Prep Baseball Report

Fox Cities Preseason I.D.: Quick Hits

By Andy Sroka & Steve Nielsen
Wisconsin Staff

On March 6, the PBR Wisconsin team hosted the Fox Cities Preseason I.D., at the Players Choice Facility in Appleton, Wis. This was an open event for all high school classes (2021-24), and gave our staff an ample look at the area's top players.

Today, in our first post-event piece from this event, we’ll publish our biggest takeaways and highlights from Saturday’s showcase within this Quick Hits story. Throughout the rest of this week, we’ll be taking diving deeper into all of the data we collected, too, with the help of our Blast Motion and TrackMan devices.

For now, check out our notes and findings from Saturday’s event in Appleton. Each of the players below are uncommitted unless stated otherwise.



+ Perhaps there was no bigger winner on Saturday than RHP Theo Zeidler (Bay Port), who’s leapt into a group of the state’s best uncommitted players. Zeidler’s an athlete in a 6-foot-2, 190-pound build, complete with a live, loose arm that he repeats with low effort to reach significantly increased velocity. He touched 90-91 mph multiple times, sitting comfortably in the 88-90 range throughout. Even more notably, Zeidler was probably responsible for the most complete ‘pen of the Fox Cities I.D. He was constantly around the zone and he backed up his big fastball with a tight, sharp curveball and an effective changeup that mirrors his fastball deceptively well. The strikes, arm speed, and athletic stature have Zeidler’s arrow pointed way up ahead of the spring and summer. He’s a need-to-know prospect for programs seeking to fill their staffs within their incoming 2022-23 incoming class.

+ RHP Gradin Taschner (Neenah) is another one of the state’s best uncommitted players. Inside a sturdy 6-foot-3, 235-pound frame, Taschner reaches substantial velocity with relative ease. He came out hot on Saturday, sitting in the upper-80s, touching 90 mph. TrackMan adored the Taschner fastball, too – a true four-seamer with ride and carry that could become a huge weapon if he can spot it consistently at the top of the strike zone. His changeup projects to be his best offspeed, one that mimics his fastball effectively, with swing-and-miss sink/run. Taschner’s spin feel is still raw, though it flashed some sharpness on Saturday. Polishing up the breaking ball would allow him to take an even greater step toward the next level. Although Taschner’s profile is not predetermined as a pitcher only, as his prowess in the box is progressing as well. He has athletic hand strength which allows him to man-handle the bat and get the barrel to the baseball at will and with authority. It’s an impressive up-the-middle approach that you wouldn’t expect from the traditional corner infield/power-hitting profile. 

+ RHP Benjamin Lee (Amherst) is a prototypical pitcher’s frame, listed at 6-foot-6, 200 pounds, and he features a four-pitch arsenal out of a high ¾ slot. His changeup showed to be his best offering with hard sinking action to his arm side. His curveball and slider both have their own identities, and the curve shows above-average depth. That offspeed plays off an 86-87 mph four-seam fastball, too. There’s some intriguing ceiling attached to Lee’s uncommitted profile.

+ INF Carson Fluguar (Franklin) showed up to the Fox Cities a different version than what we saw last summer. Now listed at 6-foot, 190 pounds, Fluguar added noticeable muscle, especially to his lower half. That added strength has contributed to increased foot speed,  as he ran an event-best 6.68, all while putting together a strong up-the-middle round of BP, rounded out with above-average infield actions. Look for Fluguar to climb onto the class’ rankings following this performance.

+ INF Aiden Haney (Catholic Memorial) is an athletic defender with soft hands and well-above-average actions. He likely profiles at second base with action-y hands, and those also play well at the plate. He’s a short stroke hitter who works in a rhythm, and he can repeat a line-drive/gap-to-gap swing.

+ RHP Seth Spaeth (Menasha) was one of many players attending their first-ever PBR event, and he made the most of it during his ‘pen especially. There’s clear strength inside his 6-foot-2, 190-pound build, and it helped form an intriguing profile from the rubber. Spaeth’s low-80s (84.5 mph high) fastball comes from a high, steep release and it projects well as he hones the ability to throw it in the zone with greater frequency. He throws his breaking ball aggressively, and it features tight, short, downer action that complements his arm slot and plays well off the fastball, and something similar can be said about his change.

+ Brandon Black (Bay Port) is a big-bodied first baseman, standing at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, and showed above-average bat strength from the right side, while maintaining feel for the barrel while also proving to cover the first base bag with above-average actions overall.

