AL HS Team Preview: Citronelle Wildcats

PBR Alabama Staff

The 2023 high school baseball season is quickly approaching and as usual, excitement abounds throughout the state. Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season and, as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across Alabama.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in the Jacksonville/Oxford/Montgomery area 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 keep checking back throughout the season as we will be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across the state. Each week we will be releasing our players of the week, updating the Top 10 in each AHSAA classification as well as a Power 25. One thing that you especially don’t want to miss are our scheduled podcasts with guests from across the state as well as recaps and previews of big games across the state.  

*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 Name: Citronelle Wildcats 

Coach’s Name: Cody Crowell 

Classification: AHSAA 5A 

2022 Record: 6-16

Area Number: Class 5A, Area 2 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Young, lots of returners, dropped down to 5A, new head coach, fielding, speed on bases 

Top Returning Players:

  • 3B Blake Jarvis (2023)
  • OF Austin Reid (2023)
  • 1B Brayden Helton (2024)
  • SS/RHP Randy Hernandez (2024)
  • OF/RHP Joseph Byrd (2024)

Top 2024 Prospects:

  • C/RHP Bradyn Rivers (2024) 

Top 2025 & 2026 Prospects:

  • SS/RHP James Reid (2025)
  • OF/RHP Logan Malone (2026) 

Team Outlook

The Ctronelle Wildcats drop down from Class 6A to Class 5A this year and are placed in a five-team area with St. Paul's Episcopal, LeFlore, Vigor and Mobile Christian. It's a tough area down in the southern part of the state, but with eight positional starters and four pitchers returning, the Wildcats have a chance to be competitive in Class 5A this spring.

While also joining a new classification this spring, the Wildcats will also have a new head coach as Cody Crowell now takes over the reigns of the program. Crowell inherits some upperclassmen and a mix of good young talent who have also gained some experience over the past couple years. 3B Blake Jarvis (2023) and OF Austin Reid (2023) are two seniors coming back to the lineup, and they'll be expected to carry some of the offensive production in the final year of their high school career. 1B Brayden Helton (2024) is another returning offensive producer from last year that has some pop hitting from the left side of the plate, and he'll be looked upon to drive in some runs for this Wildcat offense. SS/RHP Randy Hernandez (2024) and OF/RHP Joseph Byrd (2024) are two more juniors that are going to play two-way roles for Citronelle this spring. Both bring back experience at the plate and on the mound, and will look to have breakout seasons in 2023. Behind the plate, C/RHP Bradyn Rivers (2024) is another intriguing junior prospect to keep an eye out for this season.

While there's a good number of returning upperclassmen talent this spring for the Wildcats, Coach Crowell and Co. also have some younger players who could slide into bigger roles. A couple of those players are SS/RHP James Reid (2025) and OF/RHP Logan Malone (2026). Both of these players will look to get some experience under their belt and provide some depth for the pitching staff. There's a lot of "new" for Citronelle this spring, including a new classification and head coach, and the future looks bright for the Wildcats to be competitive in Class 5A.


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Upcoming Events

Huntsville Preseason ID 1/3/23 Clutch Performance (Huntsville, AL) 
Birmingham Preseason ID 1/4/23 GeauxPlay Sports (Pelham, AL)
North Alabama Preseason All-State (Invite-Only) 1/7/23 Hartselle HS Indoor (Hartselle, AL)
South Alabama Preseason All-State (Invite-Only) 1/8/23 Saraland HS (Saraland, AL)


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