Prep Baseball Report

Top Prospect - Milwaukee: Quick Hits

By Andy Sroka
Illinois and Wisconsin Assistant Director

On Tuesday, July 16, the PBR Wisconsin and Illinois staffs gathered in Franklin, Wis., at The Rock Complex to host this important perennial showcase: Top Prospect - Milwaukee. Every year, many of Wisconsin’s top-ranked uncommitted prospects who are entering their senior years, with a select group of Illinois incoming seniors among them.

With a roster of over 90 uncommitted prospects, this 2021 group should garner some serious attention during this atypical summer, which has left many high-profile prospects still seeking homes at the next level.

Today, we’re breaking down the highlights from the showcase from the most noteworthy performances of the event.



+ Tuesday provided the college coaching community seeking arms to add to their incoming 2021 class with a fleet of need-to-know pitchers. There might not be a prospect who left The Rock with more momentum than LHP Jackson Kent, from Lake Park HS in Illinois. Kent’s built at a strong 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, and he was pounding the zone with a fastball-curveball combination that opposing bats were struggling to pick up. The fastball sat mostly 86-87 mph, with one 88 in there, at a low spin that averaged 1,966 RPM. The curveball featured 1/7 shape and depth, thrown with confidence at 69-70 mph. Few prospects did as much as Kent in the way of enhancing his profile in front of the right kind of audience.

+ Another Illinois-area arm who stood out Tuesday was RHP Daniel Reischl (Loyola Academy). The long-levered righty offers some big projection inside a lean and athletic 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame. Reischl was up to 86 mph with an average of 2,200 RPM on the pitch, from a really quick, loose arm. The curveball he mixed in spun at a similar rate with tight 11/5 shape. Clearly, there’s a ceiling to Reischl worth monitoring.

+ From the Chicago area, RHP Ryan Wong (Lane Tech) looks like an emerging name to know on the summer circuit. His fastball averaged 82.8 mph, per TrackMan, at a spin rate range of 2,300 to 2,500 RPM – a number that suggests it can miss some bats on its own. His breaking also showed some of the day’s best bite and action, at 73 mph, 2,400 RPM. Factor in Wong’s fluid, loose, and quick arm, as well as his athletic 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame, the Lane Tech right-hander feels like one of the day’s big winners.

+ Illinois’ St. Charles North has some exciting talent that we’ve seen filter through The Rock at various point this year and last, between events and tournaments, and RHP Eric Lee is the latest. He was another TrackMan winner, with a tight breaking ball from a lower slot that also helps his low-80s fastball generate some hard arm-side action. Another lean, lanky 6-foot-2 righty that’s a projection follow.


+ Another one of the day’s TrackMan winners was RHP Noah France (Union Grove), a live-armed 5-foot-10, 165-pound prospect. France was up to 89 mph in a bullpen setting in the winter, though we’d yet to see him recently in-game. In simulated play on Tuesday, the Union Grove right-hander proved that he remains among Wisconsin’s top uncommitted prospects in its 2021 class. His fastball averaged 85 mph (up to 87) at 2,300 RPM, demonstrating some hard arm-side action and carry through the zone. France’s slider is clearly an outpitch – a swing-and-miss offering that he throws frequently, sitting 75-76 mph with sharp sweeping spin between 2,300 and 2,400 RPM. France landed the slider at the backdoor and earned chases away with it, showing off his feel and confidence for it.

+ It was a head-turning outing delivered from LHP Dylan Lapic (La Crosse Central). With long limbs, Lapic has broad/square shoulders and a loose, fast arm action that unleashes hard arm-side action to the plate, sitting 83-86 mph on Tuesday. Repeatedly touching 86-plus mph, and in-game at that, is a noteworthy boose in velocity since we saw him in January. His build and left-handedness, combined with his quick arm, has him among the more interesting uncommitted talents in the state’s ‘21 class.

+ Few prospects in attendance on Tuesday wield as much upside as RHP Jacob Kisting (Verona Area) possesses. At a lean, athletic 6-foot-5, 185 pounds, Kisting’s fastball averaged 86 mph in his inning of work, up to 87, with feel for a couple different breaking balls, a curve and slider. We just saw the slider a couple weeks back at the Badger State Battle where it looked particularly impressive, as he consistently earned chases out of the zone with it. His size and his quick, loose arm should have him on high alert to the recruiting community.

+ From Kimberly, RHP/3B Thomas Ellisen has some real two-way upside, but he’s been especially sharp upon our last two viewings from the mound. On Tuesday, Ellisen’s fastball averaged 84 mph, topping 86, showing the feel to spin a tight 12/6 breaking ball with depth. He’s an athletic 6-foot-3, 185-pound prospect who’s blossomed late inside this 2021 class, so he’s a name to know moving forward.

