2020 Northeast Future Games - New Look, Same Excitement - Team Michigan

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

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2020 Northeast Future Games - New Look, Same Excitement - Team Michigan

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DUBOIS, Pa. - New look … same excitement and enjoyment.

That was the general feeling from those that participated in the 2020 Future Games at Showers Field and Stem Field in Dubois, Pa.

“The Future Games stands out second to none,” Aaron Wilson, PBR Michigan Director of Scouting, said after the event.

The different look this year, based off of COVID-19 restrictions, resulted in eight squads combining to form the Northeast Future Games, including Team Michigan. Teams representing New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Ohio as well as Team Select - with players from six different states - participated in the ninth annual experience.

“What stood out this year was that there didn’t seem to be much difference, even with coaches not in the stands,” related Wilson. “The TV crew that covered the game did a phenomenal job and the players played with energy. The scenery was amazing with two turf fields.

“Although the coaches were not in the stands, you couldn’t tell. The phones were going off. We didn’t miss a beat with exposure.”

Players came away impressed with the event as well.

“The competition at the Future Games was amazing,” explained Carson Byers, a 5-9 185-pound left-handed pitcher from Mattawan ranked 30th in Michigan’s 2022 class. “I like to play against the best teams I can, and that’s what I got down in DuBois.”

Representing your state and playing with other outstanding players from Michigan was a dream come true.

“Being on Team Michigan felt like we built a brotherhood,” pointed out Gregory Pace Jr., a Detroit Edison outfielder ranked ninth in the state in the 2022 class. “I only knew one other person before and I left from the event knowing we’re a family. Something that stood out about us is the love and passion that we have for the game and how we pick one another up and keep everyone up throughout the whole nine innings.”

Jacob Turner, a St. Clair 5-10 145-pound right-handed pitcher, is another that was more than happy to play for Team Michigan in the PBR event.

“It was an honor for me to be on Team Michigan,” related Turner, the third-rated uncommitted pitcher in the state’s 2022 class. “What stood out most was that it really was a great group of guys and a lot more camaraderie in the dugout than egos. I wish all my teammates great success in their recruiting journeys in the weeks and months to come.”

Getting looks from college coaches was different this year due to the constraints from the coronavirus, but live streaming helped alleviate any concerns in that regard with an estimated 300-plus coaches from across the country looking on.

“Participating in the Future Games is one of the best events you could go to if you want to play at the next level, and provides the best opportunity,” pointed out Hudson Davenport, a 6-4 225-pound third baseman from Richmond who made a big impression winning MVP honors in two games. “You get seen by all the college coaches around the United States. This year's unforeseen circumstances did not seem to affect the professional way the event was put on and I am grateful for the dedication to the Future Games organization.”  

The exposure brings hope to all players participating when it comes to a college offer and commitment, with four incoming juniors on the Michigan squad already making their commitment known since the event ended. Jake Coulter of Brother Rice has committed to Kentucky, Ciaran Caughey of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s to Kent State, David Lally of Grand Blanc to Notre Dame and Byers to Miami of Ohio

“Participating in the Future Games is a once in a lifetime experience that I am sure will open many doors for me as I come closer to finding my home for four years,” Byers said prior to his commitment.

Michigan came away with one win, one tie and one loss in three games over the course of the Future Games.

“The team played great,” Wilson said. “All weekend the Michigan guys brought it. They left it on the field. The big-time game was with Team Ohio. There was a lot of energy in that game.”

College coaches took notice in the play of Team Michigan as well.

“Guys have been on several phone calls daily,” Wilson said. “Already four guys have committed and I look to see a few more come off soon.

“It was just an amazing weekend,” Wilson continued. “The Future Games lived up to what it’s always been - the premier event for the top uncommitted freshmen and sophomores in the country.”

A PBR thank you to all that participated and a special thanks to the following players on Team Michigan that gave their thoughts about the event (including what schools have been in contact with them since the event):

Brady Birchmeier 1B / 3B / New lothrop, MI / 2022

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
My Future Games highlights were hitting a personal record of 105 exit velo and getting to know so many great players.

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Michigan and what stood out.
Being a part of Team Michigan was an experience that was second to none. It’s crazy how good the talent is in the state of Michigan.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
By participating in the Future Games you get tons of exposure to college coaches and at the end of the day helps you commit to a college. 

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
I’ve had a couple of schools contact my coaches, and I just had my first call with Ball State.

Trevor Busyn RHP / Clarkston, MI / 2022

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
Being around guys that want to compete with the best in the country and, personally for me, competing against the best.

PBR: Assess your performance.
Personally, I think I didn’t do too well. I struggled finding the zone and my velo wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Michigan and what stood out.
I loved being a part of the team. Again, being around guys that wanted to play the best and beat the best. The game against Team Ohio was a great game because everyone was on the same thought of beating Ohio.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition was great. When the kids on Team Connecticut got a hit off me, it was usually a hard hit ball into the outfield and the gaps.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
Normally there are coaches there in person to watch but with the times we are in now they can still watch but over the internet. I think having them there in person helps them see how you are during the game and see things that they may not be able to see over the livestream.

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
I had a conversation with coach Brian Furlong at Xavier after the Future Games.

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