AL HS Team Preview: Corner Yellow Jackets

PBR Alabama Staff

The 2023 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 Alabama.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in the Jacksonville/Oxford/Montgomery area at the AISA or AHSAA state championships, 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 Alabama. We will take you right up to first pitch this season with these team previews and by continuing our scheduled podcasts and releasing our preseason Top 10 in each AHSAA classification. 

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 Top 10 in each AHSAA classification as well as a Power 25. One thing that you especially don’t want to miss are our scheduled podcasts with guests from across the state as well as recaps and previews of big games across the state.  

*Please note that all information is based on team preview questionnaires that were sent out and returned by the participating high school coaches.

High School Name: Corner Yellow Jackets 

Coach’s Name: Caleb Hoyle 

Classification: AHSAA 4A 

2022 Record: 22-9

Area Number: Class 4A, Area 10 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers: 12+ 

Team Strengths: Pitching, Hitting 

Top Returning Players:

Top 2023 Prospects:

Top 2024 Prospects:

  • INF/RHP Carson Hurley (2024) 

Top 2025 & 2026 Prospects:

  • LHP/OF Sam Hill (2025)

Team Outlook

The Corner Yellow Jackets come into the 2023 season as one of the favorites to be a threat to hoist the Class 4A blue map, which seems to be a wide-open classification with many quality teams throughout the state. Dropping down from Class 4A this spring, the Yellow Jackets will look to have a strong year competing in their new classification after being competitive in Class 5A for the past few years.

The Yellow Jackets reached the 20-win mark in 2022 going 22-9 with some quality wins over some strong programs. Some of these wins include Mortimer Jordan, Jasper, Gardendale, Shelby County and some others. They'll look to continue to take a strong step in the right direction, and have plenty of returning talent both at the plate and on the mound to make a deep run throughout the Class 4A playoffs. Speaking of runs throughout the playoffs, the Yellow Jackets reached the Class 5A playoffs last spring finishing as the runner-up in their area. In their 1st round matchup, they traveled to Sardis and ending up sweeping the series by scores of 8-2 and 14-4 to advance to the Sweet 16. Facing off against Madison Academy, the Yellow Jackets took Game 1 of the series by score of 4-3, but dropped Games 2 and 3 by scores of 2-1 and 14-5 to close their season out at 22-9. It was a successful season, however, and they'll look to carry that momentum into the 2023 season. Their pitching staff should no-doubt be one their strengths this spring, as they will feature three frontline arms in their rotation and all of them are ranked inside the Top-35 in the junior class. Starting it off, RHP/3B Brendan Conner (2024) is fresh off a stellar performance at this month's North AL Preseason All-State, where he was named a top performer for his offensive ability and stuff on the mound. Conner, a top uncommitted junior in AL and former PBR Future Gamer, has pitched in some big games ever since his freshman year and has been a key offensive piece in the middle of their lineup. Expecting an even bigger junior campaign, ran his fastball up to 91.3 mph with strikes with all secondary offerings and registered exit velocities north of 100 mph during his round of BP. He will definitely be a name-to-know heading into this spring.

RHP/3B Brendan Conner (1/8/23)

The next returner who has already made a big impact on the Yellow Jackets' program is RHP/1B Brodie Dunlap (Alabama-Birmingham recruit, 2024). Dunlap is another former PBR Future Gamer who enjoyed a big year on the summer circuit and capped it off committing to Alabama-Birmingham just a few months ago. The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder has also seen his fastball get in the low-90's with a four-pitch arsenal using his strong, physical frame. He also is a physical presence in the right-handed box and will be expected to provide some production offensively hitting in the heart of the order once again.

RHP Brodie Dunlap (7/30/22)

Another uncommitted junior who will be looked upon to help lead the charge both on the mound and at the plate will be RHP/OF Eli Cannon (2024). Cannon, another uncommitted junior ranked inside the Top-35 in the class in AL, has really made significant strides on the mound and has a quality three-pitch mix with a fastball that can get into the upper-80's on the mound. Cannon is an elite competitor on the mound and also features a devastating splitter in the mid-70's as one of his primary secondary offerings. He's another junior that will be a name-to-know heading into this spring.

RHP Eli Cannon (10/24/21)

Returning as another key piece to this Yellow Jackets' program will be C Cole Rasbury (2024), who seemed to be the heart beat for them behind the plate during his sophomore campaign. Handling a strong pitching rotation, Rasbury does a great job managing the game defensively and has a high baseball IQ. The junior left-hander will also look to provide some power in the middle of the order using his strong, physical frame. One of their few seniors on this squad will be OF Gavin Brown (2023), who is an extremely athletic player that should hit near the top of the order once again. Brown has plenty of pop from the right side and can "go get it" in the outfield defensively. In addition to his efforts on the diamond, Brown is also a two-time 1,000 yard rusher on the gridiron and uses that speed well on the baseball field.

OF Gavin Brown (3/29/22)

Also looking to provide some power in the heart of their order this spring will be C/DH Cade Rouse (2023), who is also a two-time All-State defensive lineman on the gridiron. Rouse will look to have a senior junior campaign at the plate and be a big part to their offense.

C/DH Cade Rouse (4/12/22)

Another upperclassmen who is expected to contribute as a two-way player this spring will be INF/RHP Carson Hurley (2024). Hurley should play a lot of infield for the Yellow Jackets at multiple positions defensively using a strong arm and good range. The junior also handles the bat well from the right side and can hit the ball to all parts of the field.

It's a strong group of upperclassmen returning this spring, mostly of which are juniors, but there are also some younger players who are looking to make an impact this year at the varsity level. One of those names to know for the Yellow Jackets will be LHP/OF Sam Hill (2025), who has plenty of potential to throw some quality innings on the mound. The sophomore is a southpaw who creates natural run to his fastball and will be a key arm coming out of their bullpen this spring. It's easy to see what should make the Yellow Jackets a real threat to be a contender in Class 4A this spring, as they'll look to rely on some strong pitching and hitting this spring. Competing in Area 10, Corner will face off against Curry, Cordova and Dora for a spot in the playoffs at the end of the regular season. They have a chance to be a real competitor in Class 4A heading into the 2023 season.


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