Inside the Wisconsin Class of 2021 Rankings: Risers

By Steve Nielsen & Andy Sroka
Wisconsin Staff

On Thursday, the PBR Wisconsin staff officially updated its Class of 2021 Rankings. In Thursday’s post, we took an in-depth look at the top-10 prospects in this state’s sophomore class, considering there was a ton of movement both inside and outside that group. Today, we’re examining the prospects who have risen the most up the rankings.

We actually covered a couple in the top-10 post already, Q Phillips and Logan Schulfer. Phillips climbed a couple spots inside the top-10 to No. 8, and is the highest rated outfielder in the state. As for Schulfer, his rise was meteoric. He climbed an enormous 26 spots into the top-five after he touched multiple 89s in Appleton earlier this year.

For now, let’s take a deeper dive into the prospects outside of these two who have arrows way up in the state’s sophomore class, and just outside the top-10 is the tallest player on the 2021 board: Logan Landers (Brookfield Academy).

At 6-foot-8, 220-pounds, the right-hander Landers has taken considerable strides up the class since being ranked No. 28 in the state last update. His ceiling, much like his frame, has always been high, which is what helped him earn a spot on the rankings in the first place. Now, Landers’ arm is catching up to those projections. This winter, at the South Milwaukee Preseason I.D., Landers showcased a hot fastball that touched 87 mph to go along with feel for a 12/6-shaped breaking ball. Show far this spring season, Landers has already struck out 17 in nine innings pitched over two starts.

Logan Landers (3/3/19)

Jared Lessman (St. Croix Falls) is a left-handed arm who has shown well at a pair of Minnesota events. The 5-foot-10 southpaw runs his fastball up to 85 mph out of a clean high ¾ slot. We’ll be interested in seeing how he fares this spring, and eventually in-person, once we get a first-hand look at him some time this year.

From Nos. 20 to 30, this group is filled with names who have made jumps in our rankings and their games recently. Left-handed hitter Joshua Blount (West De Pere) moves up a couple spots in a class littered with high-end left-handed bats. Blount is a rare combination of speed and power, and he ran his best 60-yard dash this winter (6.83) and swings a dynamic bat from the left-side.

Josh Caron, Sun Prairie’s sophomore catcher, comes in just behind Blount, and has been one of the Cardinals’ offensive standouts this year. Last week, Caron showed some of his power potential with a double and a grand slam in three at-bats. Caron is a physical right-handed hitter, with a strong arm out of the crouch to go with it.

Josh Caron (3/3/19)

Billy Howard (Menomonee Falls) joins a list of several RHPs who saw velocity jumps this winter. Howard went from an 80-83 mph arm this summer to touching 87 mph at a PBR event earlier this year. He’s strong and durable, at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, and should continue to see his repertoire rise.

Pewaukee’s two-way talent Grant Ross moves into the top-25 most notably due to his presence on the mound. He does not possess the typical pitcher’s frame, but at 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, he brings every bit of arm strength as some of the other top arms in the class. Ross works out of a unique ¾ slot and sits in the 85-87 mph range with the ability to touch 88 mph. In his last outing, Ross struck out 12 in 6.2 innings of four-hit baseball.

Brookfield Central’s Bobby Ball is up 13 big spots on the 2021 board, settling in at No. 27 in his state’s class in the latest update. He’s a highly athletic defender who has the hands and feet to continue playing in the middle of the diamond. At February’s West Milwaukee Preseason I.D., Ball was debatably the top infielder in attendance. He reasserted his defensive strengths, showcasing an arm fit for the left side of the infield with improved foot speed, as evidenced by a 7.05 mark in the 60. If he can continue developing his right-handed bat, Ball will be due for another climb up the board.

Bobby Ball (2/17/19)

Kaden Kosobucki (West De Pere) is now the No. 26-ranked prospect in the state, and the No. 3 backstop, after an excellent showing in Appleton this offseason. He’s long been on the radar for his advanced bat, one that allowed him to hit well over .450 as a freshman for the Phantoms. Kosobucki swings a compact right-handed bat with above-average pop for his size. What really spurred his jump up the board this update was his marked improvements on defense. Back at the Fox Cities showcase, he popped 2.03 out of the chute with accuracy and showed that he has what it takes to be a strong receiver. It’s a really interesting profile for a catcher who’s on the rise.

Brady Marget, from Whitefish Bay, is up six spots on the 2021 board, all the way to No. 31 in the class. At 6-foot-4, 180 pounds, Marget has a highly projectable frame and his left-handed bat is already playing in games at the varsity level. He’s been off to a hot start this spring for the Blue Dukes, with a couple homers already on the young spring. Marget’s been operating at third base but he might be a better long-term fit at first. Either way, it looks like he has the kind of bat that’s going to comfortably play anywhere.