Prep Baseball Report

AL HS Team Preview: Hazel Green Trojans

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: Hazel Green Trojans 

Coach’s Name: Mitchell Wright 

Classification: AHSAA 6A 

2022 Record: 25-16

Area Number: Class 6A, Area 16 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Pitching Experience, Team Speed, Defense

Top Returning Players:

Top 2023 Prospects:

Top 2024 Prospects:

  • LHP Blake Saltzman (2024)  

Top 2025 & 2026 Prospects:

Team Outlook

The Hazel Green Trojans are coming off a historic season in 2022 that featured an appearance in the Final 4 in Class 6A. They'll look to replicate that same success in 2023 using four positional starters and six pitchers returning who saw time on the field last spring.

The Trojans played a fairly difficult schedule a season ago with hopes of being prepared and battle-tested once the end of the season came around. Playing that tough competition payed off, as they ending up winning a difficult Area 16 with Buckhorn, Athens, and Columbia to host the 1st round of the playoffs against Minor. After sweeping past Minor in the 1st round, the Trojans faced off against a talented Oxford club that was ranked inside the Top-5 for most of the season in Class 6A. Hazel Green ended up sweeping the Yellow Jackets in that series by scores of 11-3 and 2-1 to advance to the next round. In the Elite 8, the Trojans were paired with Chelsea and swept that series, as well, by scores of 9-7 and 9-4 to set up a Final 4 matchup against No. 1 Hartselle. The Tigers, however, were able to take down the Trojans by scores of 11-5 and 5-1 to end their season at 25-16. It was no doubt a very successful season, but the Trojans should come back motivated this spring with hopes of making it back to the semifinals using a strong core of returners from last year's team. INF/RHP Tarpley Priest (2024) should be one of their leading hitters like he was a season ago during his sophomore campaign. The corner infielder has shown the ability to hit for both average and power from the left side of the plate, and should also throw some quality innings on the mound this spring.

INF Tarpley Priest (3/19/22)

Two seniors that seem to be the glue of this team are SS/RHP Blake Hall (Gadsden State CC signee, 2023) and C/RHP Parker Hall (Northeast Mississippi CC, 2023), as both were key pieces to last year's playoff run. Blake is a do-it-all type player that will be one of their better players this spring, while his brother Parker is a solid defensive catcher that has a great baseball IQ with some power hitting from the right side. Both are expected to be two of the top leaders for this team in 2023.

SS Parker Hall (3/18/22)
C Parker Hall (5/13/22)

Returning to the top of the rotation on the mound, RHP/OF Jackson Hunter (Alabama recruit, 2024) is a Top-10 prospect in the junior class in AL that will look to build off of a solid sophomore campaign. Hunter will operate around the 88-90 mph range with good action to his slider and changeup, and is an elite competitor that should also see time in the outfield and in the lineup when he is not pitching. He's coming off a standout showing at the North AL Preseason All-State in January.

RHP Jackson Hunter (1/7/23)

A pair of seniors that will look to make their impact both at the plate and on the mound this spring will be INF/LHP Jackson Baeder (2023) and OF/RHP Rayce Craver (2023). Baeder should play first base and outfield defensively while throwing three pitches for strikes on the mound, and Craver should be their everyday center fielder in addition to working in the low-to-mid-80's on the mound with a big, sharp breaking ball. Another upperclassmen that should see plenty of innings on the mound will be LHP Blake Saltzman (2024). The southpaw has a funky delivery with some deception while pitching in the low-80's with strikes using a true slider and fading changeup. OF Jaden Charles (2025) is a premium athlete that can "go get it" in the outfield using 6.63-speed. He also has a strong arm from the outfield to go along with some pop hitting from the right side of the plate.

OF Jaden Charles (6/5/22)

Rounding it out, INF/RHP Israel Navarro (2025) is another stellar athlete that will look to make his impact at the varsity level this spring. He also has the potential to be a five-tool player and should likely play shortstop when Blake Hall is pitching. The right-hander will also work in the low-80's with his fastball with a tight slider on the mound. Both him and Charles have a chance to see significant playing time at the varsity level this spring. The Trojans return to Area 16 this spring and will compete against Buckhorn and Lee-Huntsville for a spot in the playoffs at the end of the season. Look for Hazel Green to once again be right back in the mix in Class 6A once the end of the season comes around in 2023.


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