Prep Baseball Report

TN HS Team Preview: Oak Ridge Wildcats

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: Oak Ridge High School
Head Coach: Travis Free
Classification: AAAA
District + Region Number: District 3 + Region 2
2023 Record (Finish): 22-14
No. of Returning Positional Starters: 6
No. of Returning Pitchers: 6
Team Strengths: Pitching, offensive lineup.



Caden Black (2024)

Kam Welch (2026)

Richie Ferreira (2025)


Class of 2025

  • LHP Peyton Witter (2025)


Warren East (2027)

Parker Free (2027)


Oak Ridge had a good run last season that saw them finish with a 22-14 record and would lose to eventual 4A state tournament championship participants Farragut and Hardin Valley in regional play. They return a handful of talented upperclassmen with a few underclassmen that offer D1 potential. Pitching should be a major strong suit for this year's club as they have high-end pitching and some depth to go behind them. The Wildcats may lack some high end production from a power standpoint on the offensive side of the ball but offer speed on the basepaths with the ability to string hits together to have big innings. They will be led offensively by senior shortstop and Johnson University signee Caden Black. He should slide back into the leadoff spot and consistently gets on base. The glove is soft and he holds adequate range to stick there at the next level. Senior OF Izzy Mitchell will handle a corner spot as he moves into the starting rotation full time this season. Coach Travis links Mitchell to being this team’s spark plug as he plays with a lot of energy and heart. Senior Khyren Welch will be the team’s primary catcher, where he brings a level of leadership and comfortability with the pitching staff. Junior Richie Ferreira, who will be in his 2nd year with the program will man centerfield and be a focal point in the lineup from the left-side. He was a consistent player a season ago and the expectation is for him to take that next step and carry some juice with the bat. On the mound is where the Wildcat’s look to do a lot of their damage. Sophomore Kamden Welch was a big part of the rotation a year ago and offers projectability as a left-handed pitcher. He is a big kid that is still coming into his frame but can handle eating up plenty of innings. He comes in with a 3 pitch mix in the low to mid 80’s with a wipeout slider that should get in-zone misses, as well as be a reliable go-to for put aways. Behind him, you have uber talented RHP/3B Mikee Teasley, a top 10 player in the 2026 class that has a fastball that can reach into the 90 mph range. They should be in line to have a chance to win every district series with those two guys alone if they can go deep into games and get a bit of run support. Another guy on the hill that has a lot of experience is senior RHP Alex Franklin. This is a guy that has been pitching on varsity since his sophomore season and will push for a starting role in district play as well. The Wildcats will also rely on senior RHP John Ulreich as their first guy out of the pen or in closing type of situations. You then have junior LHP Peyton Witter, who can run the FB into the mid 80’s, while also carrying some juice with the bat. The Wildcats will also be relying on another pair of talented sophomores in OF Warren East and C Parker Free. East is a speedster with 6.7 speed, while Free is a plus defender behind the dish with sub 2.00 pop-times and leadership instincts. This year’s team has plenty of talented pieces on the forefront. They may lack some initial depth but that surely looks to figure itself out as the season progresses with a couple of new names set to get their first playing time on varsity. They may be youthful, as they will have multiple freshmen and sophomores in the line-up every night. However, look for them to lead their district with another regional showdown against powerhouse Farragut and talented Hardin Valley. Ultimately, it will come down to matchups, but the pitching is legit and a big reason for being high on them this season.

Find more information on the 2024 Oak Ridge program below:

+ Follow them on X: @OakRidgeCats
+ Visit the Prep Baseball Tennessee Team Previews Page


+ Prep Baseball Tennessee on X
+ Prep Baseball Tennessee on Instagram
+ Prep Baseball Tennessee on Facebook


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