Prep Baseball Report

PBR Future Games: A Look Back (Team Utah)

Jeff Scholzen
Utah Scouting Director

July 28-31 was a day that I had been waiting for, for some time. It was the date of hard work from talented players from the Beehive state and my scouting of these kids for not just this past year, but for many years as a former MLB scout. 

This team was put together with 5-6 kids that have been seen since they were 9-12 years old, and then the rest of the players did their part in what I call “showing up” and displaying their talents to a nationwide top amateur baseball company (Prep Baseball Report) from Northern to Southern Utah. Over the past 9 months, I’ve run showcases, beat the bushes, scoured Twitter, phone calls with coaches, parents and other contacts I’ve made for 30+ years in the game. It’s been endless hours of each day for months on the phone and at ballparks, to unearth the best 17 players, from the classes of 2023 and 2024 to take to Emerson, GA to the high tech world of the LakePoint Sports Complex, to show the colleges around the country, that Utah baseball is indeed a hidden treasure trove of impact baseball talent. 

We were able to assemble a group that not only had talent, but energy, athleticism, character and strong baseball makeup to play with the best baseball talent in the country. All of these players were invited to represent the state of Utah and did they ever come through with a statement. This team reminded me of a similar type group I assembled in the fall of 2006-2009, when I ran an Angels Elite Scout team. People would say “how can you call a team elite, when they are in their early HS teens, when there are so many players around the country you haven’t seen?” Well talent is talent. A player has attributes that a scout can evaluate from years of living at the ballpark. Now when you see the country you can compare and contrast who fits where on a list, but when a player has these types of attributes, they are easy to see. Well that “elite” scout team produced 12 MLB players in a 4 year run. Unprecedented of any scout team assembled. It produced 2 Rookie’s of the Year and 2 MVP’s. 

Now I’m not saying this team will ever live up to those teams of the late 2000’s, but this Future Games roster has the same feel, flavor and smell of those teams. With 6 pitchers in the ‘23 class and the top 2 pitchers in the ‘24 class, along with both catchers in the ‘24 class as well as one of the 3 OF’ers a ‘24 as well, mixed with the top 4 middle infielders of the 2023 class, this team on paper has the potential to catch a lot of people’s attention. 

Now the reason for a state the size of Utah, to make such a statement, is because if half this team was in a more traditional baseball state, they would have college commitments already in place. But they didn’t have commitments in place. With so many rising sophomores and juniors in other states already committed to top programs, Utah brought a group of similar talent to those committed in other states, yet our players are not committed. So the players had the opportunity to change how recruiters around the country view our great state, and did these players ever! 

It was one of the funnest and most gratifying experiences I’ve had in this game, other than watching my players in my former career reach the major leagues! After the Future Games, I had 53 calls/texts from D1 schools all around the country wanting to get in contact with these special players. With that said, here are the 17 players who kicked off the culmination of statewide events, spring and summer boots on the ground coverage, for the underclass group of Utah’s best HS players for the 2023-2024 classes. Read below and enjoy!!


Grant Scholzen SS / 2B / Hurricane, UT / 2023

A Future Games participant and had a really good workout late at night when most had gone home because of the rain. Grant defensively showed dance to his feet with educated and synced up feet to allow the glove to play out front and from the ground up. He shuffled and replaced his feet well in transferring the ball from the glove to the hand. He showed 78 mph arm velo and was on the money with his throws. The hands are QUICK and doesn’t close the glove and receives the ball like he’s playing with a paddle on his hand. Offensively another one of the strong rounds during BP as he sprayed barreled balls on a line with consistency, from LCF to the RF corner. The swing is as fluid as anyone in the state. The hand and bat speed on Blast, took one of the 2 largest jumps I’ve seen this past calendar year. Grant went from 19-21 mph hand speed to 24 in LakePoint and his bat speed went from 65-69 to a high of 78, while averaging 74! This was the difference in just a 6 week span. It was easy to tell by the eye test as his bat was flying through the zone. A solid strong 5-9 155, he has a very quick bat and had a bullet single up the middle mixed with a couple of walks and had a 10 pitch AB off a tough LHP, that with an open base at first and 2 outs, with a full count and looking CB, he stayed on a FB and hit a hard smash inside the 3B bag and down the line for an RBI 2B to extend the lead for Team Utah. Another invite to the inaugural West Coast Games. Is garnering quite a bit of D1 interest because he's a baseball player with a baseball background and high baseball IQ. 

