Expectations have always been high for Zack Bretza.
A simple glance at the Trombly Baseball website shows the impressive number of players that program has sent to college baseball, that they’ve had drafted and that have gone on to play in the big leagues. In short, it’s one of the top travel ball programs in the country and while the mission — as it is for all New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series partner programs — is to assist and accelerate player development, there’s a proven path to the next levels there.
For some players, that’s something to shy away from. For the uncommitted 2025 grad, it’s something to embrace.
“Playing for Trombly, I’ve loved the whole experience,” Bretza told FSS Plus. “He puts me in positions to be seen by people I need to be seen by, he has connections, and I just trust him. I think if I play the way I know I can play, he can help me with the rest. If I do my part, he will do his part and help me get to where I need to be. (Steve) can get on me sometimes, but I know it’s him trying to make me better, and it gets me ready for big situations. So, when I am in high intensity situations, there’s no pressure, because he’s put that on me before, and I’m used to it. It’s helped me a lot, and it’s helped me stay composed when I’m in those big situations.”
— Future Stars Series West Coast (@fss_westcoast) November 3, 2022
The type of situations that his older brother, Zander, who also came through Trombly Baseball and the Future Stars Series, is getting ready to go through now. Among those players that Trombly has helped send to college, Zander Bretza is set to debut at UNLV this coming season.
For Zack Bretza, seeing what his brother is getting to do is only adding fuel to an already well-stoked fire to get to that level himself.
“Seeing how my brother has been playing, it’s honestly been motivating seeing him do it,” Zack Bretza said. “So, I know I can not necessarily follow in his footsteps, but I can do my own thing. I know that he’s already done it, and seeing him do it, it helps me see where I want to be too. It’s pretty cool talking to him and seeing some of the experiences he’s been through and the high level that he’s playing at. Whether it’s guys on his team or guys he’s playing against, it’s cool to have that inside information on college baseball and even summer leagues that he plays for. It’s cool to be able to see and hear it from your own brother at the next level.”
Zack Bretza seems well on his way there himself, having turned in another standout summer with the Future Stars Series, shining at the Underclass Combine, Underclass Elite and then the Caribbean Classic. The additional development opportunities he’s received, as well as hands-on instruction from the coaching staff and information from FSS scouts has proven to be invaluable in helping him get there.
“This summer was unbelievable for me, but I absolutely loved the Caribbean Classic,” he said. “I’d say that was the best experience I’ve ever had playing baseball. Whether it was the competition with playing against all the kids from different countries and seeing what they had to do every single day or playing with my own team, with the kids from all over the U.S., I still stay in contact with all of them. It’s awesome building that connection, but also playing with them and seeing what they can do, and playing the kids from other countries and how the game brings us all together.”
That trip came after a successful showing at the Underclass Elite, where Bretza says he was motivated after getting to play in newer professional ballparks in Hartford and New Hampshire.
“You get that glimpse, and it makes you hungrier, it makes you want to play there every day,” he said. “Initially, walking in, I just put my phone down and looked around. It was amazing. Once the games started and once I was getting stretched out, I wasn’t nervous at all, it was like, ‘This is the fun part.’ The hard part was getting there, now it’s time to have fun.”
Bretza brings a unique, versatile package to FSS events; primarily a catcher, he can also handle third base comfortably, and has the potential for average or better tools nearly across the board.
“I’ve loved catching, I’ve always loved it,” he said. “But when it comes to being on a team, for me, it’s wherever you need to play me…I’m athletic, and I know I can play several positions, and if I’m needed to be playing somewhere else, it can help.”
As he zeroes in on a college commitment of his own, he’s hopeful that both his attitude and versatility will be something programs find beneficial.
“Becoming a strong catcher will definitely help me, but the biggest thing is just doing whatever is needed that I know I can do,” he said. “I think that will help me the most, just because if you can swing it, you’re going to play, you just need a position to play at…I trust myself to play anywhere that I’m needed, so I think that’ll help me once I’m in college. For where I’d want to go, it’s honestly what place would suit me the best, and that’s involving everything with academics, and also who would want me and where I’d feel welcomed to play. I wouldn’t want to go somewhere just for the big name, I want to go somewhere where I can contribute where it’s a good environment for me to play.”
Bretza knows that he has to continue the hard work that’s gotten him this far in order for all of that to unfold.
He wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I just want to keep playing how I know I can play, keep doing some more Future Stars events, and just playing all summer long,” he said. “I think doing that will help me out, as well as getting bigger and stronger and improving all aspects of my game…for the last two years, I’ve been obsessed with the gym. I love that. I know some people see it as a chore, but for me, that’s one of my favorite parts of my day. I’m trying to get explosive, and gain a little bit more size going into next summer. That will lead me where I need to go.”
FUTURE STARS SERIES SCOUTING REPORT
- Projectable hitting skills, including barrel control, setup and two-strike approach
- Highly adept at getting to lower-zone strikes
- Present pull power with line-drive swing and some loft
- Solid lateral range and solid-average arm strength and accuracy
- Quality baserunner and speed relative to position
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