MLB Draft: Day 1 Wisconsin

By Steve Nielsen and Matt Huck
PBR Wisconsin Staff

Only 20 players have been drafted out of high school in the last ten years, with only five singing. Dan Jansen was the last player to be drafted and sign back in 2013. Jansen was a 16th round pick of the Blue Jays out of Appleton West High School. The last high schooler drafted in Wisconsin came in 2014 when Jeren Kendall (Holmen HS) was a high profile draft follow who garnered rumblings of top round action, but his commitment to Vanderbilt proved too strong to warrant a top round pick. Kendall ended up going in the 30th round that year to the Boston Red Sox and is on track to be a high pick out of Vanderbilt in 2017.

A Wisconsin High School has not produced a first rounder since 1979 and 2016 changed all of that. Gavin Lux (Indian Trail HS) became the highest high school draft out of the Badger State since 1979 when the Los Angeles Dodgers called his name in the first round with the 20th overall selection. Lux had been steadily climbing draft boards with his play this spring and his makeup both on and off the field. We’ve heard all the scouting reports on his defensive abilities and the high ceiling on his bat, but he is the epitome of a true grinder and it’s his makeup to play 162 games a year that may be his best tool.

Gavin Lux - Super 60 2016

As if Lux’s first round selection wasn’t enough for a historic night in Wisconsin high school baseball, Ben Rortvedt (Verona Area) put the icing on the cake. The Minnesota Twins used their second round pick, No. 56 overall, to select the left-handed hitting catcher. Much like Lux, Rortvedt is a gym rat, a tool that helped erase some questions about his defensive, knowing he had the work ethic and athletic ability to improve his craft back there. The last time the Twins selected a high school catcher this high was 2001, with the first overall pick…Joe Mauer. 

Ben Rortvedt - Super 60 2016 

The selections of Lux and Rortvedt are the highest a pair of Wisconsin high schoolers have ever went in the Major League Draft, making history in the Badger State that will be tough to repeat. 

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