+ RHP/3B Thomas Hunt (Almond-Bancroft) is another 2021 arm who’s been stirring some attention this summer. Up to 84 mph in August of 2019, Hunt has been sitting more often 85-86 in our more recent looks. A stout, strong 6-foot, 190 pounds, Hunt carries some arm strength, clearly, as he averaged one of the day’s firmer fastballs. He didn’t require much offspeed in his one-inning outing, though we’ve seen him mix in an above-average changeup that works well off the fastball in the past, as well as a change-of-pace breaking ball. Add Hunt to the list of follow uncommitted arms who earned some added attention following this showcase.

 + RHP Gage Smith (Appleton North) has leaped from unranked follow to must-know. As a long-limbed 6-foot-3, 175-pound righty, Smith has a loose, quick arm action that helped produce an 82-84 mph fastball that touched 86. The slider he’s showing signs of harnessing holds some real potential, too, as a 69-72 mph offering with solid spin, in the 2,000-2,200 RPM range. The projection here – in addition to the good results he’s garnered this summer – should have Smith climbing the state’s ‘21 class rankings inside of our next update.

+ One of the group's most competitive pitchers is RHP Kellan Short (Catholic Memorial), a strike-thrower at 5-foot-8, 170 pounds, with a barrel chest and strength throughout. He lives in the 83-84 mph range with a feel to locate it, and he flips in a slow curve, 64-66 mph, off a 12/6 plane with great depth and tight spin. He lands the breaking ball at the bottom or under the zone, which frequently earns swings and misses over the top of it, if not knee buckles. He's consistently earning positive results, with the stamina to last late into outings without losing much of his stuff.

+ Tomah’s RHP Evan Long is yet another righty with a desirable build that should make him an attractive arm to fill a rotation at the next level. He sat mostly in the low-80s, though he touched 84 and 85 mph once each, though it’s his own long, strong levers that offer some upside and intrigue.

+ LHP Reece Piontek (Denmark) carries some immense physical projection, as a thin 6-foot-2 southpaw. He’s raw, but very malleable, with a loose arm that was sitting 79-82 mph, touching 83. Though, the biggest takeaway from his session came with the help of TrackMan, as Piontek showed the greatest Induced Vertical Break (IVB) of the day. His fastballs generate that rising effect, with 19-plus inches of IVB, in addition to some arm-side run. The frame and the fastball characteristics make him a prospect worth unlocking at the next level.

+ Working from a steep angle at release, RHP Marcus Jaworski (Iola-Scandinavia) and his long, loose, and quick arm action create a heavy fastball that averaged 83 mph with sub-2,000 RPM spin. With feel for the changeup and curve, too, Jaworski possesses starter traits.

+ RHP/INF Preston Piranio (Mukwonago) can fill up the zone with heavy running fastballs, at 83-84 mph, from a high ¾ slot, all while mixing in some hard sliders, 72-73 mph. He has a feel to pitch with the kind of arsenal that dodges barrels with some consistency.

+ Hortonville’s RHP Tyler Upp offers a similar profile as Piranio; heavy sinking fastballs, up to 84 mph on Tuesday, with the spin rates to match (1,800 RPM on average). Upp also utilizes a couple different feel offspeed pitches, a changeup and slider. The changeup is the best secondary for him, right now, as it comes out of the same window with similar movement profiles.



+ Having committed a day prior to the event, the Bradley-bound OF Cole Luckey (Glenbrook South) was, as expected, one of the top position players of the day. A statistical standout in multiple categories, it’s his huge toolset that helped him earn a landing spot at the next level with big showings at several PBR events this summer slate. And Tuesday was no different, as he recorded the hardest-hit ball in BP (92.2 mph).

+ One of Wisconsin’s top uncommitted prospects in its 2021 class, OF Anthony Gross (Catholic Memorial), has reasserted himself multiple times this summer as a high-follow, tools-y follow. A strong, compact 5-foot-9 with twitch in his right-handed bat, he plays the game with a high motor that perfectly operates as the engine atop a lineup. That twitch in the batter’s box best shows itself in his rotational score (77), per Blast Motion. He’s also shown the ability to stick around center field long-term, and his throws topped 86 to home on Tuesday.

