2024 Utah Top 10 Prospects (August Update)


Jeff Scholzen
Utah Scouting Director

 

It's been since early spring since we released our class of 2024 Top 10 Prospects. Many players have shuffled around since then, but one thing is for certain, the top two players are ranked where they are for good reason. Easton Barrett and Naulivou "Junior" Lauaki Jr, form the best 1-2 punch in the state over the next two seasons, and arguably one of the best rotations from the left and right side in the country!

Barrett has been a breakout star since he debuted at the 2021 Future Games and proceeded to dominate the competition during the '22 spring season, along with a highly impressive showing at the Underclass Area Code Games earlier this month in San Diego. Barrett was a 40 man invite as well for the USA National Team trials in Cary, NC. Barrett's teammate and good friend, Lauaki put up impressive numbers, not only on the mound, but at the plate in the spring as well. "Junior" proceeded to travel the country this summer and made a couple of stops in Atlanta, GA at PBR's LakePoint complex, and broke out as well, and starred at the Future Games in July, much like Barrett a year ago. 

The rest of the Top 10, is as impressive as they come as well. Many of the uncommitted 3-10, won't be uncommitted very long, as I expect 2-3 to commit before the calendar year is out. But at #3, is Trey Evans, the 2 time 4A 1st Team All-Stater and the defending 4A Player of the Year, provides a strong top 3! It should be noted, that 9 of the 10 players are PBR Future Games alums from 2021 and 2022. So this list is as vetted and very strong, with little room for argument!

I saw 60+ teams play throughout the state in the spring, along with the state tournaments at BYU, Utah Valley and Utah Tech. The vast majority of teams were seen and their players followed closely. We held four travel organization scout days, along with the Top Prospect Games in mid-July, which saw 82 players attend in front of such schools as: BYU, Utah, Utah Valley, Utah Tech, College of Southern Idaho, Salt Lake CC and the U of the Pacific. The Future Games (for the top 2024-2025 players) followed the Top Prospect Games, the last week of July (the most prestigious uncommitted recruiting event in the country) and we ended with the West Coast Games (The top 2023-2024 players) a week ago from August 12-14 in Las Vegas at UNLV and College of Southern Nevada. 

With all that is said, we present our August update to the PBR Utah Class of 2024 Top 10 Prospect Rankings...Enjoy!

Click Here for Full 2024 Rankings

Class of 2024 Top 10 Prospects

Easton Barrett LHP / Springville , UT / 2024

Commitment: Arizona State

6/23/22

Another Future Games standout that is improving so fast, it’s hard to know where the ceiling is at this point?! A year ago, Barrett was the talk of the Future Games, showing an interesting 3 pitch profile to throw K’s w/a FB ranging from 84-86 and showing the + feel to spin the ball and also kill spin w/a pot + CH. 

Fast forward a year now and the Arizona State commit had a 5A 1st Team All-State season with 110 K outs as a sophomore. His outing this past week in a tourney in SoCal was a potential pre-cursor, not only as a legit D1 talent, but a potential high Rd draft talent in 2024. With a FB now registering 88-92 and recording 11 K outs over 6 innings vs a very good hitting lineup, was pretty impressive. His CB 76-78 was dialed in w/impressive spin, shape and change of direction. It was virtually un-hittable! The CH 79-82 was used sparingly, but the 3 pitch mix is there to fill a starters role and a potential front end of the rotation role. 

 2021 PBR Future Games

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

 Commitment: 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. 

 2022 PBR Future Games

  

 

Trey Evans LF / Crimson Cliffs , UT / 2024

UNCOMMITTED

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. 

  2021 / 2022 PBR Future Games

2022 Future Games (Game 2 vs Tennessee)

Dick's Sporting Goods - Player of the Game

  

 

Luke (LT) Taylor C / 3B Olympus, UT / 2024

UNCOMMITTED

6/23/22

Recently re-opened his recruiting after committing to Utah in August of 2021. Saw Luke quite a bit this past week in SoCal with his ‘24 Trosky National team and he was really good with the bat and had 5 hits in 4 games w/2 2B’s and a long HR to LF. Taylor looks to be catching his stride and is gaining further attention, now that he’s back on the recruiting trail. The bat has big upside w/loft, bat speed and natural leverage for better than avg to potential + pwr moving forward. The tools behind the plate are developing nicely for a 16 yr old. Shows the soft hands to catch and works his thumb underneath the ball to steal pitches for K’s. The arm has improved from some inconsistencies in bouncing one hoppers in the past, to now showing online accurate throws through the bag w/some 1.90-2.00 pop times.

 2021 PBR Future Games

2021 PBR Utah - #1 Most Viewed Profile

  

 

Ridge Erickson C / Dixie, UT / 2024

 Commitment: Brigham Young U

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, 80 mph 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. 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! 

 2022 PBR Future Games

  

 

Will Dart SS / 2B Spanish Fork, UT / 2024

 Commitment: Arizona State

   

 

Easton Davies RHP / Orem , UT / 2024

 Commitment: Arizona State

7/31/21

A Future Games participant and the #1 ranked player in the ‘24 class. Easton showed well from a stuff and tools standpoint at LakePoint, as he showed the college recruiters in attendance the strong framed athletic build you look for in a young pitcher. The ability to throw 3 pitches with arm strength. One of the top 20 velocity arms at the event, Davies flashed 91 with the FB and showed sink life below the thigh with a 2569 abv avg spin rate. He showed the ability to repeat his delivery, although he along with some of the other pitchers had some difficulty gripping the baseball due to many of them pitching in humidity for the first time. When he used the rosin, he pounded the ball down in the zone and was able to spin the SL 78-82 with tight late lateral biting action with depth at times. As he continues to grow, add strength and mature, this is the kind of arm that will be throwing really hard one day and attract MLB scouts. He is already on the radar with major colleges from his time in Atlanta, with offers already in hand. 

 2021 PBR Future Games

 

 

Jaxson Reiser RHP / Mountain Ridge, UT / 2024

 Commitment: Utah

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! 

 2022 PBR Future Games

  

 

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

UNCOMMITTED

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!

 2022 PBR Future Games

  

 

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

UNCOMMITTED

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 led 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! 

 2022 PBR Future Games

  

 

 

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