Alabama High School Team Preview: Priceville Bulldogs
February 10, 2021
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: Priceville High School
Classification: AHSAA 4A Area 13
Positional Starters Returning: 8
Pitchers Returning: 6
Team Strengths: Experience, Pitching Depth, Should show some power at the plate
Team Weaknesses: Offensive consistency, overall team speed
Top Returning Players:
2021 INF/RHP Dylan Johnson .
2021 LHP Will King
Top 2021 Prospects:
2021 LHP Tate Jones
Top 2023 and 2024 Prospects:
2023 RHP/1B JoJo Garrison
2023 LHP/1B/OF Bailey Rea
The Bulldogs return 8 positional starters and 6 pitchers from a year and there is good reason for optimism surrounding this Priceville team. That returning experience should bode well in 2021 with the returning arms on the mound and there should be some thump in the lineup as well. Senior C/OF Drew Gates is back in 2021 after hitting .370 in 12 games a year ago. He also hit .390 as a sophomore and caught all but 9 innings in 33 games played. He is a Lawson State CC signee. Senior INF/RHP Dylan Johnson returns for his normal two way status this year. A year ago he hit .333 in 12 games while hitting .425 as a sophomore. He has a smooth left handed stroke and is high on base percentage guy. In 2020, he threw 13 innings with 0 earned runs and only 1 hit allowed with 15 K's. Power hitting senior 1B Mason Mann returns and will be a middle of the order hitter. He hit .382 with 2 HR's, 4 2B's and 10 RBI's in 12 games. He also hit 360 as a sophomore. Mann is a Wallace-Hanceville CC signee. Will King is a senior LHP that should be a major factor on the mound as one of the Bulldogs main arms. Last year he logged 22 IP with 2 wins and a 1 save while only allowing 1 earned run with 19 K's. Hitters had a miniscule .187 BAA and he accumulated a 0.318 ERA. He shows three solid pitches that he can throw in any count. Three additional seniors that are set to be main contributors this spring are:
2021 SS Cole Smith- The 6'2 175 pounder is a 3 year starter with 2 of those years at SS. He hit .333 the last two years with 15 2B's, 1 HR and 45 RBI's.
2021 LHP Tate Jones- The southpaw had 38 K's in 38 innings pithced the last two seasons. he shows a low 80's fastball with plus movement and a well shaped breaking ball.
2021 OF/RHP Wyatt Hurt- The senior has plus speed and a ton of range in the OF with major arm strength. He is low to mid 80s on mound with a nice complimentary slider and sinking changeup.
There are some talented underclassmen that could push for time this year but will definitely play major roles in the years to come. The sophomores are JoJo Garrison, Jackson Prickett, Zach Chaney, Brayden Burney and Bailey Rea. Garrison (RHP/1B) is a 6'3 195 pounder shows a low to mid 80's fastball on the mound with a hard breaking ball. He also handles the bat very well at the plate. He was called up to varsity as freshman just as the season was shut down. Prickett shows sneaky pop at the plate and is a good athlete with great speed. On the mound he shows a low 80's fastball and is working to improve his offspeed deliveries. Chaney shows very steady defensive actions at 3B and has some power off the bat with some definite tilt in the swing path. Burney is a solid utility guy that can play infield and outfield. He shows good speed and has a line drive approach at the plate. Rea is a wild card with some potential on the mound. He shows decent velo with legit arm side action and solid offspeed stuff. A freshman to keep an eye on is C/INF Wes Walker. The switch hitting catcher has some big pop from both sides and is more of a line drive hitter that handles the barrel well from both sides. He was called up to varsity last year as 8th grader just as the seaon was shut down. No doubt, expectations are high for the Bulldogs in 2021.
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