+ There are some similarities between Gross and OF Leo Falletti (Wilmot). Both are good runners with notable strength in their compact frames. Falletti has a short swing that produces low-lying line-drive contact, with some jump off the barrel (topped 91.7 mph in BP, per TrackMan). He’s another top-of-the-order type with barrel feel, as evidenced by a hard-hit rate of 81.8 percent, among the day’s best.

+ OF/C Anthony Vivian (Dodgeville) is a physical follow, with advanced strength that he uses exceptionally well from the right-handed batter’s box. He recorded some of the day’s best Blast marks, consistently quick to meeting the ball on plane and at an above-average rate. Vivian’s strength is efficiently weaponized in the batter’s box which gives him one of the top power profiles in this class. 

+ Another Tomah prospect who showed well on Tuesday, OF Boone Mathison, has long harbored some impact tools and he’s begun to refine. There’s twitch involved in multiple facets of Mathison’s game – he can run (6.85 in the 60-yard dash) and he brings advanced bat speed to the righty box (76 mph). Blast measured Mathison’s BP out to be among the day’s most efficient, as he utilized his bat speed to record above-average barrel rates. 

+ OF Jaden Schwantz (River Falls) is another tooled-up prospect and is an intriguing two-way prospect for his left/left profile, fit with athleticism, arm strength, and bat strength. While he didn’t pitch on Tuesday, he showed us a fast bat that topped 94.4 mph in live batting practice on a ball that was hit over 285 feet into the right-center gap, all per TrackMan. He’s a strong 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, and is among the more interesting two-way athletes in his class.

+ If it weren’t for some stand-out performances this summer, including at the Badger State Battle, OF Jourdon Schuyler (West De Pere) might have slid under the radar. On Tuesday however, he really managed to stick out. Blast Motion captured some impressive swing traits: Schuyler’s hand/eye coordination is obvious, as he routinely connects for timely barrels on plane. He’s also a 6.98 runner, which is a significantly lower time than he recorded back in March. Schuyler has come a long way in a short time, so he’s earned some additional attention moving forward.

+ Menomonee Falls’ Cole Fialco is another versatile outfield with athleticism attached to his overall profile. He’s another Blast Motion stand-out, as he recorded some efficient plane scores, highlighting his ability to square the ball up – in fact, per Blast, his connection scores were some of the day’s best.


+ Simply put, 2B Nicklas Williams (Union Grove) finds the barrel. He’s an athletic, strong 5-foot-11 with twitchy hands that generate some bat strength, too. Williams is consistently the kind right-handed hitter who shows up frequently in the box score and the story has been the same this summer. We saw more evidence of his feel to hit on Tuesday, but we also saw a more complete, well-rounded prospect who can defend his position (most likely second base), with some big arm strength, and he also ran a 6.97. He should be well-known at this stage of the recruiting process, so we’ll track his summer closely.

+ RHP/SS Austin Bestul (Elkhorn Area) carries some true two-way characteristics, even if he wasn’t able to show it off from the mound on Tuesday. While he can definitely pitch (and we’ll get a better look at it at some stage soon), Bestul can certainly handle shortstop at the next level. He’s a natural defender, with smooth, rangy actions, with arm strength featured on throws that topped 86 mph at this event. His athleticism shows itself best from the right-handed batter’s box, where he consistently lands the barrel on plane, getting the most out of his bat strength. In BP, Bestul launched six baseballs at a distance of 296 feet or more, his furthest of which landed 350 feet from home at 94 mph off the barrel. He’s one of the top-ranked 2021s for a reason.

+ INF Mason Kirchberg (DeForest Area) tied his travel ball teammate Mathison for one of the day’s fastest bats (76 mph), and he is increasingly looking like one of the top right-handed power threats in this class. He moves well (7.05 in the 60), and looks like he can hold his own from the left side of the infield, further enhancing his overall profile. Follow this under the radar, uncommitted 2021.

+ In the market for a heads-up shortstop? Ryan Blanchard (Kettle Moraine) fits the bill. He thrives at the position with a simple, natural feel for the spot. Blanchard works hard and plays at a high, infectious energy level, too. He gets the most out of his right-handed bat, recording some solid raw bat strength for his size, pulling a ball hit 94 mph in BP that landed 318 feet from home, per TrackMan. It’s an athletic swing, with fast hands, that is getting better as he begins to better utilize the whole field.

+ 3B/SS James Rae (Verona Area) is a natural right-handed hitter, and we’ve seen it on display several times over the years, though this was the first time we were able to see Rae at a PBR event. Defensively, his smooth actions help him handle shortstop, though he probably profiles best at third base long-term. That transition shouldn’t be a problem, as his bat carries plenty of impact at the next level. Blast Motion helped confirm what our eyes were telling us – Rae routinely meets the ball on plane. His feel to hit and reliable defensive actions should land him on more radars headed into his senior year.

