OK High School Preseason Spotlight: Claremore


Diego Solares
Staff Writer

The Oklahoma high school baseball season kicks off on March 2nd, opening day for regular season action under Ossaa regulations. Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2021 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications, leading into a countdown through the official PBR Oklahoma Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Perennially, we’ve submitted a Preseason Questionnaire to high school head coaches across the entire state. Their responses have been flooding in and we’re using the detailed insight they’ve provided in our team-by-team preseason analysis.

If you would like your team covered, please have your head coach email us at [email protected]

Our 2021 preseason coverage continues today.

Team: Claremore High School
OSSAA Class: 5A
Head Coach: Jim Sherl
Returning Starters: 8
Returning Pitchers: 6

TOP PLAYERS

Noah Smallwood INF, 2022

The top-ranked prospect on Claremore’s squad, Smallwood represented Team Oklahoma at the PBR Future Games this past summer and remains one of the top uncommitted prospects in the state’s junior class. He should slot in as a stable all-around contributor for this team as arguably their top player. Here is his scouting report from our Oklahoma Underclass Prospect Games in June of 2020: 

“5-foot-10, 150-pound slim frame. At the plate, the right-handed hitter clocked an exit velocity of 85 mph. Started in a balanced stance with a quick load, then used a big leg kick before his swing. Bat speed is quick, exhibits flat swing plane and level finish. He barreled up some balls. Line drive approach. Athletic in the infield, his best throw was registered at 82 mph; has a tapping developing exchange, soft hands and consistent developing feet. Showed a short arm action and a ¾ slot. Recorded a time of 7.03 in the 60-yard dash.”

Providing a steady amount of contribution on the infield are two seniors looking to round out their high school careers with a quality, competitive 2021 season: Brooks Sherl and Camron Palmer. Their experience on the diamond could prove pivotal for the Zebras at times this season. 

Roaming around the outfield grass for head coach Jim Sherl’s squad are two junior athletes with upside offensively: Scott Cutsinger and Carson Young. Both are built at athletic 6-foot+ frames, their experience as starters for this team, despite missing last season, could ultimately be a major part to Claremore’s success equation.

OUTLOOK

STRENGTHS: From an internal standpoint, Claremore views this triad of things as their team strengths: youth, energy, and defense. 

AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: Despite returning six pitchers from the 2020 team, Claremore’s staff still has question marks attached to it. Their development as a group could be the defining factor to what this team’s outlook is. 

Make sure to follow @PBR_Oklahoma on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2021 season.

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