Prep Baseball Report

Team Connecticut: Future Games 'A Can't Miss Event'

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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***** If you were on Team Connecticut and did not share your thoughts, feel free to email us and we will get them included within this article. *****

Team Connecticut: Future Games 'A Can't Miss Event'

EMERSON, Ga. - Schools from around the nation were in attendance at the eighth annual Future Games, held for the first time at LakePoint Sports Community just north of Atlanta.

From Miami, Fla. up to Boston College, to Michigan and Vanderbilt over to Washington and down to Stanford and LSU, there were 320 college coaches in all represented. That easily surpasses the previous best mark of 253 set a year ago when the event was held at Grand Park near Indianapolis.

“With more than 300 college coaches in attendance, there is simply no better event in the country,” explained Shooter Hunt, National Crosschecker for Prep Baseball Report. “Lakepoint is a one-stop shop for recruiters. Without multiple complexes to drive to, it gives each program/coach the ideal setting to see the largest number of potential recruits in one setting. Most of the schools in attendance came with multiple coaches, and there was a large collection of head coaches that made the trip. This says it all: the Future Games is a can't miss event.”

Connecticut Director of Scouting Trevor Brown came away impressed.

“The new venue was tremendous,” Brown said. “The playing surface was clean, there were true hops off the turf, there were batting cages at all the fields, and it looked to have plenty of seating for the college coaches.”

There was more that Brown liked.

“The complex for sure was outstanding, but as for the team, I thought the pitching was above average for us,” Brown noted. “We had multiple pitchers that pounded the zone with more than one pitch and we showed good velocity.”

Finding standouts can sometimes be hard to do among all the great players, but Hunt came away with good things to say about the New England area.

“I think a lot of the college coaches will be returning to campus, opening their notes, and starting to track down where some of those kids are playing this fall,” Hunt noted. “There were a bunch of quick arms on both Massachusetts and Connecticut, and many of the top guys have two-way potential which will make them even more valuable when things are said and done.”

There was certainly a lot to see no matter what team you were watching.

“I think the biggest thing that stood out this year was the overall depth of talent,” Hunt pointed out. “Speaking with some of the college coaches in attendance, and watching it myself, the average talent-level rose at this year's event. Even trying to break down a ‘top prospects’ list has been a challenge because there were so many good players.”

Brown was more than happy with what he saw from Team Connecticut.

“The pitching was for sure the top area for us,” Brown said. “Brayden Quinn had a solid outing touching 88 mph from the left side, pitching two clean innings. Zachary Peters, a right-handed pitcher, was up to 86 mph, showing a clean arm path and the ability to spin the breaking ball.

“We also had good team speed with Cole Wojtokowski at the top of the order. The middle of the lineup was strong with Tim McGuire, Carlos Pena and Luke Masiuk driving in runs, showing good opposite field power.

“There was also Zac Zyons who shows the ability to handle the bat from the left side and can play on either side of the bag up the middle. Jackson Ferrigno is super athletic, has pop in his hands and can play all over the field.

“Brandyn Durand is someone that has a chance to be special behind the plate,” Brown continued. “He’s super athletic and has major strength to him. He could be a serious draft pick down the road.”

One other that stood out for Team Connecticut was Owen Zodrozny, a RHP out of LaSalle Academy, who committed to Northeastern after the event.

“I’m sure there will be more before the summer is over,” Brown added.

The ability to make an impression is something Hunt feels players need to understand.

“There is so much to be said about how you, as a player, handle yourself on and off the diamond throughout the event,” Hunt explained. “With the college coaches so close to the action, and getting a chance to ‘lock-in’ on their targeted players for four days, it is important to present yourself well. Those players bringing energy and enthusiasm each day definitely stood out, and their preparation pregame and generally how they carry themselves does not go unnoticed.”

As for the participants, without a doubt it was an event that left a lasting impression.

“The Future Games was quite possibly the best experience of my life,” explained Ryan Egan, a junior at The Morgan School. “Seeing all of the college coaches watching and assessing your talent was amazing to see along with being able to talk to people from other states and learn a little about their experiences with baseball. It was just an overall amazing experience that will never be forgotten.”

Jacob Gaudreau had similar feelings.

“Being apart of Team Connecticut was amazing,” the LaSalle Academy junior said. “The players and coaches were friendly and welcoming. Being able to play with kids that I had never met before was a great experience and allowed me to meet some great ballplayers and create memories with them that will last a lifetime. I think what stood out was how talented all the kids were. Everyone was a good ball player which created a little friendly competition.”

Zac Zyons summed it up well when it came to the Future Games and playing for Team Connecticut.

“The kids were all great and outgoing and they were all special talents,” noted the South Kingstown junior. “I was able to form new friendships with kids from all around New England. I will never forget this team and how fun it was to play with them. I want to thank coach Trevor and coach Dallas for giving me this opportunity to play for Team Connecticut. It truly was one of the best experiences of my life.”

A PBR thank you to all that participated and a special thanks to the following players on Team Connecticut that gave their thoughts about the event (including what schools have been in contact with them since the event):

***** If you were on Team Connecticut and did not share your thoughts, feel free to email us and we will get them included within this article. *****

Ben Brutti RHP / SS / South Kingstown, RI / 2022

PBR: What were your Future Games highlights?
I had a great experience at the Future Games. Playing against the best players was a great opportunity that I will never forget. I also enjoyed meeting and playing with my teammates.

PBR: Assess your performance.
I had a successful outing at the Future Games. I pitched two innings, did not let up a hit, and struck out the side in my second inning

PBR: Give your thoughts on being part of Team Connecticut and what stood out.
It was very fun playing with Team Connecticut. The coaches were great and gave me a lot of good advice. I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with my teammates.

PBR: Touch on the competition you faced at the event.
The competition that I faced was really good. It was really impressive to watch all the best players from around the country.

PBR: How can participating in the Future Games help you in the future?
The Future Games gave me the opportunity to play in front of hundreds of schools. I was very fortunate to have this experience.

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