+ RHP Alex Breckheimer’s (Chilton) broad, physical 6-foot-4, 210-pound physique makes it easy to envision long-term success from the mound. While sitting 80-83 mph on Saturday, Breckheimer’s fastball plays way up, as he really gets down the mound and utilizes an overhand slot to create a steep angle to home, making the pitch tough to square up. He also showed the ability to feature a two-seamer that played much differently than the four-seam, with considerably more run/sink. His changeup mimicked his fastball slot and arm speed well enough to look like his most effective offspeed, while his curveball could use some fine-tuning to make greater use of his above-average feel to spin it.

+ 1B Wendell Waukau Jr. (Menomoniee Indian) showed an improved left-handed swing in BP on Saturday. Waukau put up some of the day’s highest exit speed marks as evidenced of this, as his max exit velocity (97.6 mph) was the fourth highest in attendance, same as his average exit speed (87.9) – and his farthest struck ball travelled an estimated 337 feet, another one of the day’s highest measurements. 

+ Right-handed pitchers Nolan Kahle (Brookfield Academy) and  Ty Sherman (Waukesha West) are a pair of similar, effective juniors who landed on the prospect map this past Saturday. They’re both strong, athletic 5-foot-11 righties who showed loose, clean arm actions and above-average arm speed. The pair each reached an 85 mph high at this event, and the pitch itself profiles very closely to one another, per TrackMan. Kahle’s fastball features slightly more carry through the strike zone, and he showed the ability to attack the zone with more frequency, and his knuckle-curve featured later, sharper action. Sherman’s breaking ball was not quite as sharp, but there’s some upside to it, as he showcased an above-average feel for spin, and his firm change looks capable of becoming a usable third-pitch as well.

+ Grant Meulemans (Freedom) has been on our radar since breaking out at last summer’s Badger State Battle, though he emerged there for his above-average actions at shortstop and barrel feel from the right-handed batter’s box. On Saturday, Meulemans took to the mound where his athleticism translated well. His quick, loose, fluid arm action helped him sit in the 83-85 mph range, reaching an 86 high. Meulemans’ curveball featured some bite to it, too, which is a great sign for someone who only really began to pitch last fall.

+ After posting some of the top pop times of the day, C Isaiah Grimm (Bay Port) is firmly on our radar. During his defense reps, Grimm showed a quick exchange and release that led to a 2.00 low pop time. Grimm is a strong hitter as well who showed above-average bat speed on a short path, recording one of the top peak hand speeds of the day, per Blast Motion metrics.

+ OF John Nickel’s (Bay Port) come along way, as he’s grown into his 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame, that produces a loose, gap-to-gap swing from the right-handed box. His upside swing complements his solid all-around game, as he moves well in the outfield while looking like he’ll only get better with time and added strength.

+ Inside a physical, strong 6-foot-1, 195-pound stature, LHP Owen Deprez’s (Luxemburg-Casco) progression is worth monitoring. The southpaw sat in the low-80s in his ‘pen on Saturday, and reached an 84 mph high on his fastball, one that features some hard arm-side run. Deprez’s size and closed shoulders down the mound generate big extension, while making for an uncomfortable at-bat. His offspeed feel is currently raw, but the curveball showed noteworthy spin (2,286 rpm on average), so it’s entirely possible that the pitch can earn swings and misses once it’s polished.


+ RHP Thomas Burns (Hortonville) breaks out of the offseason as one of the state’s biggest winners, so far, along this winter circuit. Showcasing a revamped, cleaner arm action, Burns threw more strikes, at an increased velocity, compounded by a sharp 12/6 breaking ball, all while spotting up a deceptive fading changeup. The work that he must’ve put into his more efficient arm action is clear, and it helped him sit in the 88 mph range throughout his ‘pen, with a fastball that features huge jump and carry from a high slot after Burns’ creates a big extension down the mound. Just as notably, Burns is still growing, now listed at 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, so we may only just be scratching the surface with this other Hortonville prospect.

+ We were pleased to see RHP Jonah Conradt (Hortonville; Arizona commit) again this offseason, a little closer to his hometown this time. Conradt showed why he’s among the top-ranked players in the state’s 2023 class, looking a lot like the impressive version of himself at the West Milwaukee I.D. On Saturday, Conradt touched 90 mph a few times, spinning it at a 2,300-plus rpm rate, generated from electric, elastic arm speed. He can snap off a breaking ball, but his changeup flashed some hard, late action at arm speed at this event, concocting a dynamic three-pitch mix that should keep him in the running as one of the top players in the state’s class through high school.

