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Team Ohio: Future Games Continues To Grow And Impress


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer


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EMERSON, Ga. - The Future Games returned to LakePoint and the Prep Baseball Report event was better than ever.

After 2020 resulted in the Future Games being held at separate sites due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was full steam ahead in 2021 and with it came the feeling of satisfaction after the 10th annual event concluded its nearly weeklong run.

“It isn't a secret formula: create a format and environment for good players to show off what they've got and the coaches will be there,” explained Shooter Hunt, PBR Crosschecker. “That is what makes this event so special each year. Because when it comes down to it, everyone in the PBR network is working to try and help players connect with schools.”

That is what happened with 32 teams featuring players from nearly every state in the country along with Canada competing in front of a record 333 college coaches.

“It was amazing to see the 300+ college coaches back in attendance,” related Hunt, the vice president of scouting for PBR. “It was almost like returning to school after summer break and getting to see all your friends again. They helped bring some more energy to the yard, and I think the kids raised their level of play because of it.”

Sean Duncan, PBR President, echoed what Hunt had to say.

“This event is always about the players performing in front of college coaches, so it was great to see such an overwhelming amount of college coaches this year,” Duncan said. “More importantly, the players were really really good and performed up to their abilities. So many players have already committed shortly after the event, with hundreds more to come in the near future. And that ultimately is what this is all about: Bringing the top uncommitted underclassmen across the country and having them compete and perform in front of college coaches.”

Doing it in person rather than via live-stream like a year ago only made the event better in the eyes of Duncan.

“It was so much more impactful on a whole to have all the states back to LakePoint,” Duncan admitted. “Last year, due to COVID restrictions in many states, we broke up the Future Games into three regional pods. While all the pods were loaded with talent, it just didn't have the same impact as it does when everyone is together. It also helped that college coaches were able to be there in person to evaluate, as opposed to watching the live streams.”

The setting at the facility in Georgia is hard to beat. 

“It doesn't get any better than LakePoint: eight fields in one spot with pristine grounds,” Hunt said. “The facility is easy to navigate for coaches which makes it the perfect spot for players to showcase their skills. Having everyone back in one spot (finally) raised the energy level, and allowed for an amazing event with more than 300 college coaches (with some MLB scouts mixed in!) watching players from 44 states plus Canada.”

For Jordan Chiero, PBR Ohio Director of Scouting, it was fun to be a part of such an enjoyable and unique week.

“It’s always special wearing Team Ohio across your chest but having 330+ college coaches there to see it adds to the experience,” Chiero said. “From a player standpoint, the physicality from position guys and velocity from the arms really stood out. During the BP portion, how big/athletic some of these dudes are across the country (including our guys) continues to progress each year. On the mound the amount of upper-80s arms you see during our games/watching other games is ridiculous.”

Everyone back in one place added to the excitement, according to Chiero.

“It was awesome having scouts back in attendance,” Chiero pointed out. “Last year was a great time, and our team did a heckuva job livestreaming/incorporating broadcasters to bridge the gap between player/coach, but there’s no comparison to having college coaches there in person. The atmosphere alone with coaches walking around and seeing the top uncommitted players in the country is second to none. Also being able to communicate with so many scouts in person versus over the phone helps tremendously.”

The Buckeye State put on a show, with coaches, scouts and those with PBR coming away impressed.

“When it comes to Ohio, you can count on the square-shouldered athletes showing up,” Hunt noted. “Imposing in uniform and at the plate, I thought the Ohio team was top-to-bottom one of the better treasure troves for college coaches. I especially loved the 2024 class that Ohio brought with some premium future prospects to keep following.”

One in particular stood out for Duncan.

“Team Ohio is always loaded, and this year was no exception,” Duncan said. “Big, physical athletes up and down the roster. Plus, the 2024 left-hander, Drew Graham, was arguably the best prospect at the entire event.”

The Avon Lake southpaw topped at 91 with his fastball while adding an 82-83 changeup and 77-80 curve. 

There was more that surfaced according to Chiero.

“Our guys played very well and competed at a high level,” explained Chiero about Team Ohio, which lost to Pennsylvania, defeated Canada and tied Michigan during the final three days of game action. “I thought our arms really showed well, with several of them turning in PRs for velocity while also getting outs against the top players in the country.

“Positionally, I thought our guys showed why they deserved to be there. Our athletes ran all over the place on the bases/played defense at a high level and our hit tool guys proved they can drive the ball with authority/find barrels in game. My phone hasn’t stopped ringing from college coaches yet.”

It means more time in Ohio in the future for Hunt.

“Michigan, New England, Ohio, and Canada all put some pressure on me looking toward the spring and next summer,” Hunt admitted. “I just have to get out there to see all the talent. The Future Games gave a good glimpse at just how deep these northern regions are, so I'll be monitoring weather all spring to get out to some games.”

