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2022 PBR Future Games: Team Utah Review


Jeff Scholzen
Utah Scouting Director

2022 PBR Future Games: Team Utah Review

The 11th annual Future Games will took place on July 27-30 at PBR's Lake Point Sports Complex in Emerson, Georgia. The top uncommitted prospects in the classes of 2024 and 2025 participated in one of the most popular events each year.

There was 32 teams, including Team Utah, with players representing 40 states plus Canadian prospects. Each team played three games the final three days of the event after all position players were put through a showcase workout on Wednesday, the first day of the Future Games.

More than 300 colleges from across the country were looking on as approximately 650 players participated in this year’s event. In 2021, a record 350+ college coaches and scouts were in attendance. To date, Team Utah has 12 of the 17 players from the 2021 club, committed w/10 of those at the D1 level!! The 2022 version had 6 players on the roster with D1 offers on the table, going into the event, and just had its first commit 3 days later, with Naulivou "Junior" Lauaki going off the board first to the Oregon Ducks! We now take a look back at Team Utah, with their updated Scouting Reports from Utah Scouting Director, Jeff Scholzen...ENJOY!

Position Players

Trey Evans LF / SS / Crimson Cliffs , UT / 2024

8/02/22

The reigning 4A Utah MVP, got off to a slow start in game one, then showed why he’s the best hitter in the 4A class and one of the best in the state in game 2, with a 2-3 effort, with a 2 run 1B and a deep drive to LCF for a ground rule 2B and also stole a base. For his efforts in a 7-3 win vs Team Tennessee, Evans was named the Dicks Sporting Goods Player of the Game. Evans spreads out and controls the zone as he rests his bat on his shoulder and then rocks back and forth, into an early load and inward turn of the knee, with a lift of the heal and sets it back down and fires the know towards the baseball and lays his barrel into the hitting zone, to create a flat to slightly uphill fast stroke to impact the baseball with power to all fields. Evans does need to work on his OF defense and routes/angles to balls, as he is new to the OF since his freshman year. The arm is relegated to LF, but the bat is loud and will carry him to the D1 level, as he already has an offer on the table. 

Keaton Stinson OF / 2B / Cottonwood , UT / 2024

8/02/22

Stinson shows a power/speed combo as he has been on the 6.8-6.9/60 range, the 60 yrd dash, and clocked in at a 6.82 in Atlanta and put up a .400+ BA with 7 HR’s during the ‘22 spring season. Showing an EV of 99.8 this last year, Stinson was a little off that, but barreled balls to all fields during BP and an 84 OF velo for good measure. With a lean athletic build that portends to added weight and strength at maturity, it’s easy to see 100+ EV’s in his future and a high 80’s arm from the OF over the next two HS seasons. Stinson plays at a very good HS program, coached by former MLB hitter, Chris Shelton, so colleges know he will be schooled in the game the right way. I look for even bigger things from this young man moving forward and one colleges should definitely take notice of quickly!

Zach Carlson OF / LHP / Juan Diego Catholic, UT / 2024

8/04/22

Carlson is an athletic CF that put up really good hitting metrics on workout day at the PBR Future Games. Running a 6.93/60, Carlson also had hand and bat speed marks of 24 and 75.3 on Blast. He also recorded an EV of 93.8 with a 75% hard hit rate on Trackman! Zach had a solid first game vs Team Arkansas as he barreled a shot into the LCF gap that was run down and later in the game, he hit a smash through the 6 hole for a 2-RBI 1B. Zach played a flawless CF in running balls down frequently. Blessed with an athletic frame, Carlson has really good mechanical movement patterns with a short, quick LD stroke into a whippy two handed follow through. A Future Game invite a year ago, Carlson had ACL surgery and missed all summer/fall, but came back healthy w/o any problem as the catalyst at the top of the order in leading Juan Diego Catholic to the 2022 Utah 3A state title! Zach will also be attending the PBR West Coast Games, August 12-14 at UNLV with many schools in attendance!

Boston Williams SS / C / Jordan, UT / 2024

8/04/22

Williams features a narrow frame w/a lean, wiry athletic build. Definite room for another 20-25 Lbs at maturity. A versatile defender that played all 3 spots (3B/SS/2B) at the Future Games, and also took a turn behind the plate during the first day workout. Bo showed pop times of 1.93-2.08 and showed a quick active lower ½, with fast feet. The lower ½ quickness translates to his natural position as a MIF’er. An instinctive player that moves well, yet needs to work on his lateral range, but if you hit it to him, and he gets a glove on it, you’re out. He played very well defensively, with a handful of ranging plays that took him to the ground, yet sprung to his feet athletically and made all the plays with strong accurate throws. At the plate, there’s some uphill approach, as he sets his hands lower, at rib cage height, and takes his hands up to load the bat. With a small adjustment with his hand placement in his setup, by raising his hands a little higher, this will flatten his path and allow him to drive the knob/barrel down and through the baseball. A good baseball player with versatility and athleticism, Williams should be a really good get for some college program. 

