Wisconsin-Milwaukee Inks Five In Early Signing Period



By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor – Wisconsin/Illinois

Wisconsin-Milwaukee is the only Division I baseball program in the state of Wisconsin and has long been one of the top programs in the Horizon League. After the early signing period has passed, Coach Scott Doffek and the Panthers have inked five to National Letters of Intent. Here’s a look at the Panthers 2015 early signing class with input from Head Coach Scott Doffek and Head Assistant Coach Cory Bigler.

2015 Early Signees

Jared Reklaitis, Sheboygan South HS, WI
6-4, 225, RHP
PBR Ranked No. 33 in Wisconsin

Reklaitis is one of the top arms in the state and an imposing figure on the mound. Last year as a junior he compiled a 5-2 record coupled with a 1.45 ERA allowing just 11 earned runs and 34 hits on the year.

Coach Bigler: “Jared is a big bodied right hander who attacks the strike zone mid to upper 80’s guy.  His arm works.” Bigler said.  “I look forward to refining his secondary stuff and watching him develop!”

Jay Peters, Muscatine CC, Randolph HS, WI
6-5, 200, RHP

The Panthers went the Junior College route in landing Peters. Originally hailing from Randolph HS, Peters struck out 51 in 50 innings pitched starting 10 games as a freshman for Muscatine.

Coach Bigler: “Jay has really come on in the last year or so.”  Bigler said.  “He has the ability to throw 4 pitches and is starting to add some velo. We have seen him up to 91 this fall.  I am excited to see him take another step.”

George Swedie, Lisle HS, ILGeorge Swedie
6-1, 175, RHP
PBR Ranked No. 147 in Illinois

PBR Scouting Report: 6-foot-1, 165-pound lanky and projectable right-handed pitcher proved to be one of the most electric arms at the Unsigned Senior Showcase with his fastball/splitter combination. Threw strikes with fastball at 85-86 mph from quick, loose, high ¾ arm slot, regular effort, toe down at balance point, points lead toe up during stride towards home plate, shoulders stay level in delivery, lands square with home plate, but hard on heel of front foot. Rushes at times in delivery, but flashes arm speed to catch up. Slider with late breaking 10/4 shape was thrown at 71-73 mph. Chokes 77-78 mph changeup thrown down in the zone. 73-75 mph splitter is a legitimate strikeout pitch, showing hard, late, downward action thrown from the same window as fastball.

Coach Bigler: “George is an intriguing high school pitcher.  His arm really works easy and he throws a split fingered fastball that projects as a swing and miss pitch.”  Bigler said.

Michael Ferri, Notre Dame HS, ILMichael Ferri
5-8, 160, MIF
PBR Ranked No. 111 in Illinois

PBR Scouting Report: 5-foot-8, 155-pound right-handed hitting middle infielder currently ranked No. 195 in Illinois’ class of 2015 impressed as the top overall middle infielder at the Unsigned Senior Games.  Ferri put on a show during the workout portion of the event, starting with spraying line drives to all fields during batting practice with 86 mph exit velocity off the tee.  Hits from an open setup, hands load back smoothly, short stride, simple approach with a short, level bat path consistently finding the barrel, with above average bat speed.  During defensive evaluations Ferri showed plus fielding ability that sets him apart from his peers, throwing 84 mph across the diamond from a short, high ¾ arm slot with accuracy, soft hands fielding the baseball, ranges well to both sides, especially up the middle where he made a sliding play to his left throwing all in one motion while still on one knee.  Footwork is quick and fluid, exchange is lightning quick, and plays through the baseball athletically.  Ferri has the hands and arm to stick at short at the next level, and be a plus defender at second.  Had a hustle double in first at bat, also stole third base.  Ran a 7.16 60, 4.83 from home to first.  Also to note from a toughness standpoint, during warm ups an errant throw hit him in the face, quite possibly breaking his nose.  He shoved gauze up his nostrils and played both games.

Coach Doffek: “Michael is a hardnosed player that loves to compete.  He has low maintenance swing which I think will project with some added strength.  His body control and first step quickness make him an asset in the middle infield.  This kid is a grinder with plus make up!”

Joseph Vyskocil, Notre Dame Prep HS, MIJoseph Vyskocil
6-3, 210, 3B
PBR Ranked No. 36 in Michigan

PBR Scouting Report: 6-foot-3, 210 big strong prospect. Good range and excellent hands at third base. Threw 84 mph across the infield. Ran a 4.56 home to first.  Power in the bat with quick hands to the baseball, pull approach as he strides out. Extreme bat speed registered at 96 mph exit velocity from the tee. UW-Milwaukee picked up an under the radar player that could put up some great offensive numbers. The Panthers have always been a program the leads the Horizon League in hitting year in and year out, look for Vyskocil to help continue that tradition.

Coach Doffek: “He is big strong kid with soft hands and a good arm.  When you watch Joe play the thing that really jumps out at you is the bat speed.  I think this guy has a chance to really drive the baseball.   He has the instincts for the game which should allow him to make an early impact.”

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