Utah HS Player and Pitcher of the Week: Smith, Marx

Jeff Scholzen
Utah Scouting Director

Throughout the spring season, PBR Utah will announce a player and pitcher of the week, every Tuesday, from the previous week. The awards are based on what kind of statistical week the player had, and it will be subjective, based on my evaluation of the player. Also you do not have to have attended a PBR event to earn the award, but I will lean towards the player I know more thoroughly and also what kind of collegiate prospect that player is. So it isn't only stats, but that is where it starts, with the other criteria as separators in case of a close call. In the event of two performance's in the each category, that could go either way, as to which gets the nod, two awards for that category may be given.

Both these players I'm very familiar with and have attended many PBR Utah, however both separated themselves from the rest of the pack with their performances for the Week of March 19-26, as I was in attendance for Marx's gem and 2 of the 5 games Smith played this past week. 

Player of the Week

Hayden Smith C / Snow Canyon , UT / 2024


Top Uncommitted Catcher

Week 3 (March 19-26) Stat Line:
G 5 AB 15 R 3 H 9 HR 3 RBI 13 2B 5 BB 2 SO 1

Smith has a very solid workout and showed well. The junior to be, was the starting catcher for the state powerhouse Snow Canyon Warriors this past spring as a sophomore, hitting .393 with 2 HR’s, 26 RBI’s and 7 2B’s to go along with 2 3B’s. Smith even walked 21 times vs 17 K’s, suggesting plate discipline is in place, to improve even more in that category. Smith put up a EV of 93.1 with a max distance of 352 to go along with a very good sweet spot contact of 82% and hard hit rate of 73%. From the Blast Motion metrics, an on plane efficiency mark of 82 was elite in keeping his barrel in the zone and in line with the baseball, giving him an elite chance to make the sweet spot and hard hit rates! Defensively Smith is an efficient receiver and continues to improve and get better in this area and does catch some slightly above average arms at his HS, plus his head coach caught for many years in pro ball, to go along with having a former 13 yr MLB pitcher as the pitching coach, to learn and grow along with his head coach in running and working with a pitching staff. This is by breakout player in the 2024 class for next spring and look forward to seeing his numbers soar even higher over the next two seasons.

** College coaches should get on this kid quick and he would be an impact bat and receiver at the next level **



Smith has taken over the catching duties at state powerhouse Snow Canyon with a knack for squaring up the ball and making hard LD contact to all fields. He has a simple repeatable whippy stroke to hit and with continued physical development, his metrics will only rise with age and maturity. Behind the plate he takes charge for a young kid and that is key as Coach Reed Secrist expects nothing less, after all Smith is replacing big shoes on 4A Player of the Year Mason Strong (BYU). Smith has a quick release and sound footwork. His throws are on the money with a developing arm that should add significant strength with age once again. Smith plays for highly competitive Mountain West in the summer and as his notoriety increases, and he matures physically, college coaches should definitely take notice. 


Pitcher of the Week

Brayden Marx RHP / Pleasant Grove, UT / 2023



Committed: Hawai'i  

Week 3 (March 19-26) Stat Line:
IP 4.2 H 0 R 0 ER 0 BB 5 SO 12 (Only 2 balls were put in play)

SUPER 60 Report

Marx has been a fixture at PBR invite only events before starting his sophomore year. The state’s #1 ranked player in the 2023 class, has been a staunch supporter of PBR Utah and dazzling at every event he’s attended, Marx has been a 2-time Preseason All-State attendee, along with being selected to the prestigious Future Games in Atlanta, GA at our state of the art Lakepoint facility, as well as the West Coast Games in Las Vegas, NV. Marx has also attended the Top Prospect Games at his home school of Pleasant Grove. All these events were springboards to Brayden’s recruitment opportunities. In what was potentially his final act as a “PBR Kid”, Marx was exceptional under the bright lights of the Super 60, as his calm and focused demeanor were on display. Marx is also a Reds Area Code Game alum and is used to pitching in front of high profile decision makers. Marx has long been known for his CB/SL Trackman spin rates as he has reached a high of 2990 rpm’s at last summer's Top Prospect Games with his CB and took to a SL last spring and its spin has come to equal his CB. The FB that was 83-85 in March of 2021, when he was 5-11 160, has grown steadily with each passing year of HS, as he is a solidly built 6-0 185 and looks the part of a frontline next level arm. The FB now carries 90-94 with a T95, last June at the Area Code tryouts. 

Marx as mentioned was lights out with the secondary pitches, but the FB was 90-93.5 and was firm! But the CB/SL combo was filthy. To give proper perspective of where the MLB avg spin rates are for the world’s best arms are, the avg MLB spin for a FB is 2300 rpm’s and Marx FB spin was 2408. The avg spin for a CB/SL is 2350-2450. Marx CB 75-77 was 2960 as the SL 78-80 was 2854, both well above average on the MLB scale. Marx CB/SL was the 2nd and 3rd best of the event, causing PBR Sr VP of Scouting and former 1st Rd pick Shooter Hunt to tab Marx as a “King of Spin!”


Marx recently committed to the U Hawaii on 5/29/22, but on this day in front of a big crowd, in a cross town marquee matchup for the 6A Region 4 title, Marx was on his “A” game as he K out 9 hitters over 6.1 IP and left in the 7th with his team up 4-1, before the bullpen gave up the lead. With 3 D1 recruiters in the ballpark and a half dozen scouts, to see American Fork ‘22 MLB draft hopeful, it was Marx who stole the show and put himself on the map with the scouts. The one college that was in attendance got what he was hoping for, as Hawaii left the park with a campus visit offered and a subsequent offer was made on the trip that was too good to pass up! Marx was in complete control over his 110 pitches, before having to leave the game due to the state pitch count max. The FB 88-92 was sneaky and played up as he was working the CB/SL combo in front and backwards counts. The CB 74-76 had ridiculous spin of 2750-2900! The SL 79-81 (2500-2618) baffled hitters and missed bats frequently. He didn’t throw one CH, though it’s a potential weapon, giving Marx a 4 pitch starters mix. I expect Marx to have a coming out party this summer with MLB scouts and solidify himself as the #1 arm in the state.






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 1991-1992.