+ RHP/OF Deuce Musial II (Notre Dame Academy) is a high upside two-way player in the 2023 class, listed at 6-foot-5, 180 pounds. Musial had a big day in Appleton. His long, lean levers work well at the plate, attacking the baseball with a loose, purposeful swing. He repeated similar contact to the left-center gap throughout his round and moved well in the outfield with above-average arm strength that translates seamlessly to the mound. Musial exhibits control over his lengthy levers, something he’ll need to keep doing in order to repeat his unique arm action often enough to fill up the strike zone. With that being said, he did exactly that on Saturday, sitting 84-85 mph, touching 86 twice, and with minimal effort.

+ SS Logan Kraus (Fond du Lac) is an athletic 5-foot-10, 160-pound infielder – arguably the top sophomore infielder in attendance. As a 7.04 runner with an 81 mph arm across the diamond, Kraus has the tools to play shortstop long-term. His arm played athletically when on the move and showed above-average body control while ranging. His right-handed swing is short and loose with a line-drive approach that showed barrel awareness.

+ We were treated to a terrific PBR event debut by RHP/INF Camden Kuhnke (Hortonville). Inside an athletic 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame, Kuhnke started his day by running a 7.12 in the 60-yard dash, underscoring his athleticism, and he eventually made his way to the mound where he was 84-86 mph, touching 87, on a heavy-type fastball. The feel to spin a curveball is present, though in need of refining, but there’s plenty of time to get there. His size, athleticism, and quick/loose arm gave us another sophomore to add to our ‘23 watchlist.

+ Eli Zollar (Ashwaubenon) is a strong 6-foot-3, 225-pound first baseman who posted some of the top exit velocities of the day during BP. In fact, the sophomore averaged the top exit velocity of any hitter at the event (92.0 mph) and he sprayed that contact gap-to-gap. From the mound, Zollar repeats a long arm circle well enough to throw his three pitches for strikes consistently, especially for a player his age. He reached an 86 mph high with his run/sink fastball, and his solid 10/4 breaking ball and running change round out a quality mix that he has real feel for.

+ Cole Bensen (Bay Port) impressed on Saturday with an athletic two-way profile. He’s a strong, sturdy 6-foot, 185 pounds. He ran well (7.09) and his foot speed played well in his outfield actions, where he also showed a well-above-average arm strength, topping at 87 mph to home. His strength played at the plate where he topped at 91.7 mph exit velocity in BP. Seeing him perform well at this level as a position player is somewhat new to us, considering we’re used to seeing him compete on the mound more often. He was up to 84 mph on Saturday with his heavy, downhill fastball, and his tight curveball was among the best in attendance, as was his straight change.

+ OF/RHP T.J. Hauser (Appleton East) showed upside in all facets of his game. Offensively, he’s a left-handed hitter in a lean frame with a swing that works uphill, flashing some sneaky pop – half of his swings travelled over 300 feet, which is pleasantly surprising for a player in a lean 6-foot, 160-pound frame. He was highly intriguing on the mound, up to 83 mph with a simple, clean delivery from a very loose, quick arm action. His curveball spun at 2,316 rpm on average, and he showed the ability to spot it under the zone, too. There’s a lot to like in Hauser’s bright future.

+ RHP Nathan Vela (Hortonville) rides his back leg down the mound in an athletic, efficient delivery that helped him reach an 84 mph high on Saturday. He’s a 5-foot-10, 170-pound athlete with three projectable pitches that warrant close monitoring. Vela was up to 78 mph during last summer’s PBR at The Rock tournament, so this is a noteworthy climb in the time since.

+ 2B/SS Landen Lozier (Notre Dame Academy) is an action-y left-handed hitting infielder who showed well up the middle. He’s got soft hands and natural actions on the infield that profile best at second base. He swings a left-handed bat with barrel control that can spray line drives to all parts of the field. 

+ RHP/INF Brayden Deering (Kimberly) showed well on the infield with athletic actions and body control paired with an above-average arm that may be able to stick on the left side. He’s got a loose right-handed swing that hits off his front foot with an opposite field approach. With that being said, Deering offers considerable upside from the mound, where his arm plays very fluidly – it’s a really clean, easy arm action that he repeated well enough to live all around the zone throughout his ‘pen. That loose, quick arm generates a projectable fastball that could really jump once he adds to his slight 5-foot-9 stature. Up to 79 mph on Saturday, there’s a lot more to come, and that’ll only just boost the rest of his impressive arsenal. He showcased an advanced feel to spin a curveball and slider differently, both spinning at above-average rates.