Speaking of weather, this year’s event had just one delay which helped make 2021 memorable.

“Overall, there was an amazing energy coming out of LakePoint,” Duncan concluded. “The players, coaches, parents, there was an incredible vibe every day. Plus the weather cooperated, which is a considerable feat at this time of year in the Southeast.

“Every year I feel like the Future Games keeps getting bigger and better; this year's event will be hard to top, though I am sure we will cook something up to take it to another level.”

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

To view all the stats/articles related to the 2021 Future Games - Team Ohio, click here.

To view the entire 2021 Future Games stats, including the Trackman/Blast Analytics, please click here.

***** 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 Continues To Grow And Impress

The Arms

Dominic Carlson RHP / Toledo St. John's Jesuit, OH / 2023

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
A few highlights of the Future Games were meeting new people and tying a PR off the mound at 88.

PBR: Assess your performance.
I feel like I threw pretty well. I could’ve had better command of my off-speed, but my fastball was working how I wanted it to

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
Being a part of Team Ohio is a big accomplishment for me mainly because I set a goal to go to Future Games in December. What stood out to me was the amount of talent that was loaded onto one roster and it’s an honor to compete with players at that level.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition that I faced was definitely good and I’m happy with how I competed against the competition. The better competition really showed me that I can compete at that level. 

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
Participating in the Future Games will help me in the future because it is a very well known event with a lot of great competition. The Future Games is also a great way to get in front of college coaches and show them what you can do.

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
No colleges have reached out so far.

Alex Caudill RHP / 3B / Bellefontaine, OH / 2023

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
My highlight was probably just being recognized to represent the state and compete against all the other states.

PBR: Assess your performance.
I thought I didn’t pitch my best 

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
What stood out was how supportive the guys were and how they cheered you on no matter what.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
It was the best competition I’ve ever faced since I don’t play for the biggest travel team. 

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
It can show me where the top competition is and how I need to improve my game to be up there at that level.

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
No coaches yet.

Nik Copenhaver RHP / Badin, OH / 2023

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
My highlights were seeing a bunch of guys I haven't seen in a while and competing with them.

PBR: Assess your performance.
I thought I did pretty well. All the contact made off of me was weak for the most part and I did a good job of pounding the zone. I had good command of my fastball and slider but my change-up was spotty at times.

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
It was awesome being a part of Team Ohio for the second year in a row. Being with a group of guys that are very passionate about playing baseball and that play their heart out is just an amazing thing to be a part of.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition we faced as a squad was very good knowing that we went 1-1-1 on the weekend with the great team that we had. Some of the competition that I had to face against Team Michigan were my summer ball teammates. It was fun to see them do their thing.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
Participating in the Future Games can help me get to the college I want to be at.

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
The colleges I was in contact with after the event ended were Florida, Houston, Campbell, Purdue, and Kentucky.

Drew Graham LHP / 1B / Avon Lake, OH / 2024

 Waiting to hear back. 

Brayden Krenzel RHP / OF / Dublin Jerome, OH / 2024

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
One of the highlights during the Future Games was celebrating with the team after the walk-off against Team Canada. That was a great time and great atmosphere. One personal highlight would be when I was pitching and some of the strikeouts. Another was also hitting 90 mph.

PBR: Assess your performance.
All around I thought I did pretty well. One thing I need to work on is becoming more consistent with everything from my mechanics to locating certain pitches. One thing that was working was my slider, both location and swings-and-misses on it.

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
I thought Team Ohio had good talent. When we needed to we got the runs we needed and battled. I thought it was a ton of fun and an honor to be a part of the team.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition was the best of the uncommitted players around the country. You could definitely tell that there were some dudes that could hit a ball a mile if you left it in the wrong spot.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
Participating in the Future Games could help me in the future by getting myself on college coaches' radars, especially all the coaches that are in the south and out west.

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
During and after the event I was in contact with quite a few college coaches.

Evan Shapiro RHP / 1B / University School, OH / 2023

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
Pitched 2 solid innings with 2 strikeouts and 1 hit allowed.

PBR: Assess your performance.
I think I showcased all of my pitches well and threw them all wherever I wanted and whenever I wanted.

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
It was an honor to be able to represent the great state of Ohio and play with such a great group of guys. There was just a different energy with Team Ohio.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition is unmatched. You get to play the best of the best from each state. I got to pitch against Canada, which was super cool for me because I have likely never played anyone that was on Team Canada.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
It helps because of the amount of college coaches watching. Now I know that a lot of schools got to see me pitch and saw what I had to offer.

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
I was contacted by Kent State the day the event ended.

Ethan Stewart RHP / 1B / Meigs County, OH / 2023

 Waiting to hear back. 