Jett Walker SS / 2B / American Fork, UT / 2024

8/04/22

A versatile defender that can play all 3 INF spots and was used at both MIF positions at the Future Games, Walker played clean defense and showed real well in the workout on day one. Jett drove hard shots on a line from RCF to LCF, staying in the middle of the field, as he took a solid round of BP. The setup features a wide base in the box, with his hands held high over his back shoulder. He loads the bat well, and when on approach, he tends to drive his back shoulder underneath, which creates an uphill path, this is something he didn’t do in my earlier summer looks, when he was swinging the bat really well. When in sync, he drives his back shoulder towards the path of the ball and though there is some uphill, he created a flatter plane and wore the gaps out with an MVP award in a mid June tournament in CA. The glove is advanced for a 16 year old, as he has natural flash, educated feet and soft, subtle hands with an energetic rhythm to his twitchy athletic movement patterns. The arm is strong for his age as he posted an 86 mph arm across the INF at the Future Games and 83 at the Top Prospect Games. Also a runner as he posted a 6.84/60 at the TP Games and a 6.76 at the Future Games. Just needs to add overall body strength and size to maximize his hitting abilities, and with that added size and additional leg strength, look for some 90’s across the diamond and 6.6/60’s in his next two years of HS baseball. 

Austin Park SS / OF / Juab, UT / 2025

8/07/22

The top 2025 Position player in the state in this scouts opinion, regardless of others that may have committed and played for team USA. The upside of this kid is that of a HIGHLY athletic, lean long and twitchy 3 sport star with abv avg movement patterns. Park was first spotted at the Fall Prospect ID last November at Snow Canyon HS, and I’ve been squarely in this kids corner since. Was seen by every school in the state at the Top Prospect Games, July 12th at Pleasant Grove HS. Austin is skinny w/lean wiry strength and pound for pound strong, while oozing projection w/added weight/strength to come. The setup is semi wide w/a slight crouch and his bat held at a 45-degree angle. He shows hand and bat speed and the ability to sit back and recognize off speed mistakes and flashes HR power to the pull side now. Defensively he can play SS/CF and make each position look very natural. At SS he shows glove and athletic actions with soft hands and plays through the baseball. His arm is strong and accurate with 83 mph throws across the diamond and 85 from the OF. The arm is very loose and fluid and I can see upper 80’s across the INF and 90 from the OF over the next 2-3 years. Already has 2 D1 offers!

Boston Vest SS / RHP / Dixie, UT / 2024

8/05/22

The son of a former D1 player (Who played for me in college) and his brother Cooper plays at BYU, so the bloodlines are aplenty! Boston played very well defensively at SS and 3B during the Future Games and made some nice plays, while starting a couple DP’s and some nice tags on runners thrown out at 3B. Boston is a baseball player and was a 4A 1st ™ All-Region/2nd ™ All-State award winner in ‘22 and carried that success into Atlanta. With some hard hit balls on a line, and keeping innings extended with base hits to keep the line moving, Boston is a fundamentally sound player. From a narrow upright setup to hit, he strides forward and pulls his hands back into the stretch/load position, to get separation and takes his hands direct to the plane of the ball and keeps his plane of attack on a flatter plane with the bat, to stay in the zone with the bat head and give himself enough room for error, to spray barreled balls to all fields. Able to cut down his swing and stay back to take what is given and guide the baseball the other way, which you don’t see often in players at 16 yrs old. Boston May not stay at SS at the next level, however I would keep him there as long as possible to keep him at that athletic spot on the diamond, which creates the instincts and baseball IQ to slide over to 2B or 3B and the power is there to be an offensive 2B at the best level and it’s not out of the question, to see his power pot to stick at 3B as well. But colleges should take notice of his baseball IQ, high rate of barrel efficiency and fundamentally sound glove, to provide a winning player at the next level!

