Prep Baseball Report

Ontario Insider: Exposure For Prospects And A Winner For First Time At Future Games

By: Dylan Hefflinger and Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ontario Editor in Chief/NW Ohio Scout

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Daily Future Games Scout Blog: Day 1/Day 2/Day 3

Ontario Insider: Exposure For Prospects And A Winner For First Time At Future Games

“PBR has created a one-of-a-kind experience.”

Team Ohio’s Logan Danzeisen of Sylvania Southview came away with that opinion after competing in this year’s prestigious Future Games.

Team Michigan’s Tyler Helgeson of Portage Northern echoed what Danzeisen said.

“Thank you so much for allowing me to participate in the Future Games,” Hegelson said. “It was an amazing experience which I will forever remember.”

Added Chris Kemlo, PBR Ontario Director of Scouting: “The event is first class, starting from the top with all the PBR scouts, directors and staff. The facilities were fantastic and the number of college coaches and scouts in attendance were off the charts. It was just an unbelievable event that is a must attend for anyone looking to display their talents to basically every college coach and conference in the country against the top talent in the country.”

Held at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind., just north of Indianapolis, the 2017 version of the Future Games featured around 400 players representing 20 teams and 28 states participating in front of 247 college and professional coaches and scouts.

It was a boost from past years, with the 2016 Future Games attended by 150+ and the 2015 event by 125+.

“Future Games is the best scouting event in the country,” said Aaron Wilson, Michigan Director of Scouting. “As you enter the complex you are greeted by a sea of college coaches, which gives you the feel of a kid in the candy store. As a player/coach or just a fan, what more can you ask for than great fields, competition and bundles of opportunity? Future Games literally changes lives with one swing of the bat. The scary thing about this event is it continues to grow each year.”

Team Ontario won a pair of games for the first time ever, showing the strides being made up north.

“The Future Games is an extremely well run event and the opportunity it gives us Canadian baseball players is second to none,” said Kemlo. “The chance to perform in front of 250 plus college coaches, all in one setting, is something we never see back home, ever. At times we may feel like we get left out of the recruiting circuit, or have to do that much more to be seen or considered. Being at the Future Games gives players a chance to have eyes on you from big-time schools where it would be tough for them to see you anywhere else.

“The maximum exposure, as well the opportunity to compete against the top talent across the country is something we relish as Canadians and dream about performing on a stage such as the Future Games."

Players, like Owen Diodati of A.N. Myer High School, understand the value of an event like the Future Games.

“I think it has given me experience playing in front of college coaches and will help me in the future to handle the pressure and playing on a big stage,” said the incoming junior catcher. “It's helped me learn what coaches look for and has given me an idea of what it takes to be a top player in the country.”

Having fun added to the enjoyment of the day.

“I didn’t encounter many surprises or disappointments throughout the Future Games other than how friendly the other teams were and that made the event that much better,” said Joel McKnight, a member of the 2019 class at Brooklin. “Everyone was having a great time playing baseball.”

That is something that didn’t go unnoticed by Ohio Director of Scouting Jordan Chiero.

“It’s my favorite event of the year,” Chiero said. “It’s the best of the best representing their state...I’m not sure how it gets better than that. The cool thing outside of the baseball aspect is getting to see relationships grow throughout the week. These kids not only leave with the a baseball experience they’ll never forget but also with new friendships made.”

With the Games continuing to grow, the future looks brighter than ever.

“The Future Games has quickly become the most highly scouted showcase event in the country by college coaches,” noted Chris Valentine, PBR Executive Director for Ohio, Michigan, Ontario and New England.  “As PBR adds new coverage areas, it brings new players and new college coaches to the event. It is exciting to think of the potential as we move forward.”

A PBR thank you to all that participated and a special thanks to the following players on Team Ontario that gave their thoughts about the event (including what schools that have been in contact with them since the event):
***** If you were on Team Ontario and did not share your thoughts, feel free to email us and we will get them included within this article.

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