Jacob Tabor LHP / OF / Olentangy Orange, OH / 2023

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
With my innings of work I didn’t allow any runs even though I struggled through some of it

PBR: Assess your performance.
I think I could've done a little better, but with not being 100 percent I have to see it in a different view and feel good

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
Being part of Team Ohio was an experience I’ll never forget and the bonds with teammates will last a lifetime

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition was unlike any other I have seen. Every single guy competed and fought like crazy

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
The exposure alone was unreal with all the coaches there and it could get me scholarships for college

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
A Big Ten school.

The Catchers

Dominic Brancel C / OF / Hawken, OH / 2023

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
My highlights of the Future Games were meeting all of my teammates and competing against the top uncommitted talent in the region.

PBR: Assess your performance.
I played well during the games though I was hindered by some arm problems.

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
I really enjoyed playing for Team Ohio and our energy that we brought to each game.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition was incredible. From pitchers to hitters, every player deserved to be there and compete.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
The Future Games helped introduce me to a lot of new people that could open doors for me in the future.

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
Recently I have not been in contact with any schools.

Will Kocher C / OF / Kings, OH / 2023

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
My Future Games highlight was creating bonds with my teammates.

PBR: Assess your performance.
I would say around 5/10 hitting, 7/10 defensively. 

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
Being part of Team Ohio was an unreal experience. Ohio was showcased on social media the best out of any team there. 

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
Every single kid that I played against had a college-level talent so it was fun to watch everyone. 

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
Playing against all this competition really pulls out your flaws in a good way. It also shows what you need to work on to become a better and smarter baseball player. 

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
I have had no contact yet but hope to have some soon.

Garrett Wright C / SS / Jackson, OH / 2023

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
The best highlight was the RBI double against Michigan to tie the game in the 7th with two outs. Hearing the crowd chanting OH-IO gave me chills.

PBR: Assess your performance.
Overall I thought I did well. My stats the first day weren’t what I expected but I feel as though I made up for it during the actual gameplay.

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
Being on Team Ohio and having the opportunity to represent my state was amazing. As a team, we wanted everyone to succeed and we all got along quickly despite not knowing each other.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition was definitely the highest caliber I’ve ever faced. The fielders made tough plays look easy and the pitchers all had high velocity with quality off-speed to back it up.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
Participating in the Future Games can help anyone with college. As one of the highest scouted events with hundreds of college scouts, the possibilities are endless. Also, the relationships that were built through the week can take me anywhere.

The Infielders

Cole Cahill 1B / LHP / Olentangy Orange, OH / 2023

 Waiting to hear back. 

Parker Corbin SS / C / Cincinnati Country Day, OH / 2024

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
I got to meet some new guys and play alongside some of the best players in the state. I had a ton of fun just getting to be with this team. 

PBR: Assess your performance.
I played alright, not my best performance, but I accept the fact that baseball is a game of failure. I struggled at the plate but at the same time played really good defense. 

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
I’m absolutely honored to be in the position I am currently in and I was honored to be selected for this team. 

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition was great. I didn’t see one fastball under 85 and all the pitchers had great offspeed.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
Participating in the Future Games can help you reach the next level as there are around 300 college coaches roaming around LakePoint at the time of the event. A good performance at such an event definitely leads to interest from Division I schools. 

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
Since the event ended I have been in contact with Ohio State

Andrew Cox SS / RHP / Mason, OH / 2023

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
I liked being able to play with the guys I usually find myself playing against.

PBR: Assess your performance.
I felt like I did ok, I could have hit better and during the showcase I did not perform like I know I can 

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
What stood out to me is that every guy on the team was very easy to get along with even though half of us didn’t know each other.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition was very solid. Each day you faced top pitchers in the region or even the country

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
It definitely will help me with exposure to college coaches, and helped me make some new friendships that I hadn’t had before

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
I was in contact with UIC.

A.J. Havrilla 3B / 1B / Canfield, OH / 2023

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
My Future Games highlights were definitely being able to play a night game and just being around all those great guys.

PBR: Assess your performance.
I thought I played well and I gave it my all the whole time. I hit some balls hard and made some plays so I thought my performance was good.

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
It was a true honor to be able to represent my state down in Georgia for this event and competing alongside the best talent in the state was amazing.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition was amazing and really pushed me every single day there. The pitching was great and every second there was elite-level baseball being played.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
It can help me because it opened me up to very good pitching and showed me what it takes to be able to play at the next level.

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
No colleges have been in contact since.

Ryder Kirtley SS / 2B / Troy, OH / 2024

 Waiting to hear back. 

Grant Wilson SS / RHP / St. Edward, OH / 2024

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
I think without a doubt my home run was the highlight of my week. However, I also really thought that being able to play 4 positions during the event contributed to my performance.

PBR: Assess your performance.
I’d say that I did great during the week. I was able to be on base half the time, put some hard balls in play, and show my speed. I also thought my fielding was good and different from others since I played OF and 3rd.

