF/RHP Hudson HillHe is the strength in the offensive lineup and the switch hitter should be a big run producer in the top of the lineup. He has some HR pop that he found in the short season last year and plays anywhere in the infield. He will also play a role on the mound this year as well. Freshman catcher Charlie Harbin also returns after gaining valuable experience a year ago as an eight grader. He does a good job receiving and blocking and has improved arm strength that will help slow down the running game. He also provides a middle of the order bat with gap to gap pop. Senior RHP/OF Gage Clark will be an area starter for the Indians. He pitched in a lot of big games last year and had some big moments in the short season. He shows  a solid mix of pitches that uses to keep hitters off balance. He is also a really good athlete off the mound and will also play in the OF as well. Junior C/RHP Jaxon Stapler also returns in 2021. He is a very athletic kid that can make plays all over the field and his arm strength has improved over the off-season. He will play a lot of outfield, will catch some as well and should see a lot of innings on the mound. Stapler has improved at the plate with his approach and confidence should be riding high coming into this year. A couple of other juniors to keep an eye on are 1B/LHP Riley Seymour and 1B/3B/RHP Cody Sigler. Seymour is a transfer and should provide some added pop in the middle of the order. He has a short, powerful stroke and can drive the ball to all fields. On the mound he will provide the Indians some depth from the left side and be a potential matchup against lefties. Sigler is a strong, athletic kid with a chance to provide a spark. On the mound is where he can make an immediate impact with a fastball in the high 70’s and low 80’s while the breaking ball has a chance to be a strike out pitch. He is also athletic enough to play on the corners and has some potential gap to gap power at the plate. A sophomore to follow is C/RHP/MIF Eli Lawyer. He is an extremely hard worker and will provide depth at the catcher position. He has improved a bunch after a good start to his freshman year. On the mound he can spot 3 pitches and shows good composure. At the plate he is a tough out with his approach and usually makes solid contact. The Indians should be an intersting team to follow this season. 

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