Rawlings Tigers Scout Day: Quick Hits


Jeff Scholzen
Utah Scouting Director

Rawlings Tigers: Quick Hits

We take a look at 3 standouts in the 2 upper classes of the Rawlings Tigers Scout Day. The Tigers are a new travel team to Utah and have added players that may have been past up with other teams, as the players on the west side of the SLC valley traditionally are not as strong as their eastern counterparts. But these players have the ability to make the jump to a D2 caliber or small D1 JUCO programs with another season or two of strong play on their parts. It was good to see these young men as standouts to carry the torch for others to follow for future Tigers to aspire for…with that here are the 3 players breakdowns! 

2023  

Gannon Ward, OF/2B, 6-1 155, B-R (Emery HS)

A small town player at the 3A level. Comes from Emery HS, made famous by former NBA star Shawn Bradley, one of the most famous HS basketball stats of all-time. Gannon put up really good numbers as a junior, as he hit .500 with 37 hits, 6 2B’s, 7 3B’s and 2 HR, to go along with 31 RBI, hitting in the middle of the Spartans order. The type of player that has the potential for a small D2 JUCO if he pursues that route and promotes himself. 

2024

Raul Zapata, SS/C, 5-9 160, B-R (Kearns HS)

A small athletic frame with solid movement patterns, although he’s a below avg runner. A smooth defender with some flash in the middle, Zapata needs to add some arm strength and overall body strength, as he has the frame and build for an additional 10 lbs of lean muscle and the strength that comes from that. A switch hitter with a short, compact stroke from both sides. A little more pull oriented from his natural right side and a whole fields approach for the left. The standout player from a technical standpoint of the event. 

Araiz Bandera, C/SS, 5-10 150, R-R (Kearns HS)

Hit over .400 with some incomplete numbers after 15 games of the season, but showed avg quickness behind the plate with 2.00-2.12 pop times and 72 mph velocity. Needs to increase his arm strength, but has some actions and avg foot work to get the throws off. His throws carry to the bag and with added arm strength over the next couple of years, he should be able to carry the bag and his pop times will improve. High contact all fields hitter that is tough to K out and looks the part of a D2 JUCO type or small D1 JC player with some added work. 

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