Alabama High School Team Preview: North Jackson Chiefs


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: North Jackson Chiefs 

Coach’s Name: Cole Porter 

Classification: AHSAA 4A 

Area Number: Area 14 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Pitching 

Top Returning Players:

Top 2022 Prospects:            

Top 2024 & 2025 Prospects:

Team Outlook

The North Jackson Chiefs come in to the 2022 spring looking to have the same type of success they had in 2021. The Chiefs were one of the more talented teams in Class 4A, as they won their area and swept through the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Rounds of the state playoffs. They were, however, eliminated by a really good Oneonta squad in the Final Four but had a great season, nonetheless.

This year, Coach Porter & Co. have to be excited about what they have coming back from that team that reached the Class 4A State Semifinals. As mentioned above, the Chiefs return seven of their positional starters and seven pitchers on the mound, making for one of the more experience and veteran groups in Class 4A. INF/RHP Landon Barnes will be one of those veterans that North Jackson will rely on. The senior is a true two-way player who has been the workhorse of the staff over the past three years. He's also an experienced hitter who will hit in the heart of the order. INF/RHP Carson Smith is another two-way player the Chiefs have returning from last year's team that played a crucial role in their success. Smith a sophomore who started every Game 1 in the postseason and hit in the middle of the order. He's a strong kid with gap-to-gap strength in the box and has a mid-80's fastball with elite competitiveness on the mound. RHP/UTL Dalton Morris is a returning pitcher that has worked mostly out of the bullpen in recent years, but has a legitimate shot to move into the starting rotation in 2022. Another senior for North Jackson is C Macklin Guess, who has been a three-year starter for the Chiefs. He's a solid defender behind the plate and has hit at the top of the order for the past two seasons.

North Jackson was the beneficiary of some young guys stepping up into the bigger roles last spring, resulting in their Final Four run. 1B/LHP Cayden Wynne was one of those players as he earned the starting job midway through the season. He's a sophomore who is a strong kid and could who could be due for a big year with continued development. A few other sophomores who gained plenty of experience last year are OF/C Nick Jernagin, OF/RHP Jonathan Linderman & INF/RHP Blake Matthews. All three are solid middle-of-the-order hitters who should continue to get better as they grow and get stronger. With all of these players coming back for the Chiefs, it should be another great year for North Jackson.

 

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