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
When I got the email that I’ve been invited to play for Team Ohio for the Future Games, I was very excited to go back to LakePoint. I thought the guys on the team were very nice and they knew how to have a good time on the field. I got to know a couple very well, but I also just got to know everyone in general. What a great group of guys and great coaches. I feel like the guys helped when we were facing better pitching or when we faced good hitting. 

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The pitching was a challenge since most of the guys you faced were 88-92 with breaking balls that would make you buckle in the box, but I feel like I did very well against them.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
By facing this type of pitching I feel more confident going into the fall knowing I was able to barrel some balls off of amazing pitchers. This event will also help with the recruiting process and recognition amongst other coaches and teams.

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
I was in contact with a few ACC, SEC, American Conference and Big 12 colleges during the event. I was also able to have some calls during and after it. I am very appreciative for being able to be selected for this amazing event, and I am grateful that PBR thought of me. PBR put on a great event.

The Outfielders

Conlan Daniel OF / RHP / Moeller, OH / 2023

 Waiting to hear back. 

Parker Falkenstein OF / SS / Archbishop Hoban, OH / 2024

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
Had a single, double and 2 stolen bases. HBP twice.

PBR: Assess your performance.
I always think I could do better but I thought I did ok.

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
It was an awesome experience. It was great seeing all the scouts and playing with amazing players.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The pitching that our team faced was amazing. It was really competitive.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
Just playing against better players like the ones at LakePoint can help along with being around the environment knowing there are eyes on you and playing under pressure.

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
I’ve talked to schools before the event and Kent State after this event.

Max Palinski OF / OF / St. Ignatius, OH / 2023

 Waiting to hear back. 

CJ Richard OF / 2B / Archbishop Moeller, OH / 2023

Waiting to hear back.

Ben Slanker OF / 1B / Canfield, OH / 2023

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
The Future Games was a great experience and I loved every moment of it.

PBR: Assess your performance.
I didn't perform how I would have liked to perform, but I still had fun.

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
I loved being part of Team Ohio. I met some new kids and got along with everybody. 

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
We faced some very good pitching and the competition was very good.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
Playing in this game will hopefully help me get to play baseball in college and help me in the long run.

The Two-Way Prospects

Andrew Edrington SS / RHP / Princeton, OH / 2023

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
My biggest highlight of the week was throwing 92 on the mound. That was a PR for me. It felt really good to hit a PR in front of all the scouts. 

PBR: Assess your performance.
I thought that overall I did a really good job during the week. I PR’d in everything I did, which I feel like is pretty good. During the games, my hitting was a little off, but I pitched well and flashed the leather in the field.

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
It was pretty awesome to represent Ohio during the Future Games. It was fun being able to be on a team with guys that I have played against all my life. It was really cool getting to know each guy individually.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition was great. Each guy was throwing high-80s to low-90s, so it was nice getting to face some good arms during the week. And then when pitching, each guy was a tough out. Everyone put good swings on the ball, which is something you just don’t always see.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
Participating in the Future Games has in fact already helped me. I have gotten looks by colleges, and started receiving calls instantly. Participating in the Future Games got my name out there to colleges that may have not heard about me, and I am very happy with my decision to participate in the event.  

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
I received calls from Clemson, Purdue, UC, Campbell and Kent State.

Jake Hanley 1B / RHP / Mason, OH / 2024

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
My Future Games highlights were mostly offensively. Over the course of the event, I made solid contact in most of my at-bats and had two doubles in the first game. One of three defensive highlights was the 4-3-5 double play that we had against Michigan. 

PBR: Assess your performance.
I thought that overall I did great. I made solid contact in most of my at-bats, had a few extra-base hits, and played well defensively at first base. 

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
Being a part of Team Ohio was amazing this year. Everyone on the team had a great personality and were always positive with their attitude. Every experience I had with Team Ohio was positive. 

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition that I faced at the event was the best I had seen all year. Every team was full of talent and each game helped me get better as a player and a person by facing adversity.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
Participating in the Future Games could help me in the future by allowing me to be used to better competition in high school baseball, and summer baseball. It also allowed me to exhibit my baseball skills to countless college coaches that might recruit me.

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
During the event I was contacted by ACC schools, while after the event I have been contacted by SEC, ACC, and BIG 12 schools.

Sawyer Solitaria 3B / RHP / St. Ignatius, OH / 2024

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
My Future Games highlight was touching 90 while pitching 

PBR: Assess your performance.
I did well but always room for more

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Ohio and what stood out.
I loved meeting new guys and just having a fun time

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition was very tough but it is always fun to compete

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
Participating in the Future Games helps you assess where you are at with your competition in your class and getting yourself out to college coaches 

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
Ohio State, Cincinnati, Toledo, Duke, Kent State, and many other schools.

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