Prep Baseball Report

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

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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

Team Massachusetts: 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, Fla. up to Boston College, to Michigan and Vanderbilt over to Washington and down to Stanford and 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.”

Massachusetts Director of Scouting Dennis Healy came away impressed.

“The event has taken another step forward in my eyes,” Healy explained. “The talent level continues to impress. I thought the pitching was above and beyond the previous years. I saw a bunch of guys flash 90 mph plus. In the past, I haven't seen that much velocity.”

There was more that Healy liked.

“The venue is outstanding,” Healy said. “You can’t ask for a better setup in terms of surface and proximity to see multiple guys at once.”

Finding standouts can sometimes be hard to do among all the great players, but Hunt came away with good things to say about the New England area.

“I think a lot of the college coaches will be returning to campus, opening their notes, and starting to track down where some of those kids are playing this fall,” Hunt noted. “There were a bunch of quick arms on both Massachusetts and Connecticut, and many of the top guys have two-way potential which will make them even more valuable when things are said and done.”

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.”

Healy was more than happy with what he saw from Team Massachusetts.

“I thought Team Massachusetts performed well,” Healy said. “This is two years in a row now that we haven't lost a game. The kids played hard and most importantly, they enjoyed the experience.”

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 the perspective of the players, participating in the event had so many plusses.

“I think the biggest highlight for me of the whole week was the workout day,” explained Ethan Hillenberg, a junior catcher at Milton Academy. “Being able to talk with kids from all across the country was one of the best things I’ve ever experienced. Having the ability to talk baseball with them was super awesome, but I think the best thing about it was learning about the differences between the different regions of the country.”

Whether it was breaking a passing-by car window with a home-run ball hit by Patrick Wade or hitting three doubles while driving in five runs by Alex Irizarry, there were memories made to last a lifetime.

“It was an amazing group of the best players in the country, all coming together to showcase themselves, but also represent their state while doing so,” said Joshua Keevan, a 2021 at Phillips Academy Andover. “The games played were some of the most competitive games I have ever played in.”

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

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

Jack Beauchesne RHP / OF / Milton Academy, MA / 2021

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
My Future Games highlights were that I sat 86-87 mph with my fastball and 73-76 mph with my curveball in two innings with three strikeouts in game one vs New York.

PBR: Assess your performance.
I thought I did well. I attacked the hitter and challenged them, allowing only two hits with no walks.

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Massachusetts and what stood out.
Being apart of Team Massachusetts is a huge honor. It’s great to compete against great players from other states and show that Massachusetts’ kids can compete with anyone.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
I pitched against New York and they were a very good team. Every kid could swing it well and they were all tough to pitch to.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
The Future Games gave me a chance to showcase what I bring to the table and has already opened up my recruitment more than I would have ever thought.

PBR: What, if any, college coaches did you talk to at the event or hear from since the event ended?
Xavier, Northwestern, Columbia, James Madison, Fordham, UMass-Lowell, Boston College.

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