2021 Louisiana Preseason All-State Team

Alex Armand
Louisiana Scouting Director

Scrimmages and inter-squads have been under way for a couple of weeks now, as we our now about 10 days away from the first game of the high school baseball season.  Today, we introduce to you our 2021 Preseason Louisiana All-State Team.  These teams are never easy to pick, especially, coming off of a lost season last spring.  This group is a talented one with 9/18 guys committed to play in the SEC next year.  Let's get right into it and start with a closer look at the pitchers.



-Jack Walker (Barbe HS):  The cancellation of last year's season negatively impacted just about everyone, except for Jack Walker, as he was recovering from Tommy John surgery in the summer of 2019.  His sophomore season was one to remember as the Mississippi State signee finished with a 9-1 record, 98 K, and a 1.14 ERA, leading the Barbe Bucs to their 10th state championship by beating rival Sam Houston in the title game.  Walker had a great showing at the PBR Super 60; sitting 90-92 mph with his sinking FB.  

-Grant Fontenot (Lafayette HS):  A long and projectable frame; Fontenot was going to be apart of what most likely would have been the best starting rotation in the state last year at Lafayette HS.  The loss of the other three arms from that staff will be huge for Lafayette, but when Fontenot is on the mound, he will give the Lions a really good chance of winning.  The LSU signee has had control issues at times, however, his FB has been clocked up to 94 mph to go along with the rest of his arsenal.

-Kade Woods (Ouachita Christian HS):  Woods is another projectable RHP, standing in at 6'2" 185 lbs.  As a sophomore, Woods struck out 41 batters over 26 1/3 IP with a 3.46 ERA.  HIs junior campaign, albeit shortened, was looking to be a great one for the Alabama signee, as he started of with a 3-0 record and a 1.82 ERA.  He also hit .341 with 3 2B and a HR.  

-Kenya Huggins (St. Augustine HS):  The physical, athletic 6'3" 210 lbs. Huggins may be the most intriguing prospect in the entire state for the 2021 class.  We had a hard time deciding where to put Huggins on this team because he is a true two-way prospect.  On the mound, the Louisiana Tech signee has been up to 93 mph with feel to spin a breaking ball.  More consistency is needed, but the raw arm talent is there.  At the plate, Huggins finished with a .432 average, .914 OPS, and 2 HR during the shortened 2020 season.



-Blaise Priester (Live Oak HS):  There is always one prospect every season who emerges through the summer and the fall before their senior campaign.  That prospect this year is the physical 6'2" 210 lbs. backstop out of Live Oak HS.  The Meridian CC signee made a name for himself this fall in Florida when he hit a loud HR that registered at 108 mph off the bat and the buzz around him has continued to grow in 2021.  



-Peyton Stovall (Haughton HS):  Some believe that the Arkansas signee is one of, if not the best, left handed hitter in the country in the 2021 class.  Jim Callis, with mlb.com, named Stovall as one of the guys outside of the Top 100 high school draft prospects that he believes will move up through this spring.  Many believe that a move to second base in his future, regardless, Stovall's bat is his carrying tool and it is one that should make things interesting come draft time this summer.

-Brennan Holt (Parkview Baptist HS):  LSU always has a guy or two that fit the profile of tough, gritty, hard nosed player, and Holt looks to be that next guy for the Tigers.  The 5'9" 160 lbs. SS is an excellent runner that boasts a 6.50 in the 60, but more importantly, that speed translates to the game, as Holt creates havoc on the base pats.  The left handed hitter also does a really good job in the box, as he has posted a career .357 average, 60 runs, and 31 RBI's at Parkview Baptist HS.

-Connor Simon (St. Paul's HS):  The LSU signee has been committed to the Tigers since his freshman year, as he has been known as one of the best defenders across the state of Louisiana.  Simon also showed off a more physical physique at this year's PBR Super 60; having put on 15 lbs. since the end of last year's shortened season.  We can't forget about what Simon will provide for St. Paul's this season on the mound as well, as he has pitched in big game after big game over his high school career, and has succeeded.  

-Gavin Schulz (Holy Cross HS):  Another gritty, hard nosed player; Schulz was off to a torrid start in 2020 before the season was cut short.  The Tulane signee hit .500 with 4 2B, 3B, HR, and 9 RBI during the shortened 2020 campaign.  Defensively, Schulz shined this summer and Holy Cross Head Coach Andy Cannizaro told us that he believes that Schulz will stick at SS at the next level.  High praise coming from a guy that knows what it takes to be successful in the infield.  We expect Schulz to be a catalyst and leader for Holy Cross this season.  



-Josh Pearson (West Monroe HS):  To say baseball is in the Pearson family blood would be an understatement.  Josh's older brother Jacob was a 3rd round pick in 2017 and younger brother John is one of the top players in the 2024 class for Louisiana.  Josh is a 5'9" 160 lbs. OF who can really run and really hit and hit for power.  The LSU signee posted a 6.50 60 time at this year's PBR LA All-State Games.  During his freshman campaign, in 2018, Pearson hit .421 with a team high 8 HR and 37 RBI.  What's even more impressive is he only struck out 19 times across 154 at-bats.  Pearson has long been known as the best hitter in the state and we expect him to have a big senior year.

