Prep Baseball Report

Inside The Rankings: 2021 Newcomers

Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor - Wisconsin/Illinois

Our coverage of Wisconsin’s 2021 Rankings continues today with an in depth look at the newcomers to the rankings. We’ve expanded our list from 100 to 125 adding more than 25 of the state's top juniors to the board.

If you’re just checking in on the updated rankings, make sure to check out our update story on the top ten and our look at the top risers in the state. 


Our look at the top newcomers starts at No. 44 with RHP Noah France (Union Grove). France would be considered an undersized right-hander at 5-foot-10, 170-pounds, but his stuff is anything but. We haven’t seen France since his freshman year when he was just a wiry 73-74 mph. In February he showed up with a blistering fastball at 87-89 mph and a hard sweeping slider at 77-79 mph, both play out of a ¾ slot which adds to the deception and intrigue. France’s 15 mph uptick in two short years is astounding and absolutely worthy of a top 50 spot in the state. He will surely be one of the top uncommitted arms to keep tabs on this summer.

Noah France (2/16/20)

Rounding out our top 50 is infielder Sawyer Smith (Shoreland Lutheran). Smith is as high of an upside guy as you’ll find on this list. He’s a long and slender 6-foot-2, 167-pounds with rangy actions and lively levers, especially in the box. His left-handed swing stands out and has made drastic improvements since our last couple of looks. On top of that he’s moving with much more confidence on the infield, which shows up in his hands and actions, along with improved arm strength from 79 mph to 86 mph across the diamond.

RHP’s Eric McLevige (Janesville Craig) and Tucker Bouche (Oconto Falls) round out the top 60. McLevige is a slender 6-foot-4, 187-pounds with a clean arm that has gained six mph since last year. For Bouche, this was our first look at the Oconto Falls right-hander and he proved extremely interesting considering his hard late breaking curveball to pair with an 84-86 mph fastball.

Tucker Bouche (3/8/20)

Tremper’s Joseph Ricchio is the top new catcher in the rankings and really fits the mold. He’s a strong compact body type at 5-foot-10, 190-pounds and showed advanced arm strength (79 mph) out of the crouch and a strong compact bat path. 

Our first look at LHP Owen Rice (East Troy) was a good one, he intrigued with long whippy levers that reached 85 mph with his fastball. He’s got raw arm speed that hasn’t translated yet into his spin or changeup but definitely looks to be on the horizon for him, which could see the stock rise even more.

OF/RHP Tyler Gall (Oak Creek) is a strong body two-way player who thrives with his arm and bat strength. Gall sat 84-86 mph on the mound and 90 mph from the outfield, which is a number that easily seems reachable for him on the bump.

Two more northeast area arms made our list after RHP Thomas Ellisen (Kimberly) and Tanner Schmidt (Bay Port) put together impressive outings this winter. Ellisen is a long legged 6-foot-3, 180-pounds with an uptempo delivery and tilted fastball that he showed the ability to locate well. Schmidt may not have the same length as Ellisen, but showed plenty of arm speed on a path that stays connected and repeats a heavy fastball and curveball combination.

C Sam Holling (Waukesha West) has been on our radar for some time, and made a noticeable jump this off-season, improve his arm strength behind the plate to 78 mph and lowering his pop time to 2.04. 

While most of our new additions were in the 100-125 range, we added 13 names to the top 100 and these four infielders all cracked that landmark. 

INF Ryland Wall (Holmen) gets his first crack at the rankings after his older brother Nevin (Holmen, 2019) was a top 75 prospect in his respective class. Ryland is a projectable 6-foot-3, 190-pound infielder who moved with easy actions in the box and improved arm strength that will stick on the left side of the infield.

Ryland Wall (3/15/20)

Left-handed hitting Will Mattheis (Laconia) is a bat to follow on the infield, he’s consistently been on our radar and made the jump into the rankings with improved 60 time and a significant jump in arm strength across the diamond. His bat has always been his best tool, but it looks like his defense is now catching up. 

We saw INF Joseph Toetz (Greendale) at two preseason events this winter and he impressed at both with a compact repeatable stroke that played loose and found the barrel with relative ease. He likely profiles at second base with a bat that should hit near the top of a lineup. 

INF Carter Stebane (Brillion) was mentioned in our “Just Missed” story the last time these ranking were updated, and this time he makes the cut. Stebane put together his best showing to date running a 6.91, with an 85 mph arm across the infield and an 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. A high school wrestler, Stebane’s strength clearly shows across the board, and the skill set will likely only improve as he gets more reps.


Marcus Jaworski Iola-Scandinavia RHP  6-foot-3, right-hnader up to 85 mph.
Max Bredeson Arrowhead OF  Younger brother to Jack (Arrowhead, 2015, Michigan), highly physical and athletic.
Jordan McNello Waukesha South OF  Athletic two-way player, 6.86 runner and up to 84 mph on the mound.
Gavin Roanhouse Waterford OF  Impressive frame at 6-foot-5, 232-pounds, 6.93 runner, 90 mph from the OF.
Jacob Thoresen Oak Creek RHP  Low 90's strike thrower, good control of three pitch mix.
Cameron Miller Kimberly C  Impressive tool set, 7.02 runner, 2.06 pop time, 79 mph arm out of the crouch.
Carter Wambach Sun Prairie 3B  Big left-handed bat with some pop, corner infield profile
Dylan Ackermann Newman Catholic LHP  Long lanky southpaw with running low 80's fastball.
Ridge Guyette Hilbert 3B  Large body corner infielder with right-handed power bat.
Ryan Blanchard Kettle Moraine SS  Sure handed defender, soft hands and actions, will stick in the middle of the diamond.
Gage Smith Appleton North RHP  High ceiling right-handed arm, slender build and loose whippy arm action.
Sam Ott Oconomowoc 1B  Left-handed hitting power bat with good feel around the bag at first base.
Ryan Sell Muskego LHP  Wiry left-hander with upside, low 80's fastball, long legs.
Mason Kirchberg DeForest 3B  Athletic third baseman, 7.03 runner, 85 mph across the infield and 89 mph exit velocity. Strong build.
Tanner Katers Ashwaubenon LHP  Wiry left-hander with short quick arm, excellent feel for three pitches.