Prep Baseball Report

Inside the Class of 2021 Rankings: Newcomers

By Steve Nielsen & Andy Sroka
Wisconsin Staff

Last week we updated Wisconsin’s 2021 rankings class and took a detailed look into the top-10 as well as some notable risers in the class. Our rankings list expanded to 60 prospects, which meant a plethora of new names were added, some who just missed our last cut and made significant improvement, and others who just burst onto the scene as our staff got their first looks.

RHP Drew Stippich (Kettle Moraine) is the top ranked newcomer to the 2021 class in Wisconsin, and we mentioned him at length in the rankings release story last week, as he made a huge splash into the top-10, debuting at No. 4. It’s worth mentioning again that Stippich shows rare arm strength and feel at such an early age, especially in a northern state. With an upper-80s fastball that showed the ability to control the zone and above-average secondary offerings, it’s safe to say you’ll be hearing much more of his name in the future.

Tommy Meyer (Wauwatosa East) just missed the top-10, and has arguably the highest ceiling in the class. Meyer is a 6-foot-4, 180-pound left-handed pitcher with a clean and quick arm. His delivery repeats and shows feel for the strike zone with more than just his fastball (up to 85 mph). Meyer is easy to dream on and could find himself inside the top group in the very near future.

Tommy Meyer (3/3/19)

Alex Hayes (Muskego) is another projectable left-handed arm new to the rankings. Inside the top-20 now, we saw Hayes last summer and he narrowly missed our cut back then. He’s now put on some easy velocity and sits in the low 80s with advanced secondary stuff and exceptional feel for the zone. He’s got easy actions that can project for more velocity down the road, and he could windup in similar talks with the aforementioned Meyer.

More pitching fills the list of newcomers, this time from the right side. Right-handed arms Alex Windey (Wrightstown), Alex Jamroziak (Muskego), Tyler Hug (Waukesha West), Trace Kirchberg (Columbus), Peyton Jenkins (Sun Prairie), Eli Hoyt (Waukesha South) and Jared Hansen (Waukesha West) all land within the top-50 in the class.

Windey is an imposing 6-foot-4, 230 pounds and throws a big, heavy fastball at 82-85 mph with convicted secondary stuff that makes for an uncomfortable at-bat. Jamroziak has some of the more polished secondary stuff in the class. His curveball is firm (74-77 mph) and he shows the ability to throw for strikes with little depth, while his changeup is also firm at 76-80 mph, but a good change-of-pace offering in conjunction with his fastball that’s topped 87 mph in our looks.

Hug and Hoyt are both two-way arms with similar profiles. Hug may be more advanced on the mound while Hoyt might see his best days ahead in the outfield. Either way, they both run their fastballs into the mid 80s and possess above-average run tools, making them likely candidates to see the fastball velocity climb when strength is added to their already quick arms.

Tyler Hug (2/17/19)

Both Kirchberg and Jenkins show similar arm strength qualities and can touch the mid 80s with little effort. Kirchberg may be ahead when it comes to secondary stuff, but Jenkins, at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, throws a heavy feeling fastball from a deceptive over-the-top slot.

Waukesha West’s Hansen lands at No. 47 on this edition of the state’s Class of 2021 rankings. The 6-foot righty has advanced arm strength for his age and was recently sitting in the 80-83 mph range at the STiKS Academy-hosted showcase held by our staff. He complemented that fastball with a sinking splitter and a curveball that did flash some sharp 11/5 break. He carries with him some added projection in the frame, making him one to follow moving forward.

Indian Trail has been one of the hottest teams this spring season and Gianni Passarelli has been a staple for the Hawks, thus far. That’s no surprise to us, seeing as the middle infielder was one of the best performers at our Kenosha showcase in January and looked prepared to make a big impact on varsity. He’s a left-handed hitter with loose, quick, and short stroke that allows him to find the barrel with relative ease. Passarelli plays with a bounce and spark that makes him a perfect top-of-the-order type with real next-level upside.

Gianni Passarelli (1/27/19)

Union Grove’s shortstop, Nicklas Williams, debuts at No. 50 and is coming off a sound performance at our Madison preseason event where he showed as one of the smoothest defenders at the showcase. He’s equipped with the soft hands and athleticism to occupy the middle of the diamond and his short and quick arm has the carry to keep him on the left side. He has some bat strength in his level right-handed swing, fit to make hard line-drive contact.


  • Joshua Brud (West De Pere): Athletic right/right outfielder with above-average tools across the board.

  • Spencer Buskager (Oregon): RHP to follow with a loose, lively arm that presently sits 81-83 mph with an uptempo delivery.

  • Corey Plahuta (Muskego): A left/left two-way player who has shown juice in his bat, but most recently impressed by running his fastball up to 84 mph.

  • Aaron Rice (Brillion): Projects best on the mound with a long, lean frame and easy 81-82 mph fastball.

  • Carl Cano (Bay Port): Two-way player who just shows athletically all over the field. Loose actions with tools to play almost anywhere on the diamond.

  • Leo Falletti (Wilmot): A right-handed-hitting middle infielder who’s already shown a ton of barrel awareness, with a swing geared for regular line-drive contact.

  • Brigs Richartz (Menomonie): Left-handed-hitting catcher who stood out this winter with his bat. Above-average run tool and a profile that’s always in demand.

  • Jacob Thoresen (Oak Creek): Stocky right-handed build with feel for four pitches, including an 81-83 mph fastball; a pitchable strike-thrower.