Prep Baseball Report

Alabama High School Team Preview: Gardendale Rockets

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: Gardendale High School 

Coach’s Name: Ryan Keedy 

Classification: AHSAA 6A 

Area Number: Area 12 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Experience, Defense 

Top Returning Players:

Top 2022 Prospects:

Top 2023 Prospects:

Top 2024 & 2025 Prospects:

Team Outlook

The Gardendale Rockets made a good run throughout the Class 6A State Playoffs last spring, reaching the Elite 8 before being eliminated by a talented Chelsea squad. The good news for the Rockets is that they return the bulk of that roster from last year. They do, however, lose SS Presley Walker, who is now at Wallace-Hanceville CC, but it looks like they have enough pieces to have another quality season.

The Rockets should be a very experienced team in 2022 with plenty of veteran upperclassmen leading the way. RHP/OF Eli Moore is an excellent competitor on the mound who fills up the zone with all three offerings. He's worked up to 85 mph with his fastball and will also hit in the middle of the order for the Rockets. OF Nick Rigdon is an excellent athlete who returns to the order for Gardendale. He's a strong, athletic 5-9, 195-pound left-handed hitter who was clocked at 6.57 in the 60 YD at an event last summer. He does a good job of getting on base and using his speed to his advantage. C Juan Morales (Wallace-Hanceville CC) is a physical 5-11, 180-pound switch-hitting backstop that hit in the heart of the order last year for the Rockets. He's got significant pop from both sides of the plate and controls the running game defensively. 3B/RHP Connor Hensley is another upperclassmen for the Rockets who has a good arm on the mound and will be relied on for some offensive production, as well.

Although there are a solid amount of upperclassmen on this roster, Gardendale had a couple freshman that played crucial roles last spring. 1B Ty McGraw is one of the top power hitters in the current sophomore class in the state at 6-2, 215-pounds. He was inserted into the cleanup spot last spring and provided some immediate production offensively. He'll be an instant run-producer for the Rockets this spring. SS Cooper Jarvis is another sophomore who hit towards the top of the lineup last spring. He has a chance to take over at shortstop for Gardendale and should be one of the leaders offensively. A few other players that will be relied on in different capacities this spring will be OF Grant Chandler, INF/RHP JD Salters, RHP/OF Kyle Norris, RHP Seth Alexander, LHP/OF Logan Fitzgerald & 1B Caiden Combs. It should be another successful spring for the Rockets in 2022.


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