Spring Preview: Shawnee High School

 Andy Urban 
Oklahoma State Director

In a desire to best cover high school baseball in the state, PBR Oklahoma will be on the road this winter stopping by the practices and gathering information from teams around the state, highlighting top performers and difference makers for each club. Today, PBR Oklahoma will take an in-deep look at the 2017 Shawnee Wolves.

Team: Shawnee
Nickname: Wolves
Class: 5A
Head Coach: Todd Boyer
Years as head coach at school: 10
2016 Overall Record: 30-7
2016 Post­ Season Finish: State Champions
2017 Preseason Rank: Will be update upon release

Players to Watch

A.J. Barron, SS/RHP (2017) Seminole State JC
Eli Davis, LHP/OF (2017) Kansas
Talon Phillips, RHP (2017)
Tanner Sparks, RHP/SS (2017) Oklahoma State
Jake Taylor, C, (2017) Oklahoma State
Kade Self, C, (2018) Arkansas Little Rock
Brandon Eropkin, RHP (2019)

Season Outlook

Last year, the Shawnee Wolves repeated as state champions, and they will look to make it a three-peat this year as they return seven starting position plays and four arms that contributed more than 15 innings a piece last season. Among the returners are not only college commits, but players ranked in the PBR class of 2017 overall rankings as well.

On the mound, the Wolves will likely look to two elite arms to lead the way. Eli Davis (Kansas), ranked 250th, and Tanner Sparks (Oklahoma State), both boast upper 80’s fastballs and well above average command with multiple pitches.  Seniors Talon Phillips, Jake Taylor (Oklahoma State), and A.J. Barron (Seminole State JC) will also throw big innings for Shawnee. Sophomore right-hander Brandon Eropkin will look to have a break out year and contribute on the talented staff as well.

Many of the same players that the Wolves feature on the mound will be looked towards to fill up the offensive stat sheets as well. Setting the tone in the middle of the lineup up will be the physical Taylor, ranked 62nd nationally. Joining Taylor in the heart of the order will likely be Sparks and junior Kade Self (Arkansas Little Rock). Possible table setters for these boppers are Davis and Barron.  Senior Cole Payne will bring even more senior leadership to this lineup and possibly more pop as well.

Defensively, Shawnee will be strongest straight up the middle with familiar names again leading the way. Taylor will handle most of the catching featuring a strong arm that will be able to shut down most running games. Barron will be a staple in the middle infield with long athleticism. The third of the athletes up the middle will be Davis patrolling center field.  Senior Saul Villegas will also be an asset for the Wolves with the versatility to play on the infield and outfield.

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