Alabama High School Team Preview: Chelsea Hornets


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: Chelsea Hornets

Coach’s Name: Michael Stallings 

Classification: AHSAA 6A 

Area Number: Area 9 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Pitching and Defense  

Top Returning Players:

Top 2022 Prospects:

Top 2023 Prospects:

Team Outlook

The Chelsea Hornets have consistently produced deep playoff runs throughout the Class 6A State Playoffs over the last few years, including reaching the Final Four last spring. The Hornets return five positional players and five pitchers who saw time on last year's team, so they have plenty of experience coming back for this season.

The Hornets will look to have the same type of success that they had last spring. They lose some key arms in rotation and a few middle-of-the-order bats, but it looks like they should have the talent to replace those spots. LHP/1B Reid Gongwer (South Alabama) will be a player the Hornets will rely on greatly this spring, as he returns a lot of experience both at the plate and on the mound. He brings back the most innings and should slide up to the top spot in the rotation. C Christian Kallaher (Montevallo) is another senior, like Gongwer, who should be one of the leaders offensively for this Chelsea squad. MIF Evan Jones (Snead State CC) & OF Chris McNeill will also be producers offensively after hitting in the lineup last spring. OF Kaleb Hester (Mississippi State) has continued to get stronger this off-season, and is should now be a real power source in the middle of the order after serving as the designated hitter as a freshman in 2021. 

We've mentioned some of the pitchers the Hornets lost to graduation, but there are some other talented arms who are looking to step into bigger roles this spring. RHP Andrew Floyd (Souther Union CC) has been primary reliever the past couple years, so he could be a candidate to move into the rotation. RHP Campbell McCluney & RHP Kaden Heatherly are also two more right-handers will look to build off a solid seasons last spring. Look for the Hornets to be right back in the middle of things in Class 6A at the end of the season.

 

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