Prep Baseball Report

TN HS Team Preview: McMinn County Cherokees

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: McMinn County
Head Coach: Matt Ray
Classification: AAAA
District + Region Number: District 5 + Region 3
2023 Record (Finish): 21-7




    McMinn County is coming off back to back seasons with 20+ wins and returning a senior heavy squad with some D1 commits and talented underclassmen. The Cherokees stacked up really quality wins last season as they would beat private school powerhouses McCallie, Boyd-Buchanan and Baylor. They would end up finishing 2-3 against TSSAA 4A state tournament participant Walker Valley where they lost a 3 game series in sub-state, although outsourcing them 15-14 for the series. The lineup looks to be a major strength of theirs in 2024 with power potential and the ability to get on base at a high clip. ‘25 OF Reese Frazier should slide over to CF this season and continue to hit in the leadoff spot. He can steal bags in bunches and should be a major spark at the top of their lineup. ‘24 Cincinnati signee Ty Barnett should slide back into the 2 hole and fill out 1B, while also leading the charge on the mound from the left-side. The FB comes in the upper 80’s with feel for spinning his off-speed. In the 3-hole, you will have IF and Alabama commit ‘26 Brooks Berry. The bat is legit from the left-side and should be a major run producer for them this season, while also showcasing the ability to hit HR’s. ‘24 Carson-Newman signee Mason Roderick looks to step back into the 4-hole where he produced a high number of doubles last season. He will also look to be the #2 on the mound where he has a knack for filling up the zone with a 3-pitch mix. ‘24 MIF/C and Cleveland State signee Hunter McDonald will slide up the lineup this year and will be a major staple in the middle part of the lineup. ‘24 Jayce Falls looks to take a larger role this season and there are expectations for him to be a consistent bat in a very deep lineup. Rounding out their 3 man rotation looks to be ‘24 RHP Landon Fugate who comes into the season with increased velocity and pitchability with a mid 80’s FB and a breaking-ball that can put hitters away. The Cherokees will also have incoming freshman Luke Lawson, who has an extremely soft glove up the middle and will be a major weapon for them in years to come. The lineup is for real with a blend of power, contact and speed. On the pitching side, they did lose ace Jace Hyde, who is now at ETSU but seem to have enough pieces in place to recover with an established 3-man rotation. The bullpen looks to be something that they will figure out as they go and guys step up but they again should be back above the 20 win column with eyes set on returning the favor against Walker Valley in their district in 2024. They have enough pieces to make it back to Murfreesboro in late May and would be a great way for a loaded senior class to do so.


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