Utah Class of 2024 Rankings Update: Top-10 Breakdown
August 22, 2023
This post-summer rankings update of the Class of 2024 will primarily focus on the top-10 prospects in the state's senior class, along with an extended look at prospects ranked in the Nos. 11-20 range, giving pro scouts and college recruiters an in-depth sightline of the players to continue to follow. The list also includes the top handful of players that will be considered for the 2024 PBR Super 60 Pro Showcase next February.
The following is a breakdown of the top-10 and beyond, of who are alums of the signature regional and national PBR showcase events, with the regional West Coast Games, the West Coast ProCase and the national Future Games. As many are aware, when a player from the Beehive State is recruited and invited to play in the West Coast Games, the West Coast ProCase, the Future Games and the Super 60 events, Jeff Scholzen, the Utah Scouting Director dubs those players in social media posts with the hashtag of #SwarmingBees! This signature tag, indicates these players have earned the right to be honored as "special talents" among their peers in the state.
Breakdown of Signature Events:
+ PBR Future Games: The first nine players on the rankings were members of Team Utah at the Future Games, three more ranked in the top-20 overall.
+ PBR West Coast Games: Eleven of the top-20 players in the class participated at this event.
+ PBR West Coast ProCase: Seven players on this list participated at the early June showcase, hosted in Los Angeles on USC's campus.
THE TOP-10 PROSPECTS
Luke (LT) Taylor C / 3B / Olympus, UT / 2024
Committed: U of Southern California
Luke has thrived since his transfer to Olympus HS, as he is surrounded by friends, supporters on and off the field, as well as hitting in a potent lineup that scores runs and provides protection, in getting pitches to hit, out of the two hole, in the lineup. Currently sitting at over .550 with the batting average, Taylor has also contributed 7 HR’s and is among the top 3-4 in the state with 38 RBI. Taylor has blasted 4 HR’s in the past 5 games, with one HR, a two run shot with one out in the bottom of the 7th vs Brighton in a 4-4 tie, in hitting a 2-run walk off shot, to give Olympus the Region 6 title. Taylor has worked his tail off this past year, to quiet any doubters as to his transfer and his #2 individual player ranking. It goes without saying, that when talented players are around other talented players of like mindsets, players will thrive in those conditions and Taylor has done just that. Also an accomplished receiver behind the plate, Taylor has improved his pitch framing and blocking, while also controlling the running game to establish himself as the states top all around catcher and one of the states top all around players as well. USC is his college destination, but SC can wait, as Taylor has state title hopes on his mind, as well as finishing strong over the next year of his HS career.
Taylor has been one of our mainstays at our invite only events and was a breakout prospect at the Future Games in 2021. A toolsy player over skill right now, but soaks up instruction and lives and breathes the game. Once Taylor stepped in the box for the BP portion of the workout, it got quiet, as he launched a few high and deep to straightaway left and LCF, that brought rain on a couple. A fast bat that can produce bat speeds from 73-79 mph, with a slight uphill path and HR type stroke. Spreads out in an even prop square stance with his hands held deep and over his back foot to get his bat into a ready position, to just turn the barrel as he loads into his backside. Gets to quality separation and explodes his hands into the baseball with very projectable strength and future big raw power. The defense continues to improve. Still young and just turned 17, Taylor, still with two years left in HS, the best is yet to come.
Naulivou Lauaki Jr. RHP / 1B / Springville, UT / 2024
Committed: U of Oregon
Junior came out of the shoot this spring firing 90-94 for the mound in the preseason St. George tourney with his 82-84 mph SL w/late tilt and biting TQ depth, however as with that day and throughout the spring, his control has been off and has had issues with the BB and going deep into games with pitch counts. One thing that hasn’t changed and has taken an even higher step forward has been the bat. Lauaki has been crushing baseballs at an alarming rate and putting up state player of the year numbers. A .580 hitter through the regular season with 8 HR’s and 27 RBI, with 40 total hits, has been pitched around as of late, and for the life of me, pitchers continued to challenge him up to this point and he made them pay. ++ type raw power, that can hit it out, to any part of the ballpark, Lauaki is showing legitimate D1 type hitting ability and it remains to be seen what he will be at Oregon, but one thing is for sure, is that a massive individual with the ability to touch the mid 90’s with his FB and drive balls out of the park, lends to a good problem to have, as Lauaki could be an intriguing two way type, with the ability to hit in the middle of a lineup and come out of the pen, using two weapons in a power FB/SL combo on the mound. Has been fun to watch thus far!
