Season Preview: Prospect Panthers

Ryan Ozella
N. California Area Scout

With the 2019 high school baseball season just around the corner in California (CCS games start 2/18/19), we've been rolling out team previews from around the state. The Central and Southern sections are already underway.

Today we look at the Prospect Panther from CIF-CCS Division 2. Competing in a tough conference, the Panthers are looking to a strong group from last season to carry over some continuity and success for a 2019 season. 

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Team: Prospect

Nickname: Panthers

Section: Central Coast Section, Division 2

League: Blossom Valley Athletic League / Santa Teresa Division

Head Coach/Years at school: Scott Simms (5th season)

Team Twitter Handle: @PHSAthletics18

2018 Overall Record: 14-13 (9-5, 3rd Place in League)

2018 Postseason Finish: 1st round loss

Number of Returning Starters: 4

Number of Returning Pitchers: 2

Top Returning Players:

‘19 RHP/INF Nick Ingvardsen, ‘19 1B/3B Kam Dulay, ‘19 2B Seth Morgan, ‘20 C Ketan Bagade, ‘20 OF Jackson Prudhon

Other Players to Know:

‘20 RHP Connor Kenigsberg, ‘20 RHP/UTL Joshal Parikh

College Commitments: N/A

2019 Outlook:

The Blossom Valley Athletic League (BVAL) is regularly one of the deepest conferences in San Jose with Piedmont Hills, Lincoln, Independence and Gunderson all having had success on the field over the last few years. The Prospect Panthers are working to build on a 3rd place finish from last season and return a roster that had seven sophomores and four juniors on it in 2018. That youth will need to make jumps in 2019 to have the Panthers looking to make a return to the Division 2 playoffs.

Coach Simms brings back some key pieces for his lineup and pitching staff. He believes that the pitching staff will be his team strength and a key for the team's long-term success as they go into 2019. Those returning arms played a vital part in the team’s overall success last season and they are looking to replicate similar success this year. The pitching staff starts with ‘19 RHP/INF Nick Ingvardsen who was one of the best pitchers in the BVAL and returns having matured both physically and with his skills. The long and lean righty led the team in 2018 with 61 IP and Coach Simms expects an even better season for him in 2019. ‘20 RHP Connor Kenigsberg got his feet wet with flashes of success and will be counted on to step into a lead role building upon last season. ‘ 20 RHP/UTL Joshal Parikh is another guy looking to increase his usage this season and provide options for the Panthers at multiple spots including on the hill.

Offensively the Panthers have some key cogs who will look to lead the young offense in 2019. In the middle of the lineup will be ‘19 1B/3B Kam Dulay, who was one of Prospect’s best hitters last season with 9 2B’s and a .372 AVG. Coach Simms raved about his power and hopes to see that translate in-game. Hitting around Dulay will be ‘20 C/INF Ketan Bagade. Bagade has made strides with his offensive potential showing a line-drive bat, but it’s his defensive skills that jumped out this summer with soft hands and a strong, accurate arm. ‘19 2B Seth Morgan will be the catalyst for the offense hitting atop the lineup and looking to get on for all the bigger hitters behind him. ‘20 CF Jackson Prudhon will lock down the middle of the outfield using his above-average speed to track down balls and support his pitchers. He’s another top of the lineup hitter who can impact the game with his quickness on the bases.

The Panthers have a few question marks that Coach Simms is working to find answers for, namely on some defensive positioning. Early in the season he will be moving guys around to find what works best for the roster and can produce the easiest outs for his deep group of starting pitchers. If the Prospect Panthers can answer their questions and find a way to get the most out of their young lineup, the BVAL will become an even deeper and more challenging league in 2019.


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