Prep Baseball Report

PBR at The Rock 17U: Quick Hits Day 1

By Wisconsin Staff

Welcome back to the PBR @The Rock 17U tournament, an invite-only event pitting some of the top programs across Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Indiana against each other. Under a modified format, the PBR Wisconsin staff is hosting this near-60-team tourney and after each gameday, we’ll be highlighting the best things that we saw, starting with Day 1.

+ PBA Gold is rostering a few ranked uncommitted prospects in Wisconsin's 2021 class, and several of them got off to quick starts this week at this 17U event. The one and two hitters on Gold, OF Leo Falletti (Wilmot Union) and 3B/2B Nicklas Williams (Union Grove) are both muscled up prospects who apply that strength directly into their right-handed swings. They repeat well and generate hard line-drive contact consistently. Williams' knack for hitting is obvious as he demonstrated both a natural feel for the zone, promoting good pitch selection, and he also barreled up a 3-2 breaking ball that he landed on the sweet spot for a hard line-out to center. 

RHP/INF Sawyer Smith (Shoreland Lutheran; uncommitted) first landed on our radar this winter for his highly projectable build, at 6-foot-2, 170 pounds. Long levers and a loose arm helped him produce an 82-83 mph fastball with arm-side action. Back in the winter he also swung an intriguing left-handed bat, so we're looking forward to seeing him in the batter's box this week, too. He struck out five in five frames and allowed just two runs on five hits, one walk.

+ Kicking our day off on the bump for the Richfield Rockets was RHP/INF Gavin Theis (Lake Country Lutheran, 2021; uncommitted). A projectable 6-foot-2, 175-pound lean and lanky arm, Theis sat 82-84 mph out of the gates, touching 85 mph twice with his fastball in the first inning. He held that same velocity throughout his brief three inning start, where he allowed only one hit and struck out four. Theis paired his lively heater with a breaking ball at 67-70 mph that he showed natural feel for. It’s important to note the upside Theis brings to the mound and he’s an interested uncommitted prospect on our radar. 

+ A tight contest took place during our 1:30 pm slot between Top Tier North Conlin and ISA Stars Royal 17U. We saw several interesting things in this back-and-forth affair, that ultimately ended in an ISA victory, including two home runs off the bats of C Kaden Kosobucki (West De Pere, 2021; NIU commit) and INF/RHP Alex Windey (Wrightstown, 2021; uncommitted). Entering the bottom of the 7th inning tied at 7-7, OF/SS Parker Knoll (Fox Valley Lutheran, 2021; uncommitted) drove a middle-in fastball down the left-field line, scoring the game-winning run to secure the victory for ISA Stars Royal. 

+ Our final slot of Day One was home to what could end up being one of the tournament’s best pitching performances. RHP Brady Hartman (Sherrard, 2021; uncommitted) got the nod for Illinois Dynasty Black and shoved, tossing seven scoreless innings while striking out nine. Hartman came out of the gates hot, sitting at an easy 84-86 mph with his fastball and pumping each corner of the zone. He kicked back a bit as his outing went on, more comfortably in the 80-83 mph range, but continued to throw strikes and even mixed in a breaking ball in the low-70s range. Hartman’s clean arm and athleticism on the hill make him an intriguing uncommitted arm to follow. 

+ LHP Connor Weitgrefe (Prior Lake, MN; uncommitted) led MASH (Vocca) to a 6-1 win with five innings of three-hit baseball and three punch-outs. Weitgrefe worked 83-85 mph out of a ¾ slot complemented by a hard slider. 3B/C Tyler Wombacher (Lakeville North, MN; uncommitted) hit a deep solo shot to left field to tie the game at one in the second and MASH never looked back.

+ Both Minnesota MASH squads were in action Wednesday afternoon, and both earned big wins behind strong pitching performances. The sturdy 6-foot-3, 205-pound righty Adam Stanton (Eagan, MN; uncommitted) paced MASH against PBA Black. After a rocky first frame, he settled in and did not allow a run the rest of the way. Stanton came out hot sitting 85-86 mph, touching an 87 and an 88 in the first inning, at a noteworthy spin rate between 2,200 and 2,400 RPM. He struck out 10 total in the five innings of work, and he regularly utilized the advanced changeup (78-80 mph) and hard breaking ball (74-76) to earn those swings and misses. Offensively, MASH was boosted by the bottom of its order: Brady Petron (Royalton, MN; uncommitted) and Daniel Biancamano (Eagan, MN; uncommitted). Petron was 2-for-3 with a double and a triple, with two RBIs. Biancamano slugged a home run and also hit a sac fly to help drive in three runs, en route to a 10-2 win.