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 6-3 260 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.
Jaxson Reiser RHP / Mountain Ridge, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 3 / POS: 2
Easton Davies RHP / Orem , UT / 2024
Committed: Arizona State U
Easton Barrett LHP / Springville , UT / 2024
Ridge Erickson C / Dixie, UT / 2024
Committed: Brigham Young U
Tualau Wolfgramm C / OF / Pleasant Grove, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 7 / POS: 3
Committed: Brigham Young U
Zach Carlson OF / Juan Diego Catholic, UT / 2024
Committed: Northwestern U
Dax Watts 1B / OF / American Fork, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 9 / POS: 2
Easton Jones RHP / Stansbury, UT / 2024
Rankings State Rank: 10 / POS: 4
Extended Top Prospects 11-20
|12||Remington Edwards||OF||Mountain Ridge||-|
|13||Tyler West||OF||Crimson Cliffs||-|
|14||Trey Evans||OF||Crimson Cliffs||-|
|16||Makaio Swensen||OF/RHP||Snow Canyon||-|
|17||Hayden Smith||C||Snow Canyon||Glendale CC|
|19||Andrew Lombana||LHP||Juan Diego Catholic||-|
|Northern Utah Open||UT||09/16||Ridgeline High School|
|2023 PBR Scout Day: GBG Utah||UT||09/30||The Hive - Juab High School Fieldhouse|
|2023 PBR Scout Day: RA Baseball Academy||UT||10/07||Juan Diego Catholic HS|
|Utah State Games (Invite-Only)||UT||10/29||Snow Canyon High School|
|2023 Utah Winter Update||UT||12/02||The Hive - Juab High School Fieldhouse|
- UT2023 West Coast Games: Team Review 8/13/23
- UT2023 Future Games: Quick Hits 8/08/23
- UT2023 West Coast Games: Team Utah Preview 8/03/23
- UTTeam Utah Future Games - Team Preview 7/22/23
- UTTeam Utah Future Games - Pitching Rotation 7/21/23
- UTUtah Commitment Board: 2023 Class 7/20/23
- UTUtah Top Prospect Games: Positional Data Dive 7/19/23
- UTUtah Top Prospect Games: Pitching Data Dive 7/18/23
- UTUtah Top Prospect Games: Quick Hits (Class of 2025) 7/17/23
- UTTop Prospect Games: Statistical Analysis 7/17/23
JEFF SCHOLZEN (BIO)
Scholzen was brought on as the Utah Scouting Director for Prep Baseball Report after serving 9 years as the Four Corners Scouting Supervisor with the Milwaukee Brewers (2011-2020). Prior to his run with the Brewers, Scholzen worked for the Los Angeles Angels for 11 years (1999-2010), serving in a similar capacity as the Four Corners Scouting Supervisor. In all, Scholzen served as a full-time scout for 20 years. Scholzen also received a 2002 World Series ring for his contributions as a scout.
With the Angels, Scholzen created an Angels Scout Team, in which he coached the likes of current and former major league players: Kris Bryant, Kevin Gausman, Greg Bird, Tyler Wagner, Aaron Blair, Joey Rickard, Donn Roach, Johnny Field, Taylor Cole and Paul Sewald to name a few. During his run with the the Angels, Scholzen served as the hitting coach for the Angels rookie ball affiliate with the Pioneer League Orem Owlz, helping guide the Owlz to the 2005 and 2007 Pioneer League titles.
Prior to becoming a professional scout, Scholzen served as the head coach at Southern Utah University between 1993-1997. At the time, Scholzen was the youngest Division I head coach when he was first hired at 24 years old. The Southern Utah baseball program was dropped after the 2012 season. While coaching at Southern Utah, Scholzen served as the hitting coach for the Alaska Goldpanners in 1995, as they won the Alaska League Championship.
A native of Utah, Scholzen played at Hurricane HS and was twice named 1st team All-State and an AAU HM All-American, before moving on to Utah Valley CC and Eastern Oregon University, earning All-Conference honors on three separate occasions. Scholzen played in the Angels’ organization from 1991-1999.