Alabama High School Team Preview: Tuscaloosa 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: Tuscaloosa County High School 

Classification: AHSAA 7A Area 

Positional Starters Returning: 3

Pitchers Returning: 3

Team Strengths: Team Speed/ Defense

Team Weaknesses:  Inexperienced at key positions

 

Top Returning Players:

2021 INF Landen Borden  

2021 RHP/C Connor White  

2021 INF/RHP Brian Cooley 

2021 C/RHP T.J. Glasgow 

2021 OF Joseph Freeman 

2023 RHP/INF Brax Garrison 

2023 INF/OF Trenton Shirley 

Top 2022 Prospects:

2022 RHP/OF Jackson Turner 

2022 RHP/C Noah Aultman 

2022 RHP/INF Jon Hayden Raper 

2022 RHP/INF/OF Jacob Zark 

2022 RHP/INF Whit Sexton 

2022 OF Zamar Ellis 

 

Top 2023 Prospects:

2023 RHP/INF Hayden Strickland 

2023 OF Will Keller 

2023 RHP/INF Caden Redick 

2023 RHP/OF Mason Ray

2023 RHP/OF Coleman Cooper 

2023 RHP/C Grant Browning 

2023 RHP/INF Ben Arendale

2023 OF Collin McDaniel 

2023 RHP/C/OF Parker Cameron 

 

Outlook: 

Tuscaloosa County returns 3 positional starters and 3 pitchers from the shortened 2020 season. This year's version of the Wildcats is an athletic group with a nice collection of team speed. The 2021 squad should defend at a high level and will also count on some inexperieced players at a couple of key positions. Senior INF Landen Borden returns for his 3rd season as the starting shortstop and will hit in the leadoff spot in the lineup. The Marion Military signee will continue to be  the spark plug for the team. Senior Huntingdon signee RHP/C Connor White will also be back in 2021. He will step into the #1 starter role  on the mound as well as seeing significant time behind the plate. White shows 3 quality pitches that he can locate well to both sides and has a strong competitive nature. Brian Cooley is a senior INF/RHP that has signed to Lawson State CC. He will hit in the middle of the lineup as well as see time on the mound. Cooley has plus power at the plate and has been in the mid 80's off the mound. C/RHP TJ Glasgow is another senior that will be counted on heavily in 2021. The Wallace-Selma CC signee will see time behind the plate as a solid defensive catcher and will be a middle of the order bat at the plate. Senior OF Joseph Freeman will be looking for a breakout season as he is extremely athletic with speed and gap to gap power. Brax Garrison a sophomore RHP/INF that will see time on the mound as well as a 1B/DH. He has plus power at the plate as well as a live fastball on the mound. Another sophomore to keep an eye on this year is INF/OF Trenton Shirley. He returns after a solid freshman season in the outfield. He will play multiple positions and shows consistent loud contact at the plate. Six additional juniors and nine sophomores are all listed (above) as players to watch this season and over the next two years. Some of these players listed will be counted on this year and will definitely play major roles in the future for the Wildcats. The Wildcats will be looking to gain some valuable experience early in the year for some newcomers in hopes that it will translate well into the back half of the season when the most important games are played. 

 

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