Alabama High School Team Preview: Chelsea Hornets


PBR Alabama Staff

    The 2021 high school baseball season is quickly approaching and as usual, excitement abounds throughout the state. That excitement may be at an all-time high entering this high school season as the 2020 high school baseball season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season during an offseason unlike any other and as always, 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 note that all information is based on team preview questionnaires that were sent out and returned by the participating high school coaches.

 

High School: Chelsea High School

Classification: AHSAA 6A Area 9

Positional Starters Returning: 4

Pitchers Returning: 4

Team Strengths: Pitching and Defense

Team Weaknesses: We will have several players that don’t have varsity experience.

 

Top Returning Players:

2021 OF/LHP Connor Ball 

2021 RHP Brock Hill 

2021 1B Jackson Webster 

2021 OF Cole Kennedy 

2021 MIF Adam Reaves 

2022 LHP Reid Gongwer 

 

Top 2021 Prospects:

2021 RHP Parker Szush 

 

Top 2022 Prospects:

2022 INF/RHP Andrew Floyd 

 

Outlook: 

2021 may be the year of the dominant pitchers in Alabama and the Chelsea Hornets have their share of quality arms that return from the shortened season in 2020. Although they will ride their quality arms this season, they will be relying on several position players that lack varsity experience. Senior Connor Ball is a name that is no stranger to those across the state of Alabama. He has enjoyed plenty of success as a Hornet and looks for another stellar year during his senior campaign. Hitters have a hard time getting comfortable against the southpaw as he can truly throw any pitch in any count. Ball signed with the University of Alabama. Another of those quality front line arms is senior RHP Brock Hill. The University of South Alabama signee has logged plenty of innings over the last few years and shows exceptional command of an upper 80's fastball and legitimate secondary stuff. Jackson Webster is a senior 1B that shows superior power with the bat and can leave the yard at any time, showing triple digit exit velocity numbers on occasion. Webster is headed to Birmingham Southern College to continue playing baseball after high school. Two other key senior returness are OF Cole Kennedy and MIF Adam Reaves. Kennedy (6'2 190 lbs.) does a nice job defensively in the outfield and should be a definite offensive contributer in 2021. Reaves is a slick fielding shortstop that moves well laterally while also handling the bat well at the plate. In addition to Ball, the Hornets feature another high profile southpaw in junior LHP Reid Gongwer. The University of South Alabama has impeccable control of all three of his pitches which often translates to quick innings and allows him to pitch deep into games. The 2022 grad locates and changes speeds as well as anyone. Another senior headed to play in college after high school is RHP Parker Szush. The 6'2 170 pounder will be attending Huntingdon College after his senior season at Chelsea. Szush shows clean, easy actions on the mound and will be counted on to log some important innings this season. Yet another big time arm that will toe the rubber this year will be junior INF/RHP Andrew Floyd. Although he may not be the biggest player on the field there is no doubting the potential on the mound. He shows electric arm speed with a fastball in the upper 80's that he can command to both sides of the plate. The changeup is also a "plus' pitch that simply disappears into right hand hitters. The Hornets will be depending on several newcomers in the lineup but the pitching staff should keep runs at a minimum. 

 

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