High School Team Preview: No. 20 Central(BR)




Trey Sofio
Louisiana Scouting Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will be posting high school team previews every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:

Team: Central(BR)
Preseason Rank:
No. 20
2016 Record:
16-14
District:
4-5A
LHSAA Class:
5A
Head Coach:
Mike Forbes
Playoff Run: 1st round
2016 Final Rank: NR
Returning Starters: N/A
Returning Pitchers:
N/A

TOP PLAYERS
Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Ma’Khail Hilliard, RHP, 2017 (Louisiana State)
Brady Jones, C/RHP, 2017 (Louisiana-Lafayette)
Shamar Henry, OF, 2017
Brant Husser, LHP/OF, 2018
Lakendrick Paul, 1B, 2017
Carson Balthazar, OF, 2018

X-FACTOR
Louisiana State recruit, Ma’Khail Hilliard, gives the 2017 Wildcat pitching staff a bonafide ace at the top of the rotation. At the Preseason All-State Games earlier this fall, Hilliard sat 86-89 mph with devastating late, life on his fastball. In addition, Hilliard possess a wipe out slider that he throws in the low-80s at times with tight spin and sharp break. Louisiana-Lafayette recruit, Brady Jones, is a veteran backstop that possess one of the best throwing arms in the state. Jones is a switch-hitter that has been a mainstay in the middle of the order for the Wildcats, and offensive expectations are high for the senior.

OUTLOOK
In addition to their strengths on the mound and behind the dish, Central(BR) also sports a talented outfield. 2017 Shamar Henry is a quality athlete that runs a sub 6.7 60-yard dash, providing valuable athleticism in the outfield. 2018 Brant Husser is an athletic two-way prospect that showed big arm strength at the Preseason All-State Games, throwing 91 mph from the outfield. 2018 RJ Coffee is an imposing 6-foot-3, 190-pounds that shows wiry strength, and even though he is still developing as a hitter, has already hit a few tape measure type blasts early in his career. 2018 Carson Balthazar, is another quality athlete with a strong build that has already shown an interesting array of tools, and looks to have a breakout junior campaign. 2017 Lakendrick Paul attended the Unsigned Senior Showcase earlier this month and had one of the best rounds of batting practice at the event. Showing fluid rhythm, strength at contact, and bat speed, which should give the Wildcats additional firepower in the middle of the order.

BOTTOM LINE
The Wildcats have pieces on the mound in, Ma’Khail Hilliard and Brady Jones, that should give them a chance to be any contest. If the young crop of position players make jumps this spring offensively, the Wildcats will be in the thick of the hunt for the district 4-5A title. It will be no easy feat as area rivals, Zachary and Denham Springs, will be formidable foes.

SEASON COUNTDOWN

+ High School Team Previews

Power 25

Related Content