Prep Baseball Report

TN HS Team Preview: Cannon County Lions

Hunter Martin
TN Scouting Director

The 2024 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 Tennessee.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in Murfreesboro at The Spring Fling as they compete for a state championship, 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 Tennessee. We will take you right up to first pitch this season with these team previews and by continuing other pieces of content covering the Volunteer State.

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 Power 25 and much more.

*Please note the information has been gathered from head coaches across the state, based on their replies to the questionnaire we distributed over this offseason.

High School: Cannon County High School
Head Coach: Colin Jones
Classification: AA
District + Region Number: District 5 + Region 9
2023 Record (Finish): 17-18-1
No. of Returning Positional Starters: 5
No. of Returning Pitchers: 3
Team Strengths: Solid defensively, top of lineup should produce baserunners with top 2 homerun and average hitters returning. Ace on the mound in AJ Armstrong returning. Speed on the basepaths should be a strength.



Ben Kauffman (2025)


  • UTL Jon Andrew Bryson (2027)


Cannon County had a very interesting season in 2023 with an appearance in the TSSAA 2A state tournament, although with a record of 17-18-1. The Lions got out of the gate decently going 5-5 in March and would continue a trend of splitting wins/losses each month as the season progressed. However, May was very good as the club started to string wins together with consistent hitting that saw them sweep Watertown, a team that earlier in the season swept them. That team is long gone as this year's club will have to replace a number of players, however, the Lion’s will have 3 returning arms, to go alongside a good majority of their talent back in five position players. The club is led by do it all senior AJ Armstrong, who led every category offensively and on the mound last season for the club. He comes into his senior year as a two-time state player on the back of a .449 average with 5 HR’s, 49 BB, 59 runs scored, 29 stolen bases and 1.9 ERA. He is right up there as one of the top unsigned ‘24 class prospects in the state. Behind Armstrong will be ‘25 Ben Kauffman, who hit .300 last season with 4 HR’s, 35 hits and 50 RBI’s. He should also slide right in as one of their top end guys on the mound and be a leading power hitter in 2A somewhere in the middle of the order for the Lions. “25 Garrett Crawford is another guy that should be a major leader on this year’s squad as he will be another guy right in the middle of the starting rotation, while also manning centerfield and SS at times. He looks in line to be this year’s leadoff hitter and has the ability to impact the game on the basepaths looking to grow on his 15 SB from last year. “25 Eli Pelham is a left-handed arm that should be one of the top relievers on this year’s team. He also is a guy coming into his own offensively as he hit .450 in postseason play last year. The Lions will also look to an incoming freshman in Jon Andrew Bryson, who Coach Jones thinks will be a major spark plug as he is already a smooth defender and present ability at the plate. The outfield also looks to have Blake Fritts and Landon Smith man different positions at times. This year’s team looks to be pretty solid on the defensive side, with enough pieces to move players around to not have really any drop off if a guy takes to the mound. They also look to have a bit of speed on the base paths that should aid them in stealing bags and getting runners into scoring position. This team does however have new guys in the lineup that have little to zero varsity experience, while also lacking deep relief depth but if their starters can hold their own and eat innings up, that shouldn’t be a major factor. Forrest and Cascade look to be strong again in a really tough district. Look for the top two teams that make it out to make a legit push towards the state tournament.


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