Dax Watts 1B / RHP / American Fork, UT / 2024

8/04/22

A two sport baseball/football star, Watts was a standout on workout day at the PBR Future Games, as he led Team Utah in 6 of the 8 metrics recorded by Trackman and Blast Motion. At 6-0 190, Watts looks the part of a next level player! Built like a halfback w/broad shoulders, and tapered into a small waist, w/a well defined lower half. Powerful and strong with twitchy movement patterns, Watts ran a 7.09/60 for a CIF, but he showed light feet at 1B w/proper angles in working through balls out front and from the ground up. He showed a strong arm at 83 mph across the INF with online accurate throws. The bat was on point all week, as Watts was spotlighted by LakePoint Sports on social media, as he was 2nd at the Future Games event with 5 hits in 3 games. Watts had a 2 hit game with a 2B vs Team Arkansas in game one and followed it up in game three w/a 3 hit affair as well. Playing for one of the best HS programs in the country, American Fork HS had half a dozen D1 signees, ranging from BYU, Utah and TCU. Watts was a member of the 30-1 6A state champions in 2021 and the state runner up in 2022! Colleges, you don’t want to miss out on this one, as it’s hard to find a 1B that not only can hit, but is athletic and can pick it at 1B defensively! 

Austin Ellis C / 3B / Mountain Ridge, UT / 2024

8/05/22

A returning Future Games player from 2021. Ellis played for the ‘24 Artillery out of NJ this summer and spent the summer away from home, so being home sick at the next level is not a problem. He had a great summer with the bat and caught well in Atlanta with many blocks in front and smothered balls, in keeping runners anchored at the bag. A solid receiver that sticks pitches and works underneath the ball to get the low K. With a 2.01-2.08 pop time, Ellis can improve this mark, with getting healthy, as he has been troubled by some tenderness in his arm, while gutting it out and playing through some nagging injs. A gamer that plays hard and really works his tail off behind the dish, while providing leadership and a mature team like approach to the game, Austin is a solid teammate that always has a smile on his face and has a powerful LD approach in squaring the baseball up and extending AB’s through a tough mindset to foul balls off and stay alive. The bat head stays in the zone and gives himself room to barrel balls on a line in all directions. Can chase the FB up at times, but makes adjs and once he does chase, he gets locked back down in the zone and gives a good AB. With health and a full HS season under his belt, Austin should take that next step into a solid backdrop at the next level for the right school, looking for the abilities and intangibles mentioned above. 

Andrew Wilson C / 3B / Desert Hills, UT / 2025

8/05/22

Wilson, who already had a D1 offer headed into the Future Games, left with a few schools interested in his LHH catcher profile and the ability to play 1B equally well. His father was a catcher on the JUCO National Championship Dixie College team in 2004 and has schooled “Willy” well in the fundamentals. A varsity starter at Desert Hills as a freshman, features a strong eye at the plate, with zone and pitch recognition. A strong LH swing from a spread out and leaned back setup, and hold the bat semi flat over his back shoulder w/a raised back elbow. Wilson drives the knob at the ball, with a flatter swing plane and sprays LD’s to all fields with backspin carry. Behind the dish, he receives well for a young kid, and just needs to get added reps at the varsity level after making way for a senior this past spring. Most likely the job is his moving forward over the next 3 years. A strong arm for his age, and displays 2.05-2.16 pop times, that improve as he continues to fill out and gain added arm strength at maturity. Had some good AB’s at the Future Games and worked deep counts in making pitchers work. 

Ridge Erickson C / SS / Dixie, UT / 2024

8/08/22

(Shooter Hunt - PBR Future Games Top 25 Position Player Prospects)

Ridge Erickson (UT) Erickson's ability to receive at a high level is matched only by the catch-and-throw capability, and he turned in workout pop-times at a 1.92-1.97 clip. Quick on the transfer with a strong, 80mph arm, the defend-tool is advanced, and he looked the part of a leader on the diamond, even in a quick look. Compact and athletic at 5-foot-11, 185-poundswith some natural strength throughout, the right-handed hitter showcased a simple stroke that promises more power on the way with an easy gap-to-gap approach presently. With so many programs desperate to find elite defenders behind the plate, Erickson stands out as one to follow, and with a strong right-handed stroke, there is also potential that he may develop into a run-producer at the next level.

8/04/22

This has been the one player that has climbed the board the fastest since the start of the summer. A glove over bat right now, but the bat is not that far off. The defense is just that good! A lean athletic Buster Posey type build and look right now at the same age! Ridge caught really well at the Future Games, as well as all summer. The setup behind the plate is really good w/a balanced athletic base, moves well side to side and can shift his hips to the corners, to stick pitches. Works underneath the ball and shows a low target, while dropping to block abv avg. He can pick balls to the backhand side, as well as glove and scoop balls on the short hop that others would block. Smothers balls in front and prevents base runners from moving up. Is adept at back picks to both corners and has picked a large number of runners off this summer. With a twitchy lower ½ and fast feet, Erickson gets off throws to 2B in times of 1.87-1.96 at the Top Prospect Games and 1.92-1.97 at the Future Games. The bat shows power potential and has a conventional semi crouched stance, with the bat held at a 45-degree angle with rhythm in loading the bat and driving his hands to and through the baseball with a short to/long through swing pattern. There is some slight uphill path to project lift and carry into an extended one hand follow through. Is gaining a following with a couple D1 offers on the table and others to come. This kid is the best catch/throw kid in the state and should develop into a premium next level defender as he has two years of HS remaining! 

