Alabama High School Team Preview: Shelby County Wildcats


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: Shelby County High School 

Classification: AHSAA 5A Area 8

Positional Starters Returning: 5

Pitchers Returning: 3

Team Strengths: Return the top 2 arms from a 14-2 team and the meat of the batting order as well.

Team Weaknesses: Depth on the mound and leadoff hitter.

 

Top Returning Players:

2021 RHP/OF JP Fox 

2022 MIF/C/RHP Connor Aderholt 

2021 1B/RHP JT Pennington 

2022 MIF Matthew Pearson 

2023 3B/1B Austin Wilson 

 

Top 2023 and 2024 Prospects:

2023 MIF Logan Starnes 

2024 RHP/3B Micah Morris 


Outlook: 

The Shelby County Wildcats got off to a great 14-2 start during the shortened 2020 season and were ranked #3 in 5A when our final poll before the shutdown came out.  Although some key pieces were lost to graduation there is planty of talent returning to think the Wildcats are positioned for another solid season. Senior RHP/OF JP Fox is one of those key returners and will be counted on in a 2 way role. He should be one of the top 5A arms in the state (multiple juco offers) as he has flashed a mid to upper 80's fastball and shows tight late bite on a breaking ball. He will also hit 3rd in the lineup for the 3rd consecutive season. Junior Connor Aderholt returns for his junior season as a versatile piece for the Wildcats. He was 5A All-State as a sophomore and can play anywhere on the field. Aderholt is also a quality right handed arm on the. mound. Physical 1B/RHP JT Pennington (6'4 290 lbs.) is back for his senior year and has huge power potential with the bat and could possibly be a double digit HR guy in 2021. Pennington recently signed a football scholarship with Jacksonville State. Junior MIF Matthew Pearson is described as, "a fun player to watch who plays the right way" and has made only 4 errors in 2 seasons at 2B. Pearson is a smooth swinging middle of the order hitter with gap to gap power. Sophomore 3B/1B Austin Wilson could be a major force with the bat this year. The 6'2 185 pounder has big time pull side power and is destined for a breakout season in 2021. The Wildcats are looking for him to be a big RBI producer. Logan Starnes is a sophomore MIF that has extremely sure hands in the dirt and a smooth, balanced approach at the plate. Starnes plays the game with an old school mentality and will probably catch the eyes of many this year. A freshman that will bid for varsity time on the mound is RHP/3B Micah Morris. He has tremendous upside on the mound (low 80's fastball now)  and also shows pop off the bat to ali fields as a hitter. The Wildcats are set up for another solid season in 2021. 


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