Prep Baseball Report

Program Preview: Maple Mountain

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. 

Golden Eagles by the Numbers:

Head Coach: Jeremy Thomas (2nd Year)

** Previous decade+, Coach Thomas spent time as the pitching coach at then Dixie State (Utah Tech U) and then Brigham Young U, as that was also Coach Thomas' alma mater in 1998-1999. Coach Thomas played professionally for the Zion Pioneerzz, of the old Independent ~ Western League, was signed to a minor league free agent contract at the end of the 1999 season, by the Houston Astros, and the signing scout was yours truly, Jeff Scholzen.  

Class: 4A

Region: 7

What was your 2024 Win-Loss Record: 16-10-2

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

How many State Title Appearances in the last 10 Years: 2

How many State Championships in the last 10 Years: 0

Key Returners with Grade/Class/Position:

2024 Blake Carter, RHP (2 year Starter) ~ CSI Commit

** 2024 RHP Bennett Averett, (2 Year Starter) Upper 80's, touch 90 ~ Uncommitted

RHP/OF Max Walker, Transfer from Las Vegas

2 Year Starter , RHP Jake Roscher, Mount St. Mary's,

2024 Colby Warren, RHP/UTL, 2 Year Starter

2025 Chase Johnston, LHP, 2 year starter ~ BYU Commit

2025 AJ Thomas, C/SS, 2 Year Starter 

2025 Sawyer Leifson, 3B/OF, 2 Year Starter

2026 Cy Chrisman, 3B/1B, 1 Year Starter (Big time Potential ~ D1/MLB Draft potential)

Players who graduated in 2021-2024 and are now playing college baseball or ( * "Committed" )

Dawsen Hall - BYU

Mason Green - SLCC

Tyler Nelson - CSI, USU Eastern

Jackson Hollinghaus - BYU

Cooper Littledike - CSI >> UVU

Benji Horsley - Southern Virginia University

Wally Averett - SLCC

Cole Rollins - CSI

* Blake Carter - CSI

* Jake Roscher - Mount St. Mary's (Maryland) 

* Chase Johnston - BYU 

List players you feel have college baseball potential*

2024 Bennett Averett - 88-92 on mound and from OF (6.8 60yd)

2024 Braiden Catterson - 1.9 Pop Time, High Exit Velo

Max Walker - 86-88 on Mound, Transfer from Las Vegas

2025 AJ Thomas - Future Games Participant, Multiple Offers (6.9 60yd | 1.85 Pop Time | Smooth Hands)

2025 Sawyer Leifson - Dual Sport Athlete

2026 Cy Chrisman - 103 mph EV, D1 Power and Size, Potential Future MLB Draft Pick

List the names of returning players who were named All-Region / All-State and their graduation year *

Chase Johnston (2025 - All State, All Region)

AJ Thomas - (2025 - All Region)

Blake Carter - (2024 - All 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)*

The Maple Mountain Golden Eagles return 7 starters from the 2022-23 season. The pitching staff will be lead by BYU Commit, LHP Chase Johnston and CSI Commit RHP Blake Carter.

In addition to Johnston and Carter, the Golden Eagles expect to see Bennett Averett (88-92), Max Walker (86-88), Jake Roscher (84-86), Braden Nuttall (82-85) and Sophomore Cayden Giles (83-86) all toe rubber in key situations in 2024.

The Golden Eagles offensive attack will be led by Cy Chrisman, AJ Thomas, Chase Johnston, Sawyer Leifson, Colby Warren, Bennett Averett and Braiden Catterson, all of whom have varsity experience from 2023 and are anticipated to have breakout seasons at the plate.




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.