+ One of the more versatile players of this group is Sun Prairie’s Carter Wambach. He’s a sneaky good athlete with dependable defensive actions that could help him thrive at third or second base, or even short in a pinch, and his left-handed bat packs some more punch than first meets the eye. He launched several baseballs into the pull-side right-center gap on Tuesday, the furthest of which travelled 425 feet off the barrel at 90 mph. He hit several balls 90-plus mph in the round, too, and his Blast scores correlated his sound work in BP.

+ Keep an eye on the highly projectable SS/3B Ryland Wall (Holmen), who moves around the infield well despite his lanky levers. He swings a short and quick right-handed bat, too, while offering a unique next-level profile with upside.

+ Hulking switch-hit 1B Darryl Loyd III (Morgan Park, IL) generates some hefty power from both batter’s boxes, and he does well to meet the ball on plane and efficiently, though at a low launch angle. He took some reps in the outfield on Tuesday, and he moves athletically around for his physical 6-foot-2, 240-pound size, so his ability to range around the bag at first with some feel should allow him to fit there neatly.

+ At 5-foot-7, 145 pounds, 2B Harrison Toone (Brookfield East) still manages to get the utmost out of his right-handed bat. Per TrackMan, Toone connected on two baseballs that travelled 315 and 322 feet, with exit marks that consistently lived in the 85 mph range. He jumped on a first pitch fastball in live gameplay, too, for a hard-hit single to show off that he can do it in-game as well. Toone also as the ability to shine defensively at second base. He has soft hands, smart instincts, and plays the game at a fast pace.

+ 3B Cade Neuber (Slinger) really got into some baseballs during his round of batting practice, recording the majority of his pitches at 290 feet or greater when he connected, at an average of 87 mph at exit. He launched a pair of baseballs at 347 and 348 feet that he dead pulled to left field, both at 92 mph. Neuber shows the ability to access some inherent strength in his 5-foot-10, 175-pound build.

+ Matthew Perry (Bay Port) is a tough middle infielder with tools. He’s made some statistical gains in the short time in between events, from March to now, that have earned him some more looks from us. He ran a 7.07 and recorded an 89 mph exit velocity off the tee, and we’ve seen him work hard from the rubber in the past, too, where he’s been up to 84 mph. Yet another Bay Port name to know for the remainder of the summer and for the Pirates in the spring.

+ From Hononegah HS in Illinois, SS Gabe Roessler turned in a strong day, in which he ran a 6.90 with an excellent round of infield defense. He looks the part of a next-level shortstop, as a 6-foot-2, 175-pound athlete with projection.


+ An especially young member of this 2021 class, Brigs Richartz (Menomonie) brings some special physicality that should have him earning more looks as the summer rolls on. A coveted left-handed bat is the biggest value Richartz provides – he frequently squared up the baseball for hard-hit lofted contact in BP, scalding five baseballs at 320-plus feet, including a 365-foot best. He swings a fast bat with natural barrel feel that looks to line the ball back up the middle, which he did for a smashed single in gameplay. To complete this glowing profile, Richartz is a fluid defender who’s quick out of the crouch, averaging the day’s quickest pops. A must-follow in this 2021 class.

+ Few look as physically strong as Trett Joles (Boyceville), a backstop with huge strength that he applies well to his game. Joles is clean and efficient out of the chute that is only enhanced by his big arm strength, topping 83 mph. Naturally, his muscular build helps him create some juice from the right side. Joles hit seven baseballs at roughly 300 feet, topped by a mammoth shot that went 379 feet, per TrackMan, at a 99 mph exit. He lined a 300-foot drive at 100 mph to left field, too. The powerful backstop still looks like one of the best on the market.

+ From Illinois, Jack Snyder (Manteno) is an athletic catcher that looks like an asset behind the plate, but he’s also a really interesting right-handed hitter. He peppered center field and left-center with hard-hit baseballs on the regular, and even juiced a ball 360 feet at 94 mph, both per TrackMan. Snyder’s bat speed is advanced (74.1 mph, per Blast), underscoring the athleticism he brings to the field.

+ Stratford’s Colten Schillinger offers some raw athleticism that produces some upside worth looking into. A 6.88 runner, Schillinger has an advanced, strong look and a natural mobility around the plate. He also sprayed some hard-hit line drives from gap to gap, with a 95 mph high in BP. His physical characteristics are unique enough that could make for a late-bloomer as he refines and sharpens his overall profile.