Prep Baseball Report

Alabama High School Team Preview: Central Phenix City

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: Central High School Phenix City

Classification: AHSAA 7A Area 4

Positional Starters Returning: 5

Pitchers Returning: 3

Team Strengths: athleticism, line up depth, pitching

Team Weaknesses: pitching depth, inexperience in key positions


Top Returning Players:

2021 RHP Tyler Haines 

2021 RHP Will Cannon 

2021 2B Cole Kehoe 

2022 SS Caleb Johnson 

2022 LHP Bryce Sanders

2023 OF Jax Yoxtheimer


Top 2021 Prospects:

2021 1B/C Brodie Capps 

2021 OF Zion Morris 

2021 C JJ Graham 

2021 C Garrett Kyte 


Top 2022 Prospects:

2022 C/RHP Hayden Wippert 


Top 2023 Prospects:

2023 INF Carson Gilley 

2023 OF/MIF Preston Bedford 



The Central Phenix City Red Devils enter the 2021 season with a lot of confidence in their line up depth and the top of their rotation. The team will be looking for some arms to provide some depth on the mound. No doubt, the guy at the top of that rotation is senior RHP Tyler Haines after having a phenomenal short season a year ago. Haines has thrown a ton of big innings for the Red Devils over the last two years. Haines, a Mississippi State signee, is coming off of offseason surgery and is working his way back. The only question is how much will he be available this spring. Another senior Division 1 signee is RHP Will Cannon. The Georgia State signee saw an increase in velocity last season that is coupled with a sharp breaking ball. Cannon (6'0 185 lbs.) makes it extremely difficult for hitters to get comfortable with him. Athletic 2B Cole Kehoe also returns and has added some nice strength and size to his frame. The middle infielder shows nice glovework and has a solid offensive approach with gap to gap power from the left side. Kehoe could easily play SS but the Red Devils have a junior that mans the left side of the infield. Switch hitting junior Caleb Johnson has continued his upward progression over the last few years and is beginning to see attention from Division 1 schools. He is fantastic with the glove and is always under control and is also equally adept at the plate from the right or left side. Another junior that returns is LHP Bryce Sanders. The southpaw has logged a ton of innings over the last two years and has proven his worth on the mound. He really understands how to pitch and can mix three quality pitches in any count. Sanders also exhibits a solid makeup on the mound. Sophomore OF Jax Yoxtheimer returns after seeing time with the varsity last year in the shortened season. The 6'4 190 ponder shows a definite middle of the field approach while also showing nice arm strength form the OF. Yoxtheimer, also a good runner, has added size and strength in the offseason. He is destined for a big 2021. Other seniors that will be counted on to contribute in 2021 are:

2021 1B/C Brodie Capps  The 6'1 195 pounder is very athletic and can really swing the bat. 

2021 OF Zion Morris: Another super athletic outfielder that can run. He has a lot of fast twitch and pop at the plate. 

2021 C JJ Graham: Graham will be one of 2 senior catchers that will be in charge of handling the pitching staff this season. Handles teh bat well form the right side. 

2021 C Garrett Kyte: The 6'0 185 pounder has some pop at the plate from the left side and also does a solid job behind the plate.

Junion Hunter Wippert is a junior that may be counted on in a multitude of ways and already shows plus command of a fastball in the lower 80's. Wippert is a very versatile player with clean actions on the mound and nice "feel" for the game. 

Two sophomores to keep an eye on this year and over the next few years are:

2023 Carson Gilley: Very athletic and can run and defend at a high level. Tough to punch out at the plate and has some "throwback" in his game. 

2023 OF/MIF Preston Bedford: Left handed hitter that can play in the outfield or up the middle in the dirt. He has some quick twitch actions with a high baseball IQ. 

This Central team has all of the ingredients to have a successful season and would be greatly impacted by having Haines back on the mound at some point this season. 


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