+ RHP Carter Kriewaldt (Freedom) is another athletic pop-up prospect exiting the Fox Cities. He started Saturday’s showcase by running a 7.05, and he especially excelled from the mound where he sat 81-83 mph with a short arm action that was loose and quick out front. His strong 6-foot-1, 170-pound stature creates a projectable profile to continue to follow as well.

+ RHP A.J. Courchaine (Bay Port) is listed at 6-foot, 180 pounds, with long, lanky levers that generate a quick, loose arm that helped him sit in the low-80s on Saturday, up to 83 mph from a low slot. He spins an above-average sweeping breaking ball and fading change at arm speed to create a follow ‘23 profile.

+ Pulaski seems to have a bright future in its exciting underclassmen, and RHP Brady Wotruba is the latest name we’ve learned among that group. He’s a lanky 5-foot-9 who generates above-average arm speed, and he could increase velocity quickly from Saturday’s 81 mph high. And Wotruba demonstrated above-average breaking ball feel and spin as well.


+ LHP Bradyn Bezanson (Hudson) asserted himself as a follow member of the state’s 2024 class on Saturday, during an eye-opening bullpen. Inside a compact/sturdy 5-foot-7, 165-pound frame, Bezanson was spinning hard-running two-seamers in the low-80s, out of an effective low ¾ slot while spinning at an average rate of 2,364 rpm. While that was impressive on its own, the Hudson freshman separated himself from his 2024 peers by spinning a slider in the 2,600-plus rpm range, generating big horizontal action that would be advanced at any age. And though he was unable to locate it on Saturday, Bezanson’s sinking changeup also featured large, late action that should round out a capable three-pitch mix over time.

+ INF Javin Gauthier (De Pere) is already an Illinois State commit, and he looked the part at a sturdy 6-foot, 175 pounds. He brings advanced bat speed that works off an uphill plane. His infield arm strength was maybe his most impressive asset of the day, getting carry and accuracy across the diamond at 80 mph.

+ C/INF Hunter Carlson (Hudson) looks like a high ceiling prospect in the state’s 2024 class. Carlson is a lean and athletic left-handed-hitting catcher/infielder with a ton of upside. He’s a barrel control bat with a short stroke and repeated up-the-middle/line-drive contact. Defensively, he plays athletically both on the infield and behind the plate, which makes it tough profile him at one of those positions long-term – and that’s a good problem to have.

+ Arguably the most impressive power bat of the day belonged to Appleton North’s 3B/1B Jacob Narvaez. Navarez packs some serious punch at the plate, the 6-foot, 210-pound right-handed bat posted the top exit velocity of the event (99.3 mph) and he showed solid infield actions that profile at a corner position.

+ RHP Ian Dohms (Menasha) reached an 80 mph high on Saturday, emerging as a follow freshman arm in the state. Dohms is a compact and strong 5-foot-9, 190 pounds, and his clean and easy arm action helps him reach the upper-70s with little effort. It’s a true, straight four-seamer that leaves his hand from a high, over-the-top slot, and he gets down the mound fluidly through an athletic finish. His 12/6 breaking ball flashed sharp, tight action, too, and it projects to develop nicely alongside his fastball.

+ 1B Milo Upton (De Pere) is in the same breath as Narvaez when it comes to power bats on the day. Upton, who’s also a freshman, stands at 6-foot-2, 220-pounds and showed easy bat strength in the box. A right-handed hitter, Upton’s best batted-ball of the day came at almost 89 mph off the bat and travelled an estimated distance of 310 feet.

+ OF/RHP Easton Arendt (De Pere) is an impressive left-handed hitting outfielder. There’s above average bat speed in a loose repeatable swing with plenty of upside. He’s a wiry 5-foot-9, 135-pounds and profiles as a line drive gap to gap bat. 

+ C Donatello Badalamenti (Pulaski) was one of the more advanced catchers in attendance, even as a freshman. Badalamenti is built for the exposition at 5-foot-11, 185-pounds and showed excellent catch and throw skills posting pops at 2.15-2.26 while showing accuracy to the bag. 

+ OF Corey Riesop (Fox Valley Lutheran) Another impressive freshman to watch in the state, an athletic 5-foot-10, 145-pound outfielder. Riesop possesses well above average bat speed for his age with a middle to opposite field, line drive approach. 

+ While the velocity has, understandably, not yet bloomed, RHP Ethan Wick’s (Appleton North) loose, fluid arm and wiry 5-foot-11 size paints a clear long-term picture. He filled up the zone with three pitches, demonstrating an advanced feel to break off a curveball off a 10/4 plane.