Pitchers

Chase Johnston LHP / 1B / Maple Mountain , UT / 2025

8/07/22

The #1 pitcher in the 2025 class, showed why at the Future Games, as he threw outstanding in his 2 innings of work. Showing a tall flexible high kick to his delivery, while landing sound out front with a loose, fluid HTQ arm slot. The delivery has the features at clean up over the next 3 years to turn into a D1 prospect. The FB 80-84 has the makings with his loose arm to turn into a 90 mph arm in due time. The CB has OH to TQ shape with depth/bottom. The CH fades with turnover sink and feel. Chase put up a monster year as a freshman ace on the varsity, as he punched out 84 batters in 62 IP with only 22 BB. Winning 7 games as well, Chase didn’t look dazed by the competition at the Future Games and if he stays uncommitted, he will once again be headed to Lake Point in 2023!

Miles Layton RHP / 1B / Brighton , UT / 2025

8/06/22

The epitome of a command pitcher, that shows an understanding of what he’s doing on the mound. At the Future Games, he didn’t have his best FB velocity, as he’s been as high as 84-85 over the summer and was more in the 79-82 range and works corners and keeps hitters off balance with a big breaking CB and deceptive fading CH with late sink. The delivery is sound and simple with a flexible high kick to delivery and breaks over the rubber and gets his arm up and into the throwing position at a flat foot strike. The arm action is clean and crisp from a HTQ slot and gets good extension out front into a ¾ finish out front. A great teammate, who is always into the game and pays attention to what is going on and is eager to learn and has a passion for the game. 

Andrew Lombana LHP / OF / Juan Diego Catholic, UT / 2024

8/04/22

An intriguing LH arm that has put himself in a good position, as he has come to numerous PBR Utah events and has improved vastly over the last couple of years to the point of earning the right to go to Atlanta. A two way HS star, he was the 3A playoff MVP with the bat, but his left arm is what will propel him to the next level as he is garnering D1 interest now. At 6-2 180, showing a lean long lower ½ half and ideal frame to build and projects another 20 lbs of added weight and quality strength. The delivery has smoothed out, as he features a high flexible kick up top and gathers really well, while breaking over the rubber, in getting his arm up and into the throwing position at foot strike. The only flaw that needs to be addressed is he lands on his heel, which creates inconsistent K’s and it’s not a huge heel strike, so it can be tweaked and corrected. Once this is fixed, this should smooth his overall delivery out even more. The HTQ arm stroke is clean and fluid and has no restriction, which portends to even more FB velo down the road. The FB 78-83 is right on point for an upper 80’s, potentially 90 mph FB over the next 2 years. The CB shows med depth and tilt and his hand needs to get on top, to really rip through the seams and create added depth and spin. The CH shows fading action w/late bottom and needs to use more, as it can be a quality pitch for him. Look for even further growth in his repertoire and it will be fun to see where this goes from here?!

Jaxson Reiser RHP / OF / Mountain Ridge, UT / 2024

8/04/22

(PBR Future Games) At 6-3 185, Reiser has a lean athletic and filled out look w/even more room for added weight and strength gains to come. Features a flexible high compact kick to delivery, with a downhill plane of attack. Stretches out into a soft landing out front, by landing on the ball of his foot w/a bent front leg and then locks out at release. The arm action is of the LTQ variety and creates late life to the FB w/arm side run/tailing life. Does break his hands late and at foot strike, his arm is down and hasn’t reached the upward arm swing into the throwing window, creating some torque and shoulder restriction in getting his arm up. This makes it a challenge to repeat and throw quality K’s. I’d like to see him stay over the rubber longer and break sooner, to get into the slot sooner, to see if this restriction goes away? Blessed with arm strength and the ability to work his FB in the 86-89 range and with 2 years of HS remaining, there’s a chance he's working in the 90-93 range and will be a top notch D1 pitcher. The SL has late tilt and when caught right, tilts with TQ shape and bottom. The CH 77-78 is his best secondary pitch, with his hand inside the baseball from his low slot, the pitch fades w/late turnover sink and misses barrels for swing/misses. Was cruising through 2 innings at 27 pitches, until laboring in the humid weather of Atlanta in the 3rd. But his first 2 innings were quality. An athlete that looks the part of a next level body and arm w/an intriguing 3 pitch mix and base to build from. If the mechanical tweak mentioned above is ironed out, this kid could really take off! 

