Prep Baseball Report

2024 Utah Players of the Week: Ellis, Iacono, Sanchez, Walker

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. Coaches are sent emails to recommend players for the awards weekly. 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 each category, that could go either way, as to who gets the nod, two or more awards for that category may be given...

Players of the Week

Austin Ellis C / 3B / Mountain Ridge, UT / 2024

Committed: Northwestern State U


2021-2022 PBR Future Games alum

Austin has been away for the summer playing out of New Jersey and playing along the east coast with a talented travel ball club, and we were able to reunite for the Future Games at LakePoint. One thing Austin continues to do is hit and drive the baseball and take quality AB's. During the game action, Ellis drove a 1st AB FB off the CF wall for a stand up 2B to get his game action underway. He continued to find the barrel in another couple of AB's. His 95 mph exit velo was a good start to his day in the workout faze, although he didn't find his rhythm throughout the BP portion, but more than made up for it in the game action later in the afternoon. Look for a breakout year for Ellis at Mountain Ridge HS in 2023.

Cayman Sanchez SS / RHP / Olympus, UT / 2026



Where Cayman stood out in this look was on the mound, as he showed advanced pitchability and the ability to compete and face much older hitters and attack and not back down. Very competitive and has a way of carrying himself with confidence that exudes an aura that he's been around older players and they don’t faze him, which is the case, as his older brother Corbin is attending Treasure Valley CC playing baseball, so he was around his brother and his friends and teammates. Cayman has been a staple at our events, such as: The Rising Stars ID, Blue Chip Scout Day, the Northern Utah Open and received an invite as the youngest player at the Top Prospect Games at a loaded event with stronger and much bigger players, with quite a few committed players. We will talk about the pitching here, as he showed a FB 78-81 with some small arm side run and located down in the zone from a compact delivery with solid use of his lower ½ and gets low and into his legs and rides the slope, while sowing a solid if not abv avg HTQ arm action with release and a loose wrist to finish at the end. The CB 68-71 has solid TQ tilt and bends and takes a left turn at the end with depth and he knows how to change speeds with feel for the CH 71-74 and with a 3 pitch mix in place, we will just see where the body gets to in the next couple of years, as he is also a very good SS and overall position player as well. Looking forward to watching Cayman’s progress over the next 4 years, yes 4 years of HS baseball. Very good youth baseball player right now. 

Ethan Iacono RHP / OF / Mountain Ridge High, UT / 2025



The arm that came in and made the loudest impact as well as velocity improvement from the right side than any one pitcher at the event. Iacono, a former Future Gamer last summer sat 86-88 at LakePoint and touched 89 at one point last summer, came into this preseason event in mid-season form, based on our previous looks. With a FB that touched 91 and was the best of the event, it begs the question as to where the FB will go this year, headed into his senior year this next fall. The delivery was clean and easy with a quality arm stroke and solid ext. out front. The FB with a max spin of 2,362, also tunneled while the CB/SLV 73-79 at a spin max of 2,570 and avg’ed 2,483. All quality metrics with both pitches. Now comes the fun part, how to maximize their usage in a game and how they play in different parts of the zones vs hitters?! Iacono also showed an effective CH 80-83 and killed the spin to 1,950, giving him potentially 3 avg to solid avg pitched in time to work with. With one D1 offer in hand, there are sure to be many others coming this spring and summer!




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. 

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 former 40 man Brewes rostered RHP (Utah Tech) just recently returned from Korea and signed with the NL Champion Arizona Diamondbacks and will most likely start the year in AAA and once stretched out after an injury plagued 2023, File will move up to AAA!

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. Scholzen also recruited and coached World Series RHP-Ryan Jensen of the San Francisco Giants, who would earn a top 5 finish for NL Rookie of the Year in 2022. 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 19, 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 now have 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.