Cole DeCastro SS / 2B / Desert Hills , UT / 2023

A Future Games participant with a fundamentally sound game on the defensive side as he showed well as he has throughout his youth and into HS, as he plays technically sound with his feet and hands synced up at SS. Plays well on the move vertically/horizontally and if you hit it to him in a stationary position, he’s steady Eddie and you are out. His hands are soft and his arm is crisp and fluid and doesn’t have big arm strength, yet he is online and accurate with his throws. He’s a consistent defender. Offensively he has above avg hand and slightly abv bat speed, and is a singles and gap to gap type that could grow into more power as he matures, he just needs strength and barrel release to get there. An open bat head at launch prevents the leverage and torque needed to drive the ball and can cut off after contact, cutting down on his hard hit %. There are things to tweak and he has the aptitude to make adjs. A baseball player type!

Petey Soto Jr. SS / OF / Crimson Cliffs , UT / 2023

A slick fielding INF at 5-9 145, has a lean, even proportion frame with abv avg athleticism and can play all 9 spots on the Diamond. Soto can handle 3 INF spots along with CF and makes all look as if it’s his primary spot. A quick twitch live lower allows for graceful defensive actions and his feet/hands have a chance to play abv avg in time. His hands are smooth/quick and he plays from the ground up, while syncing his hands and feet, in getting off strong accurate throws across the diamond. The arm is avg by MLB standards now and will definitely be plus in the near future. A 60 yard dash time of 6.94 should improve even more over the next few years, as he fills out and continues to add size and leg strength. The bat has some Latin type flair in that he can be a free swinger and then also grind out an AB and spray LD’s to all fields. With a young immature body now, Soto can lift it out to the pull side when he squares it up. A conventional RH even props square stance, he gets quality separation and takes an aggressive, but lengthy pass at the baseball, with a fast bat. It will be fun to see where the versatile, athletic, flashy INF takes his game in the future.

Ryder Robinson SS / 2B / American Fork, UT / 2023

A Future Games participant and stole the show according to Shooter Hunt on workout day. Team Utah was hurt by a late start and we got started around 10pm to hit and most coaches had called it a night, but Ryder stepped in and barreled balls to the allies with 92 mph EV’s with a crisp, fluid, yet slightly uphill smooth stroke from both sides of the plate. The swings looked like a mirror was flipped, as he had the same virtual look on both sides of the plate. Barreled balls in all directions. In the game he showed defensively like the workout, with educated feet and soft hands in playing ground up and out front with a fringe to avg, but accurate on line arm. The defense looks a bit like a 16 yr old version of former UNLV 1st Rd pick Bryson Stott and former 5th Rd ASU pick Gage Workman (who I drafted out of HS). The game clock is slow and even though the slew of over 300 college coaches, of which were baring down on us, Ryder didn’t let any moment get too big. He took vicious cuts at cripple count FB’s that he just missed in fouling straight back to the screen. Tough with 2 K’s, Robinson was tough to put away as he has plus hand/eye to spoil pitches and spit on tough pitches for quality takes. With a couple of big offers in hand, other offers will be coming in the not too distant future. Look for Ryder to be committed soon! 


Ryker Schow OF / 2B / Pleasant Grove, UT / 2023

An All-Future Team recognition in LakePoint was well deserved, as he was the catalyst for Team Utah with an high contact 1 and 2 hitter in front of him, Schow would see runners on and double down on his focus, and no moment got too big for him. After a 4-4 performance with 3 RBI in Game one, Schow notched 5 hits with 2 2B’s and made all the plays in RF, but it was a play with runners in scoring position playing CF, that he ranges into RCF and left his feet on a slide and made a very nice catch that prevented runs from scoring. Ryker drew interest from a couple of PAC 12 schools and a Big West school at the Future Games, along with a couple of in state offers in tow, Schow will have plenty of options to sort through, heading into his junior season  

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

A Future Games participant, Evans showed extremely well with 3 hard barreled balls, with one deep over the CF’ers head for a headfirst 3B. Another 2B followed as well into the RCF gap and he also barreled a ball right back at the pitcher, who snared it from going into CF. The shot was clocked at 97.4 off the bat. New to the OF and just learning routes and angles, as he spends more time in left, Trey will become a passable defender in time, but it’s his focus in the box, with pitch recognition, a patient eye and strong hitting metrics that will drive him to the next level. He’s a happy feet type in the box, as he moves around with his feet in his setup, then gets everything going and into his load like a Dustin Pedroia or Nolan Arenado. It’s unconventional, but works for his style of hitting. One thing is for sure, college coaches know who he is after LakePoint with the bat!