Dylan Singleton LHP / 1B / Mountain Ridge, UT / 2025

8/07/22

A lean athletic young immature build, that is the late bloomer physicality type. Features a med kick to his delivery and breaks over the rubber and shows a longer HTQ arm action, that needs to get into his legs better, as he is upright at release and follow through. He does land on the ball of his foot, which helps with balance and K throwing ability. If he can get over his front side better and reach out and bend his back into his follow through, the velocity should come. The FB 78-82 is angle and plane. The CB shows TQ shape with some OH type arc with depth as well. The CH shows fade at the plate and needs to add some depth. Makings of a 3 pitch mix that is in the development stage right now. But this is a young arm and with the right coaching, he should come on in the next year or two. 

Makaio Swensen RHP / OF / Snow Canyon, UT / 2024

8/04/22

Swensen made the most of his 3 inning start at the PBR Future Games, as he left the game in a 2-1 deficit, but pitched well, showing a lively sinking ground ball type FB 83-87, sitting 86. With a flexible med to high kick to delivery, Swensen has a longer take away in back w/a slight palm up towards 2B. The delivery and LTQ arm action are a spittin’ image of former BYU great and current big league Cubs pitcher, Michael Rucker. With the arm slot and movement pattern of the arm stroke, Makaio gets inside the baseball, which creates a spin pattern of late life w/run and sink. The CB takes on SL type shape at 73-77 with horizontal action and sweep. As he gets older and his body matures with added strength, it’s easy to see a power sinker type arm in the low 90’s as he induces GB’s that hitters will swing over the top of, while chasing the SL away. Makaio will be at the PBR West Coast Games in Las Vegas as well on August 12-14!

Two Way Players

Naulivou Lauaki Jr. RHP / 1B / Springville, UT / 2024

Committed: U of Oregon
8/02/22

Three days after returning home from the PBR Future Games, Lauaki made the commitment to play for the Oregon Ducks. Junior should jump to the top in the 2024 Ducks recruiting class. With an arm and bat, but more so the arm, Junior should be an immediate impact type rotation piece right away. Although with two years of HS remaining, Lauaki will jump to the #2 spot in the class of ‘24 rankings when they are released in 2 weeks. Lauaki made his presence felt right away on workout day with a couple of long HR’s during BP, as he launched an event best 404’ shot to deep LCF and threw EZ bullets across the INF from 1B. But it was on the mound that sealed the deal for his college choice, as he showed his best stuff to date. Lauaki has been 86-88, 88-91 T92 this summer, as he’s played all around the country. But it was in the humidity of Atlanta that he featured one of the two best FB’s recorded at the Future Games. Lauaki displayed an EZ effort, med kick to delivery with a fluid arm stroke, the FB sat 90-92 and topped out at 93.1 on the Trackman system and held his velocity in his 3 innings of work vs a very good hitting Team Kentucky. But the secondary pitch was just as lethal, with his SL coming in at 80-82 with late sharp tilt, that bottomed out. The pitch is a put away pitch, as he has abv avg feel to land and bury beneath bats for swing/misses. With an imposing 6-3 240 Lb build, Junior is not even close to gaining his man strength at 16 yrs old, it’s easy to dream of a mid to high 90’s heater as he reaches campus. The sky's the limit for the incoming junior at Springville HS. 

Tualau Wolfgramm C / OF / Pleasant Grove, UT / 2024

8/02/22

Dubbed the Swiss Army Knife by yours truly, Tua is a coach's dream as he can play all 3 OF spots, the MIF, and is his HS team's starting catcher, along with taking his strong right arm to the mound as well. A line to line hitter with left side pull power, Wolfgramm has cut his 60 time more than any player in the state from a 7.45 to an incredible 6.68, through diet, nutrition and tightening up his lean athletic build over the last year in the gym. This is almost unheard of, but he accomplished it with a relentless work ethic and high baseball IQ and passion for the game. Tua also displayed 1.93-2.06 pop times and squared balls up in BP for an outstanding showing in Atlanta. Not to be out done, Tua also showed a plus arm in the OF as he put up a 93 mph reading!! A team leader and instant plus personality in the dugout, make for a high caliber teammate and the club responds to his enthusiasm and energy. A very bright future lies ahead!

 

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