the weeks leading up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a
detailed overview of each state in the U.S., including the District
of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will
list the state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best
tools, as well as providing scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2
players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.
Utah State-by-State List
2011 Utah Overview
Topsy-Turvy Year Highlights Utah’s 2012 Draft
has been a year of significant change in Utah’s college and
high-school ranks, and hardly any stone has gone unturned. Most of
the overhaul has come at the college level, which has seen a
significant shift in conference affiliations (with additional changes
possibly still to come), along with a shakeup in the pecking order of
the state’s better prospects for the draft.
wheels were set in motion prior to the season when long-time
conference rivals Brigham Young and Utah broke away from the Mountain
West Conference and went their separate ways—Utah to the Pacific-12
Conference, BYU to the West Coast Conference. It was then announced,
just prior to the season, that Southern Utah, a member of the Summit
Conference, would be dropping intercollegiate baseball following the
2012 season, and there have been rumblings through the spring that
Utah Valley, the state’s fourth Division I program, is on the verge
of leaving the Great West Conference—whether by their own choice,
or simple dissolution of the nation’s most-awkward and far-flung
those colleges, Utah Valley stands out from the rest, as the
Wolverines may be the hottest team in the country with a 24-game
winning streak entering the second weekend of May. Utah’s foray
into the rugged Pac-12 has proven to be a challenge, as the Utes
(12-33 overall, 6-18 in conference), having lost their best bat and
arm to the draft a year ago (including slugging first baseman Chris
Cron, a first-rounder), have been ravaged by injury and key players
haven't produced as initially expected.
righthander Zach Adams, expected to be Utah’s ace and a possible
top-5-round pick, was shut down after two starts with a sore
shoulder, while senior outfielder Shaun Cooper (.236-8-26) hasn't
been the same player that slugged 20 homers and tore up the
Northwoods League last summer. BYU sophomore righthander Adam Miller,
who flashed a mid-90s fastball early in the season after returning to
school from two years on a Mormon mission, has had difficulty
throwing strikes and hasn't pitched much recently as a result.
of that, it appears that only one college player, Utah closer Tyler
Wagner, will crack the first 10 rounds of the draft, though he has
been difficult for scouts to see with so few save opportunities for
the Utes. With its impressive season, Utah Valley (35-11, even after
a 2-8 start) has two prospects that are given a reasonable shot of
sneaking into the top 10 rounds in sophomore righthander Tyler
Mangum, another returning missionary who sat out a second season in
2011 as a non-qualifier, but has flashed two dominant pitches this
spring in a low- to mid-90s fastball and mid-80s slider, and
power-hitting senior first baseman Goose Kallunki, who besides having
one of the best names in college baseball leads the Division I ranks
Valley’s success among four-year colleges has been matched at the
junior-college level by Salt Lake Community College (40-8), a top-10
team nationally that should have at least two players factor
significantly in the draft in fleet outfielders Dominique Taylor and
Braden Anderson, and possibly a third in ace righthander Tanner Banks
into the 2012 season, Spanish Fork High two-way standout Kayden
Porter was expected to be the state’s top prep draft—either as a
hitter or pitcher. Scouts continue to be split as to where his future
lies as he set the state record for career homers. Another
significant two-way player, Brigham High’s Connor Williams,
primarily a hitter prior to his senior year, is now a more
highly-rated pitcher after a breakout season on the mound. With
Porter and Williams leading the way, Utah is practically guaranteed
to have a more productive high-school draft than in 2011, when no
players were selected.
in a nutshell:
Draftable college talent.
(1-to-5 scale): 3.
HIGH SCHOOL TEAM:
Bingham HS, South Jordan.
ON THE RISE: Connor Williams, rhp/of, Bingham HS, South Jordan.
perceived by scouts as primarily a position player for purposes of
this year’s draft, Williams predictably has led his top-ranked team
in most offensive categories this spring. However, with a renewed
emphasis on becoming more of a factor as a pitcher, and a fastball
that has touched 96 mph this spring, Williams’ profile has changed
180 degrees, and he has made such a fast impression on scouts in his
brief time on the mound that he is now expected to be the state’s
first high-school draft.
CARD: Kayden Porter, 1b/rhp, Spanish Fork HS. Porter
is a man-child in his mammoth 6-foot-5, 245-pound frame, and has been
the dominant player in the 2012 draft class in Utah all the way
through high school. Though he broke the state record for career
homers this spring and has flashed a 95-mph fastball in the past,
scouts began questioning if Porter was better suited as a pitching or
positional prospect at the next level.
OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Utah Connection:
Travis Huber, rhp, University of Nebraska (Attended high school in
Salt Lake City).
Brady Corless, rhp/3b, Bingham HS, South Jordan.
Jordy Hart, of, Utah Valley University.
Cory Snyder, 3b, Brigham Young University (1984, Indians/1st round, 4th pick).
Holdzkom, rhp, Salt Lake CC (Mets/4th round).
Nash, ss, Jordan HS, Draper (Rangers/4th round).
Fife, rhp, University of Utah (Red Sox/3rd round).
Parker, 3b, Brigham Young University (Athletics/5th round).
Littlewood, ss, Pine View HS, St. George (Mariners/2nd round).
Cron, 1b, University of Utah (Angels/1st round, 14th pick).
College Players Drafted/Signed:
School Players Drafted/Signed:
Williams, rhp/of, Bingham HS, South Jordan.
Goose Kallunki, 1b, Utah Valley University,
Goose Kallunki, 1b, Utah Valley University; Kayden Porter, 1b/rhp,
Spanish Fork HS.
Braden Anderson, of, Salt Lake CC.
Joe Andrade, c, Dixie State College.
Connor Williams, rhp/of, Bingham HS, South Jordan.
Tyler Wagner, rhp, University of Utah.
Lail, rhp, Bingham HS, South Jordan.
PROSPECTS, GROUPS ONE and TWO
GROUP ONE (Projected
ELITE-Round Draft / Rounds 1-3)
GROUP TWO (Projected
HIGH-Round Draft / Rounds 4-10)
1. TYLER WAGNER,
rhp, University of Utah (Jr.)
The rangy 6-foot-3,
195-pound Wagner has an explosive arm with a fastball that frequently
touches 95 mph and gets on hitters quickly from a three-quarters
slot. He also has a second plus pitch in a power slider, giving him
two weapons needed to excel as a closer. Wagner had only two saves in
17 appearances in early May, though as his opportunity to close out
games was limited. At the same time, Wagner struggles to throw
strikes consistently, which led to a 2-5, 3.98 record, while walking
21 and striking out 29 in 32 innings. Had he pitched more like he did
in 2011, Wagner might have been a fit as early as the third round,
though is still expected to be the state’s top pick.
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