Prep Baseball Report

Alabama High School Team Preview: Huntsville Panthers

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: Huntsville High School

Classification: AHSAA 7A Area 7

Positional Starters Returning: 2

Pitchers Returning: 1

Team Strengths: Team Oriented / Senior Leadership / Team Speed

 Team Weaknesses: Varsity Experience


Top Returning Players:

2023 C/3B Stone Lawless 

2022 1B/RHP Cade Prestegard 

2022 C/RHP/3B Michael Pfeiffer 

Top 2021 Prospects:

2021 3B/RHP Alex Cheng 

2021 1B/3B Matthew Tackett 

2021 1B/C/DH Ben Baugher 


Top 2022 Prospects: 

2022 SS Cooper Williamson 

2022 OF/3B/RHP Josh Mackey 

2022 OF/LHP Will McCluskey 


Top 2024 Prospects:

2024 2B Jacob Pearl 

2024 LHP/1B Chase Cartron 

2024 RHP/OF Brody King 



The Panthers return only 2 positional starters and 1 pitcher from the shortened 2020 season but their is solid leadership among the seniors in the program. The 2021 squad will depend heavily on the overall team speed and a sense of playing for the team. One of those retunring positional starters in 2023 C/3B Stone Lawless. The sophomore was one of the leading hitters as a freshman and has continued to progress behind the plate as the arm strength and transfer has continued to evolve. No doubt that the bat is the plus skill with Lawless. The Tennessee commit has easy juice off of the barrel and shows plenty of backspin carry to both gaps. Junior 1B/RHP Cade Prestegard is the other returning starter from last year's squad. Prestegard shows some power to the pull side and handles the barrel very well from the left side. The 6'3 180 pounder will also see time on the mound this spring. The returning pitcher from 2020 that should take over the #1 spot at the top of the pitching rotation is 2022 C/RHP/3B Michael Pfeiffer. The junior features a fastball in the mid 80's that shows some natural sink and a well shaped breaking ball that he can command for strikes. While Pfeiffer will log plenty of innings on the mound he will also be tasked with providing some offensive fire power to the Panther lineup as he will see time at the hot corner and behind the plate. Senior 3B/RHP Alex Cheng will be looked on to make an impact as a two way talent in 2021. He will use his low to mid 80's fastball on the mound and has some run producing potential with the bat as a 3B. Matthew Tackett is another senior that will see time at both corner infield positions and should be a middle of the order hitter as he shows planty off pop off of the bat. Another senior to keep an eye on is 1B/C/DH Ben Baugher. Baugher can play a number of different positions on the field and is described as "very consisnt at the plate". There are a few juniors that should make an impact in 2021 as well. Cooper Williamson is a 5'11 155 pounder SS that is a great baserunner and has shown continued improvement since last season and will be counted on to contribute. 2022 grad Josh Mackey is a guy that can do several things on the field as he should see time in the outfield, at 3B and on the mound. Mackey has solid command and simply pounds the zone with the fastball and a quality breaking ball. Will McCluskey is another junior that will be looked on to contribute this season. The 2022 grad will see time in the outfield but should also log some quality innings on the mound. The southpaw creates a ton of action on everything he throws and shows solid feel on the bump. While he may not light up a radar gun, McCluskey knows how to pitch. A few freshmen to keep an eye on this year and in years to come are:

2024 2B Jacob Pearl- Pearl is a left handed hitting middle infielder that shows a solid middle of the field approach. The bat plays well as he creates carry to the pullside gap. 

2024 LHP/1B Chase Cartron- Cartron will probably see time in 2021 on both the JV and varsity teams. The 6'4 195 pounder creates good downhill on the fastball and should also be a quality left handed bat for the Panthers over the next 4 years.

2024 RHP/OF Brody King- The righthander has a solid makeup on the mound while featuring a fastball in the low to mid 80's and a solid slider type breaking ball. The changeup is also a solid secondary offering. 

The Panthers will battle for a playoff spot in 2021 in 7A Area 7. 


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