Sam Lindsey OF / C / Snow Canyon , UT / 2023

A Future Games participant and played RF in LakePoint and made some nice running plays with a shallow fly ball that he retreated a step and played well on the turf to throw out and force the runner at 2B. Smashed a 3B to the RF corner and took sharp turns at each back to make it standing up with ease. Had a solid workout and showed 99 mph EV’s with big hand and bat speed. Is an invite to play in the inaugural PBR West Coast Games in Las Vegas and expect him to show well. Will be the starting catcher at Snow Canyon as a junior, after manning RF as an All-Region Sophomore in ‘21.

Two Way Players/Pitchers

Billy Bird 1B / LHP / Timpanogos, UT / 2023

A Future Games participant with good size and present and projectable strength. A two way type that is being recruited as such. It starts with big pull side juice from the 1B position and he has some natural lift and ext to drive the ball to all parts of the field. He will have all fields power when all is said and done. Right now it plays straight away to the pull side and he has a very good sophomore season with the bat. The arm is the intriguing part as he has a little Mark Mulder feel to him. The delivery is a raise the leg and tuck the front shoulder with a late shoulder turn out front. The arm swing is low TQ and with some length and whip. He gets to a full finish out front and does have some spin out at times, but is correctable. The FB was 83-86 at LakePoint, but have seen 88 in the spring. The FB has some late natural sink and the CB sweeps. The CH is the weapon as he can kill spin and shows FB arm speed to create deception. The CH dives and has some turnover effect in the bottom part of the zone. One of the better two way guys out there. 

Jacob Faust OF / RHP / Olympus , UT / 2023

A Future Games participant as one of 2 two way players for Team Utah as a OF/RHP. It was discovered after the event that Jake was playing with a broken hamate bone in his left hand, and what’s amazing is he still put up big hand and bat speed metrics with Blast and Trackman recorded 95 mph EV’s!! He played the first 2 games in the field, then took his turn in the rotation. He showed a balanced NWU delivery with a high knee kick with a semi extend leg, and used his back side to generate 81-85 mph FB’s with sink. The CB 69-73 flashes TQ shape with S/M depth for a couple of K outs in his 2 inns of work. I have seen him better with the velo, as was later discovered with the hand, this could of effected his front side use of his mechanics to create pull from his front side to match the intensity of his back side. It will be interesting to see where he is come late fall at a future event after the healing has taken place. Colleges don’t sleep on this kid as he is gonna be a name to definitely remember!


Easton Barrett LHP / OF / Springville , UT / 2024

**Arizona State Commit**

A Future Games participant and did he ever make the most of his time at LakePoint! Barrett was the most talked about arm from Team Utah as we got a late start to the game, due to rain and he was matched up vs another quality LHP, so there was a good size crowd of coaches in attendance. Showing a quality delivery with the ability to repeat and pound the mitt, Easton has a high kick to delivery and turns his front shoulder and releases it late as he clears the path for this HTQ arm stroke. The late shoulder turn creates deception and better perceived velocity than his 84-86 mph FB suggests. Hitters get late reads and swings and he was tough to pick up. The CB 69-72 has quality break and shape and can start it in the other batters box to the arm side and it finishes with bit in and through the zone. The CH 75-78 is a plus pitch and he’s able to kill spin and throw it with FB arm speed and the pitch has plus deception and late bottom. The ability to throw 3 pitches with command at such an early age (15 Yrs Old) leaves an evaluator to dream on a 92-93 mph arm in a few years. He attracted P5 and major college internet and received 9-10 offers after the event. Was fun to watch!

Easton Davies RHP / OF / Orem , UT / 2024

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.

Brayden Marx RHP / OF / Pleasant Grove, UT / 2023

A Future Games participant and one of the better ‘23 arms in the state. Brayden’s delivery is unchanged from my previous 3-4 looks and he repeats it well from a lean wiry athletic build. The arm is fast and clean and finishes pitches out front with good ext and follow through. The FB that flashes 91 a month ago was at 88 in GA and he threw quality K’s and pounded the zone. He gets some late life through the zone and sink at times below the thigh. But he was popping the mitt and showed a tight breaking late biting CB 70-73 with an abv avg 2648 spin rate and it’s a tight CB that gets S/M’s and late reads by hitters and had them locking up at the plate. The CH 77-83 varied in effect. At times it was too hard and others it bottomed out below the zone. Still a work in progress, but can’t deny that there’s 3 future quality pitches and his wiry strong build will continue to fill out and mature into a quality D1 pitching prospect and maybe more down the road!

