Prep Baseball Report

Program Preview: Mountain Ridge

Jeff Scholzen
Utah Scouting Director

Opening Day is a week away! The Utah High School Activities Association has announced that opening day of the 2024 season will commence on Monday March 5th. Jeff Scholzen (Utah Scouting Director) begins the 2024 season coverage with our annual preseason team previews, where we will take notes from coaches, and highlight returning players, newcomers, and some sleepers. Over the next couple of weeks and leading up to opening day, we will be highlighting some of the top programs in the state with our team previews.

As our ardent readers are aware, Team Previews are answered by the Head Coaches of those programs and the scouting reports embedded in the PBR player profiles of the top players, are written by state scouting director Jeff Scholzen, the states only full-time MLB Area Scouting supervisor ever. 

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This season as in every past season, stats are collected across the state at the end of that week's play, with input from coaches, assistant coaches and ultimately myself in putting together comprehensive player content on a weekly basis with the following. 

1. Weekly Utah Power 25 Overall Team Rankings (Monday)

2. Player and Pitcher of the Week, along with other notable player performances (Tuesday)

3. Player Spotlights throughout the spring of top players who are making their mark on the HS scene in capturing college recruiting looks. 

4. I will be scouting games throughout the state and posting player videos on Twitter for college marketing purposes on a weekly basis and in some cases where action is flowing and games are staggered, such as the preseason tourneys down south on a daily basis. 

Quick Footnote: Only 7% of all HS baseball players will play college baseball and the elite of that group, which consists of only 2% will play at the D1 level. These are the players I’m watching and gleaning information on. This is determined by objective data from events, as well as the subjective eye evaluations, honed from my 30 years at the college and professional level. 

Mountain Ridge Sentinels by the Numbers:

The Sentinels are the team that has been built from the ground up, much like Southern Utah powerhouse Crimson Cliffs. Head Coach Brock Whitney, a former BYU Cougar player, has a plethora of talent available to employ various assets, to make a run at the 6A Region 2 title and better yet the State Championhip. With a state leading "four" D1 commits/signees, along with three ~ YES ~ three 90 mph arms, the Sentinels can run all three at their region opponents each and every week.. They also have various other top uncommitted talent as well. The Sentinels as I would say, are loaded and it' not up for debate, as to where they will be ranked next Monday, when the 2024 Power 25 comes out!

Head Coach: Brock Whitney

Class: 6A

Region: 2

What was your 2023 Win-Loss Record: 21-10

How many State Playoff Appearances in the last 10 years: 3

How many State Title Appearances in the last 10 Years: 0

Key Returners with Grade/Class/Position:

2024 Jaxson Reiser, RHP/OF ~ Oklahoma (2022 Future Games ~ 2023 West Coast ProCase)

2024 Remington Edwards, OF ~ (2023 West Coast Games)

2024 Austin Ellis, C ~ Northwestern State (2021-2022 Future Games)

2025 Dylan Singleton, LHP ~ Yale (2022-2023 Future Games)

2025 Ethan Iacono, RHP (2023 Future Games)

2025 Stockton Fowlks, 3B 

2025 Grayson Riding, RHP

Luke Nelson, 2B

Key Newcomers:

2027 Brody Buck, C/UTL

2027 Cooper Goff, OF ~ TCU

2027 Josh Draney, 1B

2027 Dalton Fay, 3B/OF

Who is your X-Factor to your Success: Jaxson Reiser

List the names of returning players who were named All-Region / All-State and their graduation year (Please specify either award or both awards)

Jaxson Reiser (Both)

Luke Nelson (Both)

Remington Edwards (Both)

Austin Ellis (Region)

Anderson Decker, (Region)

Dylan Singleton (Region)

Stockton Fowlks (Region)

Please provide a summary of your teams outlook and preview to your upcoming season (Please be as thorough as possible, as this will used in a potential content article preview of your team)

We are excited for this year, looking forward to continue improving and building a winning program. With a lot of returners and a few younger guys that that will fit in nicely where we lost guys to graduation, we look to compete with quality teams in our region and make a good run in the state tournament again.



Scholzen comes to Prep Baseball 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 the same capacity as the "Four Corners" Scouting Supervisor (UT, WY, So-ID, Las Vegas, AZ, CO, NM and El Paso). Scholzen 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 following MLB players: Kris Bryant, Kevin Gausman, Greg Bird, Tyler Wagner, Aaron Blair, Joey Rickard, Donn Roach, Johnny Field, Taylor Cole, Andy Burns and Paul Sewald to name a few.

During his run with the the Angels, Scholzen also served as the hitting coach for the Angels rookie ball affiliate in the Pioneer League, the Orem Owlz, helping guide the Owlz to the 2005 and 2007 Pioneer League titles, which earned Jeff two more championship rings.

In Scholzen's 20 year scouting career, he was credited with the signing of 6 MLB players starting with: Brandon Wood, SS, Angels 2003, 1st Rd ~ Efren Navarro, 1B, Angels 2007, 50th Rd ~ Donn Roach, RHP, Angels 2010, 3rd Rd ~ Tyler Wagner, RHP, Brewers 2012, 4th Rd ~ Payton Henry, C, Brewers 2016, 6th Rd ~ Ryan Aguilar, 1B/OF - Brewers 2017, 31st Rd ~ Scholzen also had an additional 3 players added to various clubs 40 man MLB rosters over the years. Currently 2019 (14th Rd) draft pick, RHP-Paxton Schultz from Utah Valley U, is currently in AAA with the Toronto Blue Jays, and is a phone call away. 

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 in the country, 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, and also recruited and coached World Series RHP-Ryan Jensen of the San Francisco Giants, who would finish with a top 5 finish for NL Rookie of the Year. Scholzen and Jensen had the unique opportunity, to be on opposing sides of the ledger, when Scholzen's Angels and Jensen's Giants squared off in the 2002 MLB Fall Classic.

Scholzen also had the pleasure of coaching Jensen's roommate and back up catcher, Kyle Turner who has worked in professional/major league baseball for 24 years. Kyle currently is in his 14th season with the big league Kansas City Royals and serves as the clubs Head Athletic Trainer. Turner was instramental, while a young player for Scholzen at Southern Utah, in introducing Scholzen to his first wife, the late Heidi Dalton Scholzen, who passed away in December of 2014. 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 in 1991.

Scholzen was married to his late wife Heidi for 20 years and their union produced four children - McKyla 27, Miranda 24, McKenzie 22 and the couples only son, Grant Scholzen 18, who is a freshman 2B at D1 WCC school, the U of the Pacific (Pacific Tigers) on scholarship. After Heidi's passing in 2014, Scholzen married Cami Macias Scholzen, a widow herself and the same age as Heidi and the couple have now been married 8 years. Between both families, Jeff has 3 grandchildren and 5 step grandchildren (8 total) and the Scholzen's reside in Hurricane, UT in the bottom left SW corner of the state near the most iconic and scenic national parks in the country.