Alabama High School Team Preview: Athens Golden Eagles

PBR Alabama Staff

The 2022 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 Montgomery 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: Athens Golden Eagles

Coach’s Name: Chuck Smith

Classification: AHSAA 6A 

Area Number: Area 16 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Pitching and Defense

Top Returning Players:

Top 2023 Prospects:

  • DH Reid Lauderdale (2023)

Top 2024 & 2025 Prospects:

Team Outlook

The Athens Golden Eagles missed out on the Class 6A State Playoffs last spring, but looked primed for a very successful spring in 2022 with many key pieces returning from last year's team. The Golden Tigers should be senior-led this spring, but there are also some younger players fighting for roles heading into the season.

The Golden Eagles are in a tough area this year with Buckhorn, Hazel Green & Columbia, but it looks like they're ready to take the next step and reach the Class 6A State Playoffs. One of those many seniors that comes back for their final year is C/RHP Tucker Stockman (Southern Miss), who brings gap-to-gap power to the plate from the right side and is an upper-80's arm on the back-end, as well. Stockman is a top-20 player in the senior class, and will be looked upon for significant production both at the plate and on the mound. LHP Logan Mooney, RHP Cooper Cochran (UT-Martin) & RHP Braeden Harrison (Wallace-Hanceville CC) are a trio of upperclassmen that are sure to be towards the top of the rotation this spring. Mooney Is a low-80's southpaw with excellent command of all pitches, while Cochran and Harrison are more overpowering with fastballs in the upper-80's. 1B Sam Sandy (Bevill State CC) will look to improve on his four home runs from last spring, as he's in really good shape physically after working hard in the off-season. 3B Connor Beck (Bevill State CC) is a quality defender at third base and will be a top-of-the-order hitter from the right side. OF/RHP Riley Miller has really cemented himself over the past year as one of the top outfielders in the sophomore class. He's got plenty of pop at the plate and should slide into one of the outfield spots this spring. 

The Golden Eagles return five positional starters and six pitchers who saw time on the mound last year, but they'll need some other players to step into bigger roles this season as replace those seniors who have graduated. RHP Mac Anderson has a chance to be a special arm on the mound, as he's gotten into the upper-80's in the past and has a chance to see some innings this spring. DH Reid Lauderdale has some pop from the right side and should see some time as the designated hitter. RHP Grayson Hays & SS/RHP Walker Fleming are also a couple of other underclassmen to watch for this spring. The Golden Eagles have some quality pieces coming back and should be a really competitive club in 2022.