Prep Baseball Report

Team Ohio: Future Games 'A Can't Miss Event'

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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***** If you were on Team Ohio and did not share your thoughts, feel free to email us and we will get them included within this article. *****

Team Ohio: Future Games 'A Can't Miss Event'

EMERSON, Ga. - Schools from around the nation were in attendance at the eighth annual Future Games, held for the first time at LakePoint Sports Community just north of Atlanta.

From Miami, FL up to Boston College, to Ohio State and Vanderbilt over to Washington and down to Stanford and back to LSU, there were 320 college coaches in all represented. That easily surpasses the previous best mark of 253 set a year ago when the event was held at Grand Park near Indianapolis.

“With more than 300 college coaches in attendance, there is simply no better event in the country,” explained Shooter Hunt, National Crosschecker for Prep Baseball Report. “Lakepoint is a one-stop shop for recruiters. Without multiple complexes to drive to, it gives each program/coach the ideal setting to see the largest number of potential recruits in one setting.

“Most of the schools in attendance came with multiple coaches, and there was a large collection of head coaches that made the trip. This says it all: the Future Games is a can't miss event.”

Ohio Director of Scouting Jordan Chiero came away impressed.

“The new venue was fantastic (aside from the lightning delays),” Chiero said. “These were top-notch facilities and it was very convenient for scouts to roam from field to field and an easy walk to watch our Junior Future Games teams. The trackman technology was awesome as well.”

The talent, including Team Ohio, also jumped out.

“Obviously the amount of college coaches and the unbelievable facilities are unmatched, but what stood out to me about this year’s event is the depth of talent our state has to offer.” Chiero said. “With commitments happening earlier and earlier, the amount of committed guys in the ‘21/22 class was far more than we’ve had in years past, so we came into this year not knowing what to expect. But we didn’t skip a beat. We arguably had one of the more talented rosters we’ve had since I’ve been around.”

Finding standouts can sometimes be hard to do among all the great players.

“I find each year that it is so difficult to keep track of the Ohio players because they all seem to blend together,” Hunt noted. “They’re strong, athletic kids who post impressive measurable numbers with plenty of upside.”

There was certainly a lot to see no matter what team you were watching.

“I think the biggest thing that stood out this year was the overall depth of talent,” Hunt pointed out. “Speaking with some of the college coaches in attendance, and watching it myself, the average talent-level rose at this year's event. Even trying to break down a ‘top prospects’ list has been a challenge because there were so many good players.”

Chiero was more than happy with what he saw from Team Ohio.

“This was my fourth year and this team was one of my favorites to be around,” Chiero said. “The guys clicked right away and by the third day you truly had a team vibe within the group. Obviously these guys are all incredibly talented baseball players, but the makeup of the group was through the roof as well.

“I was very happy with how our team played,” Chiero continued. “We tied a very talented Pennsylvania team, we beat Canada to end their winning streak, and I guess you could say we ‘lost’ to Michigan but the game was shortened due to lightning. 

“All in all I thought our guys showed very well and my phone hasn’t stopped ringing since with college coaches wanting more info on our players.”

The ability to make an impression is something Hunt feels players need to understand.

“There is so much to be said about how you, as a player, handle yourself on and off the diamond throughout the event,” Hunt explained. “With the college coaches so close to the action, and getting a chance to ‘lock-in’ on their targeted players for four days, it is important to present yourself well. Those players bringing energy and enthusiasm each day definitely stood out, and their preparation pregame and generally how they carry themselves does not go unnoticed.”

From a perspective of the players, there is so much to gain from the experience.

“Being a part of Team Ohio was amazing,” pointed out Samuel Slodic, a 2022 player from Notre Dame Cathedral Latin. “The positive energy, the confidence each player had in each other, and everyone having a straight up outgoing personality helped not only with the success we had on the field, but helped us form a brotherhood off the field, allowing me to make friendships that will last a lifetime.”

It was also a learning experience playing with and against the competition present at the event.

“I feel that the Future Games gave me a little sneak peek of what D1 baseball is going to be like,” noted Bobby Perebzak, a 2021 left-handed pitcher from Walsh Jesuit. “It also shows how much more advanced the game is compared to baseball my age and in high school.”

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

***** If you were on Team Ohio and did not share your thoughts, feel free to email us and we will get them included within this article.

Jake Armsey SS / RHP / Walsh Jesuit, OH / 2021

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
My highlight from the Future Games was the whole experience. Playing with and meeting great players from Team Ohio, and the opportunity to play in front of so many coaches from all over the country was an amazing experience.

PBR: Assess your performance.
I felt like my overall performance was good. Even though I did not hit as well as I would have liked, I had several good rounds of BP and showed I could play both middle infield positions and 3rd base during game play. 

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
Being part of Team Ohio was an honor. It was a great experience that I will never forget and I am thankful I was given the opportunity to attend.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition was very good, We faced some really good pitchers throwing upper 80s. Every team had solid defenders and big hitters. 

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
Competing in the Future Games gives you exposure to schools that may never have gotten  a chance to see you play, and they can see you can compete at the highest level of competition. Every coach there is looking for players, so by getting my name out there I hope to have many options in choosing a school that is right for me. 

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
Since the Future Games I have talked to Michigan State, Bowling Green and Bellarmine University. I  can’t wait to start taking visits this fall.

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