-Josh Stevenson (St. Thomas More HS):  Stevenson is another OF heading to LSU next season with strong baseball family ties.  Josh is the younger brother of former LSU standout and current Washington Nationals OF Andrew Stevenson.  Little brother Josh draws a ton of comparisons to his older brother.  Speedy OF who will most likely stay in CF with a high baseball I.Q.  The St. Thomas More product gets excellent reads and jumps off the bat.  Offensively, Josh handles the bat well from the left side and has his frame continues to mature, we expect more power to come.  

-Ian Montz (Acadiana HS):  The 6'2" 170 lbs. OF from Acadiana is the lone player on this roster who is uncommitted and many wonder whether Montz will play football, baseball, or both, as he has several D1 offers for football.  During his sophomore campaign, Montz posted a .375 average with 3 3B, and 10 SB.  Over the last couple of years, the LHH has begun to fill out his frame and has flashed more power, as he hit 2 HR last weekend in a scrimmage.  Montz has a lot of tools that should make him an interesting prospect come draft time this summer.

-Mason Zambo (Catholic BR HS):  If there is one hitter that you would want up, with the game on the line, you would probably want Catholic High's Mason Zambo.  The University of Louisiana signee has a physical 6'2" 210 lbs. frame that has room to add strength.  Hitting from the left side, Zambo has one of the smoothest LHH strokes in the state, but hitting in the clutch is where Zambo really shines.  Whether it was at Catholic High or for the Louisiana Knights during the summer, he always seemed to come up with big hit after big hit.  Look for Zambo to have a monster senior year in what looks to be a loaded Catholic High lineup.



-Ben Tate (Teurlings Catholic HS):  The LHP/OF has been one of the top names in the 2021 class for a long time.  The Tulane signee had been committed to the Green Wave since his freshman year, which brought lofty expectations.  Tate has handled every challenge thrown his way and has continued to improve over his career.  We have received reports that the southpaw has been sitting in the mid-upper 80's with his FB, occasionally touching 90 mph.  When Tate isn't on the mound, we expect him to play 1B or the OF for Teurlings Catholic this spring and be a force in the middle of their order.  

-Kyle Debarge (Barbe HS):  Ragin Cajun fans should be excited for what Debarge will bring to campus next season.  Primarily a 3B through his first two seasons for the Bucs; Debarge showed up to this fall's PBR LA All-State Games with a new set of catcher's gear and he did not disappoint, as he proved to be a quality receiver with above average arm strength, throwing 83 mph from the catching position.  It remains to be seen if the Bucs will use Debarge behind the dish this spring, but if they don't, we expect to him fill the void at SS left by current Mississippi State infielder Davis Meche.  Offensively, we expect him to hit atop the order on a talented Barbe High team.

-Brant Smith (Live Oak HS):  The physical left handed hitter has been one of the most feared hitters in the state since his sophomore year in 2019.  During that campaign, the LSU signee hit .420 with 8 HR and 34 RBI which earned him a 1st Team All-District and All-Parish Selection.  Now a senior, we expect Smith to drive in even more runs in one of the most potent lineups at Live Oak this spring.  In addition to his offense, Live Oak Head Coach Jesse Cassard told us to not be surprised to see Smith take the mound as he has been running his FB up to 88 mph.  

-Matthew Russo (St. Paul's HS):  This 2021 class seem to have quite a few premium left handed bats and Matthew Russo is definitely one of the best.  Physical, 6'3" 235 lbs. frame; the Southern Miss signee has hit .350 with 15 2B, 5 HR, and 54 RBI over his career at St. Paul's.  Along with teammate Connor Simon, Russo, was one of the important pieces for the Wolves state championship run in 2019.  Former MLB All-Star Ben Sheets, who has coached Russo every summer during his high school career, told us, "Russo is as good as they come defensively at first base."  The praise for Russo's defensive prowess didn't stop at first base either, as Sheets told us that Russo can play third base at a high level as well.

-Seaver Sheets (Sterlington HS):  Finishing off our 2021 Preseason All-State Team is two-way prospect Seaver Sheets.  The Auburn signee has been surrounded by talented guys such as Brody Drost (LSU), Connor Simon, and Matthew Russo every summer playing for Sheets Baseball and his father, Ben Sheets.  The 5'11" 165 lbs. SS made huge strides over the summer, showing consistency with the bat and increased power numbers.  As exciting as Sheets is on offense, he is just as exciting on the mound.  Bulldog would be the perfect word to describe Sheets, who pounds the zone with a 90 mph FB that has been up to 93-94 mph, with a devastating breaking ball.  We expect Sheets to lead Sterlington this spring as they defend their state title.