Prep Baseball Report

MLB Draft: Wisconsin Recap

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor – Wisconsin/Illinois

As if the state of Wisconsin didn’t make a big enough splash on the first day of the 2016 MLB Draft, with Gavin Lux and Ben Rortvedt rewriting the record books. The Badger State finished with 16 prospects drafted with roots to Wisconsin. That is the most drafted players with Wisconsin roots since 1967, when 16 were also selected that year.

In 2016, five were drafted out of WIAA high schools, while the other 11 were selected from their current college. The five high school selections is the most in Wisconsin since 2006. Here’s a recap of the 2016 high school draft class.

Gavin Lux, SS, Kenosha Indian Trail, 2016
1st Round – Los Angeles Dodgers
4/26/16 - Arizona State commit. Currently ranked No. 27 in the PBR Draft 100. Multiple national level scouts on hand to see him on a brutally cold day. Has seen his draft stock rise this year, showing improvement with the bat form the summer. Playing with a chip on his shoulder this spring. 6-foot-2, 182-pound left-handed hitting shortstop with an athletic frame, has continued to fill out physically with room to add more strength. Offensively had a big day at the plate going 2-3 with a home run. Hits from a balanced setup with a leg lift trigger. Short, uphill swing path with fast hands, creating whip. Gets extension thru contact. Jumped on the first pitch of the game for a homerun to leftfield. Second at bat turned around another first pitch fastball for a single to left. In his final plate appearance worked the count to 3-0 and then popped up on the infield, reaching on an error. Well known for his exploits on the defensive side. Turned what should have been a routine single into a close play at first ranging deep into the hole after the third baseman wiffed on a one hopper, jumping and making a strong throw across the diamond.

Ben Rortvedt, C, Verona Area HS, 2016
2nd Round – Minnesota Twins
4/12/16 - Arkansas commit. Currently ranked No. 22 in the PBR Draft 100. 5-foot-11, 180-pound left-handed hitting catcher with a strong and flexible frame. Third game of the season, with multiple crosscheckers in attendance. Offense separates himself from the rest of the catchers in the draft class. Hits in the leadoff spot for Verona in hopes of seeing more pitches to hit. Projects as a middle of the order hitter with power to all fields. Balanced, relaxed setup at the plate, with a short, smooth weight transfer to the backside. Middle away approach at the plate with good feel for the barrel. Plus strength in the wrists and forearms generating good bat speed. Went 1-3 on the day with a double. Defensively has a loose arm action, showed ability to throw from different arm angles in pregame. Popped 1.82-2.01 in warm-ups, throws showed carry. Still working on receiving consistently in games.

Ty Weber, RHP, Menomonee Falls, 2016
34th Round – Cincinnati Reds
4/12/16 - Illinois commit. 6-foot-5, 215-pound right-handed pitcher, typical pitchers frame, extra-large, sturdy frame, wide shouldered. Easily the best outing we’ve seen from Weber. Short over the top arm action, quick arm, gets on hitters quickly. Fastball is straight, four seam action with tilt, works downhill, sat 86-89 mph, swing and miss fastball. Hard 12/6 curveball, plus potential pitch, 75-77 mph, hard biting action, swing and miss stuff with feel to drop it for strikes. First outing of the year, showed stuff that could make a late draft push.

Justin Lavey, 3B, Kenosha Tremper, 2016
39th Round – Chicago White Sox
2016 Super 60 - Louisville recruit. 6-foot-1, 205-pound frame, physical build, wide shoulders, developed lower half, strong forearms and hands. All-around strong showing at Super 60. Advanced defensive third baseman, soft, reliable hands, ranges well laterally, fundamental footwork. Strong, accurate arm, 88 mph across the infield; arm action is short and athletic, quick release, minimal effort involved. Offensively, hits from balanced setup, mechanically quiet, short stride, smooth load, short, level path, allows ball to travel deep, above-average bat speed, stays strong through the ball. Consistent line drives, gap-to-gap approach, works the middle of the field well, aggressive lower half, maintains balance through finish. Moves well for size, ran a 6.91 laser-timed 60.

Nathan Brown, RHP, Arrowhead, 2016
40th Round – New York Yankees
2016 Super 60 - Florida recruit. 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame, lean and loose body with plenty of room for continued physical development. Athletic right-handed pitcher, high-ceiling prospect. Highly athletic arm action, quick and loose, slot somewhere between 3/4 and high-3/4. Athletic delivery, shows rhythm and tempo, repeats well. Fastball shows plus life, topped at 92 mph, sitting 90-91, with late, hard arm-side run. Slider shows plus potential, throws pitch with conviction, 78-79 mph, more lateral action. Also throws curveball at similar speed, 77-79 mph, flashed erratic depth and shape. Changeup is promising offering, thrown aggressively at 77-80 mph, with arm-side sink.  Shows feel for all four pitches.

Here’s a look at the entire 2016 draft class from Wisconsin.

Gavin Lux WI Indian Trail 2016 SS 2016 1 Dodgers
Ben Rortvedt WI Verona Area 2016 C 2016 2 Twins
Alex Call WI River Falls 2013 OF 2016 3 White Sox
Kyle Cody WI McDonell Central 2012 RHP 2016 6 Rangers
Clark Eagan WI Appleton North 2013 OF 2016 9 Pirates
Derek Heffel WI Racine St. Catherines 2014 RHP 2016 14 Rangers
Taylor Kohlwey WI Holmen 2012 OF 2016 21 Padres
Cameron Roegner WI Beloit Memorial 2012 LHP 2016 22 Brewers
Matthew Byars WI Lodi 2013 C 2016 24 Twins
Austin Jones WI Wauwatosa West 2013 RHP 2016 26 Cubs
Jordan Jess WI Ripon 2011 LHP 2016 31 Pirates
Tyler Frohwirth WI Brookfield Academy 2012 RHP 2016 31 Phillies
Ty Weber WI Menomonee Falls 2016 RHP 2016 34 Reds
Brian Keller WI Germantown 2012 RHP 2016 39 Yankees
Justin Lavey WI Tremper 2016 3B 2016 39 White Sox
Nathan Brown WI Arrowhead 2016 RHP 2016 40 Yankees


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