Prep Baseball Report

#10 Chaparral Firebirds: 2024 Season Preview

Shea Sbranti
Arizona Scouting Director

As the dawn of a new baseball season approaches, the Chaparral Firebirds, led by Head Coach Troy Gerlach, gear up for a journey marked by both challenges and opportunities. The 2024 season holds promise for the Firebirds, with a mix of returning veterans and emerging talents. Let's dive in to gain a deeper understanding of what lies ahead for Chaparral.

Returning Strengths and Impact Players: With five returning starters and three pitchers, the Firebirds have a foundation to build upon. The key players expected to make a substantial impact this season include standouts like Chris Newstrom (SS/C), Justin Cherrington (1B), Reece VanDevander, Gavin Mesa (OF), Ryan Penney, Kyle Lockridge, and Raul Escobar. These players, with their diverse skills, aim to provide leadership and stability to the team.

Expectations and Sleepers: The team's expectations for the upcoming season are confidential, hinting at a strategy to rebuild or contend. Alongside the seasoned players, the survey identifies sleepers on the roster, players who may have been overlooked but possess the potential to be game-changers. Kyle Lockridge, Parker Halvorson, Brady Short, and Hudson Sinik are among the hidden gems ready to shine on the diamond.

Top Returning Players: Chaparral's returning roster boasts players like Chris Newstrom, a versatile talent at shortstop and catcher committed to Tennessee, and Justin Cherrington, a first baseman committed to Yavapai. The pitching staff is anchored by Kyle Lockridge, another Yavapai commit, and junior Ryan Penney. Gavin Mesa, a talented junior outfielder, remains uncommitted, adding excitement to his future prospects.

Preseason All-State Recommendations: As the Firebirds aim high, the top three preseason All-State watch list players include Chris Newstrom, Justin Cherrington, and Gavin Mesa. These players are anticipated to be instrumental in shaping Chaparral's success and are ones to watch as the season unfolds.

Key Departures and Newcomers: Acknowledging the departures of notable players like Wyatt Halvorson, Aydin Chippendall, Cody Estes, and Max Mazinter—now pursuing college baseball—the Firebirds welcome new additions. Senior Kyle Lockridge, a Yavapai commit, along with junior talents Parker Halvorson (INF/RHP) and Brady Short (LHP), strengthen Chaparral's roster.


Arizona Rising Stars ID AZ 04/13 Grand Canyon University - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona Rising Stars ID - Session 2 AZ 04/27 Grand Canyon University - Phoenix, AZ