TN High School Previews: Clarksville


Colton Provey
Tennessee Scouting Director

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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 Tennessee.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in Murfreesboro at the TSSAA Spring Fling 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. We will take you right up to first pitch this season with these team previews, prospect watchlists, and Tennessee Power Rankings

 *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: Clarksville High School

Coach: Brian Hetland

Classification: TSSAA AAA-District 10

Positional Starters Returning: 5

Pitchers Returning: 5

Team Strengths: Middle Infield and Outfield Defense

Team Weaknesses: Pitching depth behind no.1 Kyle Magrans plus lack of experience and unproven catching. 

 

 Top Returning Players:

2021 RHP/1B Kyle Magrans (Vanderbilt Commit)

2021 OF Nathan Barksdale (Austin Peay Commit)

2021 SS Gavin Baxter (Lee U Commit)

2021 OF Garrison Goins

2021 2B Jackson "Cade" Ross (Vol State Commit)

 

Top 2021 Prospects:

2021 RHP/1B Kyle Magrans (Vanderbilt Commit)

2021 OF Nathan Barksdale (Austin Peay Commit)

2021 SS Gavin Baxter (Lee U Commit)

2021 OF Garrison Goins

2021 2B Jackson "Cade" Ross (Vol State Commit)

 

Top 2022 Prospects:

2022 RHP Brody Lanham

2022 RHP/OF Ryan Murphy

 

Underclass Prospects:

2023 C Layton Trice

2023 OF/RHP Laine Welch

2024 3B Parker Frost

2024 SS Preston Brooks


 

Outlook: 

Former Austin Peay coach and TBCA Hall of Famer Brian Hetland (@BrianHetland20) stacks up to have another competitive group at Clarksville (@ClkHighBaseball) heading into 2021 season. A staple of consistency turning out 25+ win seasons and battling it out at the top of the district 10-AAA.  The Wildcats have won the regular season title the past three seasons, but have struggled to get through the Region 5 semifinals and make a deep postseason run (last state appearance: 2010).  After going 2-0 in 2020, Clarksville will field a deep senior class headlined by RHP/1B Kyle Magrans (Vanderbilt commit). Magrans is a strong, physical player as ace on the mound and power bat in the middle of the order. The Wildcats will be strong up the middle defensively with the trio of CF Nathan Barksdale (Austin Peay commit), SS Gavin Baxter (Lee commit), and 2B Jackson "Cade" Ross (Vol State commit).  Barksdale is very well rounded on both sides and can be an impact player.  Baxter is a strong defender with smooth hands and great consistency while setting the table for the sluggers.  Ross has been a steady improver over the years as above average defender and developing offensive threat.  Throw in speedy LHH OF Garrison Goins (Uncommitted) in the mix, and you have an athletic, senior led team with some unproven, yet skilled younger guys to fill the gaps.  Junior RHP Brody Lanham and RHP/OF Ryan Murphy should fill out the rotation behind Magrans.  Lanham is towering, projectable arm that has been low to mid 80s with solid CB and can plug in at 1B as well.  Murphy has shorter build but has quick arm with reports of low to mid 80s and get time in the OF.  The Wildcats will be young behind the plate, but will also have a few young infielders that will compete for time depending on defensive alignment.  I like the composition of this group with five college-level seniors (specifically up the middle with good athleticism) and a promising trio of arms will look to breakthrough and get Clarksville heading down I-24 to the Boro in May.  

Best of luck this season!

 

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