Myles Topham RHP / 1B / Cedar , UT / 2023

A Future Games participant and one of the bigger revelations for us in GA. A tall 6-4 lean athletic 190 lbs with big projection and ceiling, Topham came into the event with question marks as his HS coach overthrew him and he was bothered by some shoulder tenderness. The FB for the first part of the summer was touching 80, and he answered the bell at LakePoint with 84-88 mph FB’s that exited his hand with ease, suggesting he is now healthy and ready to take off. There’s is 90 in there by his junior spring next year and possibly more in 2 years! The CB 68-72 was a bit inconsistent, but flashed a few with quality shape and biting depth. As he continues to learn to repeat his delivery from a long levered tall frame, he should round into a quality college pitching prospect!

Nolan Miller RHP / OF / Salem Hills, UT / 2023

A Future Games participant and was a late add to the roster, but one that I was happy with and be more than belonged there. A strong athletic build with future projs left and one to dream on in the next few years. Featuring a high kick to delivery, and really reaches out front to finish the FB thru an OH arcing arm slot, Miller finishes with a flat back to finish and generated velocity with arm strength. The FB touched 88 and there’s definitely more in there the CB 63 is a work in progress as he is new to pitching and raw, but has big upside. The bat produced 27 mph hand speed and 74 mph bat speed with 94 EV’s. He has quick hands and although his barrel release needs tweaking to show more bat speed to match the high hand speed, he does things a bit unconventional like Hunter Pence, but is athletic and has a high ceiling. Also ran a 6.92/60 and has powerful legs, which help the hitting metrics and to generate velocity with the FB. Colleges keep an eye on this kid as he could blossom big time by next spring. 

Cameron Nielson SS / RHP / Cottonwood, UT / 2023

A Future Games participant and one of the more surprising jumps not only on the mound, but in the workout with the bat and his overall data profile. Starting with the bat, although only pitching at LakePoint, Nielson put up the highest EV at 99+ and has the highest hand speed at 26 mph, along with 83 mph bat speed and was significantly higher than his previous event last March. The strength has shot up with just an additional 5-10 lbs in 4 months. On the mound was even more surprising as his FB was topping out at 81 in March and he topped out at 88 in Atlanta with 2400+ spin rates. The ball was exiting his hand with ease and wasted little effort to do so. The CB 72-74 had late tight and short biting action with 2300+ spin and was able to throw both for K’s and the CH is a work in progress. But we have a legit two way type with a coupe of more years to sort out what direction he goes. He will be playing both in the upcoming inaugural West Coast Games in Las Vegas and it won’t be long before he he starts getting calls from recruiters. 


Luke (LT) Taylor C / 1B / Skyline, UT / 2024

A Future Games participant and one of the top 2 hitters in the ‘24 class. Luke had a tremendous workout with the bat as he rocketed 3 ball high and deep over the LF wall with an easy slightly uphill stroke with loose wrists and a fluid bat path. With a two hand fully whippy finish, then ball jumped off his bat. Also had a ringing 2B to RCF in game 2 that was deep and split the gap. Taylor also caught game 2 and played 1B in game 3. Behind the plate, he worked well with pitchers and blocked 9-10 balls in the dirt with agility and smothered balls. His index finger was beat up by some of the velocity and as his makeup is top shelf, he wanted to stay in the game, before being lifted. At 1B, he handled some hot shots off the turf and made them look easy and took the bag himself on a couple of occasions. Looked at home at both spots. Versatile defensively and showed really well. Is being recruited by a handful of schools and I expect it to grow as the years go by. 

Austin Ellis C / 1B / Westlake , UT / 2024

A Future Games participant, Ellis caught 2 games in LakePoint and received and worked well with pitchers. Ellis showed a flexible style of catching, in getting spread out with his legs and with his rear knee high to move well laterally and frame balls, and also being in position to drop to block and smother balls. Had to block an knee of pitches as the pitchers had a hard time gripping the ball with the sweat and humidity on their fingers. Austin threw well in the workout phase with a number of balls carrying the bag and online with his throws. A quick short bar path with a two hand finish, that produced deep gap power and then ball jumped off his bat. He’s gonna be a good one as he continues to mature and grow in the game over the next 3 years. Has an engaging personality and interacts with his coaches and teammates very well.