Colorado Top 50 Countdown: No. 39 Brighton Bulldogs

John Cackowski and Staff
Director of Scouting



Follow @pbr_co on Twitter, and pbrcolorado on Instagram

Interested in attending a PBR Colorado event? Check out our schedule by clicking here.

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage. 

Like any preseason ranking for any sport, last year our list created a lot of fun conversations, debate, and opinions among players, coaches, and families. To see what we got right, and what we got wrong in 2017 Click Here

What makes our list unique is it combines all classifications (1A through 5A), and leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage.

Factors that are considered when creating the Top 50 List are the following:

- How many current players are returning that are in PBR Colorado rankings
- How many overall players committed or non-committed are returning
- How many starting pitchers are returning
- Success the previous season
- History of success in the program

* We expect the teams in the Top 50 Countdown will compete for at least a district playoff spot in 2018

Team No. 39: Brighton Bulldogs

2018 Preseason Rank: 39
2017 Preseason Rank: 43
2017 Record: 17-4
Conference: 5A/4A East Metro
CHSAA Class: 5A
Head Coach: Ray Garza
2017 Playoff Run: Lost in 5A District 2 Championship 12-5 to Legacy
2017 Final Rank: 33
Returning Offensive Starters: 2
Returning Pitchers: 1
Returning Innings on Mound: 2
Returning RBI's returning: 28

The Bullgogs 2.73 overall team ERA was the strength of their team last spring, which all graduated. The Bulldogs also hit 25 homeruns as a team, but only one of those is coming back in 2018. 

Dylon Stricklett is next man up. Has all of the tools to help carry Brighton. If he can step in for the Bulldogs and throw strikes on the mound with his upper 80 fastball that will help ease into a transitional period for the Bulldogs. Also need to find 2 other starting pitchers. 

The Brighton Bulldogs almost moved into the 5A Final 8 for the first time in 2017. As the No. 2 overall seed, they got a tough draw as a host site in Pine Creek in the fist game of 5A District play, but beat the Eagles 5-2 only to run into an underrated Legacy team in the Championship game and lost 12-5. Graduating most of their team from 2017 will not be a detriment. There have been some impressive young players coming to PBR Colorado events since the summer, and it doesn't look like it's going to be an all-out rebuild. Look for Brighton to regroup after a tough end to 2017 and restock with some players flying under the radar. 

Key Player Lost



Liam Eddy RHP / Brighton, CO / 2017

6-foot-3, 180 pounds. The Wichita State commit did everything a high school player could do to lead his team to a 17-4 overall record in 2017 and is our choice as All PBR Colorado Utility player. Eddy almost was the 5A triple crown winner for the Bulldogs leading the state with 11 homeruns, 43 RBI's, and came in 2nd with a .657 batting average. That also doesn't include what he did for his team on the mound going 6-1 on the mound with a 2.54 ERA. In 49 innings Eddy struck out 72 batters. 






Key Players Coming Back




Dylon Stricklett 3B / RHP / Brighton, CO / 2018

5-foot-11, 165-pound left hand hitting 3B/RHP who ran a 7.15 60.  At the plate he stands narrow and open.  He uses a long stride to load and come square.  Swing path is uphill and he showed good power to the right center gap.  Exit velocity was 94 MPH.  In the field he patrols 3rd base well.  He showed good athletic actions and a quick glove to hand transfer.  Arm velocity was 83 MPH with accuracy across the diamond.  He is being groomed to be a pitcher and shows quality mechanics in his delivery.  He drives hard to the plate and throws from an over the top arm slot.  Fastball was 87 MPH with good location away.  He added a 73-74 MPH curve with late 11/5 break.



Gavin Szafraniec 2B / Brighton, CO / 2020

5-foot-7, 150 pounds. Bats and throws right. Solid contact hitter who hit. .424 in 2017 with an .507 OBA scoring 15 runs. Might get on the bump in 2018 out of necessity.  




Players Who Could Make an Impact




Gavin Schmeh SS / 2B / Brighton, CO / 2021

5-foot-5, 126-pound right hand hitting SS/2B who ran a 7.90 60.  At the plate he stands slightly open with a high leg kick and quick load on the pitch.  Swing path is uphill with good extension after contact.  Swing mechanics are sound and during the weekend he handled the fastball very well.  Exit velocity was 76 MPH.  In the field he shows good instincts and anticipation.  He moves well on the ball up the middle and showcased a quick transfer from his glove to his throwing hand.  He has good feet that keep in-line with the bag on his throws and his arm velocity was 73 MPH with accuracy. 




Jordan Sandoval OF / 2B / Brighton , CO / 2021

5-foot-10, 140 pounds. Bats and throws right. Recently showed some impressive bat speed for a freshman at Underclass Invitational highlighted by an 87 mph exit velo. Has a tall, open stance, leg kick stride, straight load back with good extension through the hitting zone. Had a very good live hitting round with gap to gap power. Ran a 4.25 home to first.