Alabama High School Team Preview: Opelika Bulldogs


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: Opelika Bulldogs 

Coach’s Name: Zach Blatt 

Classification: AHSAA 6A 

Area Number: Area 4 

No. of Returning Positional Starters:

No. of Returning Pitchers:

Team Strengths: Return All Pitching & Offensive Lineup

Top Returning Players:

Top 2022 Prospects:

Top 2023 Prospects:

Top 2024 & 2025 Prospects:

Team Outlook

The Opelika Bulldogs return a lot of important pieces from last year's squad that started playing really well down the stretch. They won their area & hosted the 1st Round of the Class 6A State Playoffs, but got eventually eliminated by a tough Spanish Fort club. This year, the Bulldogs look primed for another successful spring.

In terms of positional players returning, Opelika gets back arguably their best bat back in C Brooks Bryan (Troy). He provides an immediate presence in the heart of the Bulldogs' order and has served as a primary run-producer over the past few years. INF Harrison Long (Chattahoochee Valley CC) is another key offensive piece returning, as he was one of the leading hitters at the top of the order last year and has made significant strides over the past couple years. INF JD Chase is another middle-of-the-order type hitter that returns for his senior season after hitting at a .341 clip. OF/C Jake Smith & UTL Bryce Speakman are a pair of juniors who will play key roles this spring, as well. Smith turned in a .330 batting average last spring, and Speakman will also see his role expand in 2022.

On the mound, Opelika returns all of their innings from last year's rotation, which is pretty rare to see. RHP Jackson Harris (Southern Union CC) is a senior that should be back at full strength after having to miss some of the season due to injury. He's got an upper-80's fastball and quality secondary offerings and should be at the top of the rotation in 2022. RHP Brantley Davis & RHP Kydylan Ligon are also seniors who have a ton of starts under their belt and are primed for successful springs. With the amount that Opelika has returning this year, the Bulldogs have a chance to be real contenders in Class 6A in 2022.

 

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