Madison JC (WI) Scout Day: Takeaways


By Tell Taylor
Wisconsin Scouting Director

On Oct. 15, the PBR Wisconsin staff attended the annual Madison College (45-14; NJCAA DII World Series quarter-finalist) and UW-Milwaukee joint scout day, held at Franklin Field in Franklin, Wis. The scout day featured a pre-game, pro-style workout, in addition to live gameplay between the two programs. Our staff aimed to attend this event to shine a brighter light on the talented uncommitted sophomores within the Madison JC program. The Wolfpack is rolling deep with fundamentally sound talent, looking for their next home. For general perspective on the names listed, Madison is carrying over a dozen uncommitted players that would land at Division I programs in a typical year.

MADISON JC 

The Wolfpack features a full staff of strike-throwers that pound the zone. Effective pitching has been the cornerstone of this program for many years, and this staff might be one of their most talented to date under head coach Mike Davenport. Behind the arms, you’ll find dynamic runners, fundamentally sound defense, and general awareness of how to play winning baseball. In the box, the offense keeps swing-and-miss to a minimum, and utilizes the whole field with a do-your-job mentality. It’d be unsurprising if the Wolfpack found their way back to the NJCAA World Series in 2022, with a real chance to win the last game of the season.

Each of the players listed below are uncommitted sophomores.

ARMS

+ RHP Riley LeTourneau (Class of 2019, WI) is a 6-foot-4, 210-pound prospect with a high ceiling as part of Madison’s deep staff. LeTourneau is long with an accessible frame that generates easy arm speed. He delivers the ball from a lower slot, and attacks the zone with a two-seam fastball that’s been up to 94 mph, with a sweeping slider he can use for a strike in any count. This fall, he’s developed his splitter to use with greater frequency as a third pitch, creating a very tough mix when all three are clicking. Given the arsenal and projectability, LeTourneau will be a name to monitor for top programs, and throughout the 2022 MLB Draft period.

Riley LeTourneau (10/15/21)

+ RHP Carson Fluno (2020, WI) is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound righty who offers a steady, north-to-south three-pitch mix that he uses to attack opposing lineups. At the scout day, Fluno ran his fastball up to 95 mph, with hop through the zone, and he showed a hammer 12/6 breaking ball and threw a tough splitter at the bottom of the zone. He has the competitive presence and the ingredients of a winning arsenal. Fluno should amass plenty of effective outings in the spring, as well as down the line for a four-year program. It can be said with confidence that he has not yet tapped into his full potential, and he should be drawing interest from a collection of high-profile programs next spring.

Carson Fluno (10/15/21)

+ RHP Jett Thielke (2019, WI) is listed at a long and lean 6-foot-6, 205 pounds, and he uses his size to deliver the ball from a low release, especially for his height. He primarily attacks the zone with an east-to-west combination of his fastball and slider, and he topped 92 mph last weekend. He mixed in a changeup for his third offering, looking to dodge barrels, drawing weak contact along the way. Thielke is easy to spot given his frame, and there’s plenty of room for him to continue to develop physically. For programs in search of higher upside, consider Thielke an arm flying under the radar.

+ LHP Jacob Wilde (2019, WI) is a reliable strike-throwing southpaw, listed at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds. He typically attacks the strike zone with a mid- to upper-80s two-seamer, and he seems to draw swings and misses regularly with his slider, and he showed the ability to work in a usable changeup for a third pitch. It’s reasonable to suggest that Wilde is a scarce asset, as a left-handed pitcher with command, a strikeout pitch, and an attacking mindset that powers his arsenal.

Jacob Wilde (10/15/21)

+ RHP Luke Hansel (2019, WI) is a sturdy 6-foot, 190 pounds, and he was pumping strikes at 92 mph over the weekend, offering up a full state of pitches: four-seam, two-seam, slider, curve, and change. Hansel showed a feel for shapes with plenty of velocity to challenge hitters early and often. He’s an arm who walks few and pounds the zone with his full mix. The former Union Grove right-hander will be a valuable asset for a program in need of minimizing dangerous opposing lineups.

Luke Hansel (10/15/21)

POSITION PLAYERS 

+ INF Zach Storbakken (2020, WI) is a high-end athlete with upside for the Wolfpack, as a physical 6-foot-1, 195-pound prospect with 6.60 speed. Storbakken continues to to check the boxes on raw professional capacity. He runs very well for a strong and dense frame, and he's a proven offensive player, with room for even more production. In the Wolfpack’s 2020 campaign, Storbakken posted a team best 1.139 OPS as a freshman, and he was a near perfect 15-for-16 on stolen base attempts. His defense has made marked improvements year over year, and he can flex positionally between third and second. While his bat was kept in check during the scout day gameplay, all have become accustomed to the easy and loud consistent batted balls. He’s among the top JUCO infield talent available anywhere.

Zach Storbakken (10/15/21)

+ INF Jake Nelson (2019, WI) is a rock solid defender at shortstop, and he showcased a natural feel for the field, demonstrating high on-field IQ, which was pleasant to watch. Nelson has range, arm strength, receptive hands, and a professional internal clock. In the box, he stays square with a balanced, quiet load from the right side. He’s a see-it-first, patient at-bat with good hands. Currently, he’s not a player that really cuts his swing loose with intent, rather, he has a stingy approach from a smooth, handsy swing aesthetic. There were moments in BP where the ball carried well off the bat, and there’s signals for untapped power potential. Overall, Nelson is a very good ballplayer, who will be a good addition to a pitch-and-defend program that values stingy at-bats. If at any point Nelson clicks into another gear with the bat, he’s a league-best caliber shortstop at his next stop.

Jake Nelson (10/15/21)

+ C/INF Eduardo Saucedo (2019, WI) stands quickly with his hose behind the dish, stemming from a strong 6-foot, 200-pound build. He’s quick on the exchange and zips the ball through the base with carry; reliably accurate to the target with miss management to the ground. He also plays clean defensively on the infield when he rotates to a corner position. In the left-handed batter’s box, there’s bat-to-ball skills with flashes of above-average power as well. While he favors low backspin line-drives with a quick barrel, the ball can leave the yard when he gets the ball up to the pull-side. Saucedo has a quiet load and good brakes in his swing, and checks a ton of boxes as a left-handed-hitting backstop with positional versatility and high academics.

+ UTL Brady Jurgella (2020, WI) is a premier outfield defender who brought home a NJCAA DII Baseball ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2021, behind a perfect fielding percentage on the season. Watching his defensive rounds is reflective of his high-end actions. You’d be hard pressed to find an outfielder with better footwork, routes, ball skills, and throwing accuracy, aided by 6.75 speed. Jurgella long-hopped the target from knee to belt on every throw without the receiver taking a step off position. Impressively enough, Jurgella is one of the few outfielders who could transition to the infield, should the need arise. He’d make a solid second baseman if provided with the time to develop and settle in at the position. At the dish, he repeatedly stroked line-drives with an easy swing from the left side. He made balanced moves with a flat swing, and possesses solid brakes in our estimation. There’s solid pop present in the bat to all fields.

+ OF Eli Kramer (2019, WI) is a left-handed-hitting outfielder, listed at 6-foot, 165 pounds, carrying an intriguing profile. He really has some pop in the bat for a player his size, even though he’d be easy to gloss over initially when looking for a player who can drive the ball at first glance. Kramer sets up in a relaxed manner and has a soft entry into the zone, working from inside with barrel depth. The barrel gets heavy at impact with a loose snap, and the ball goes surprisingly far for his stature. He’s a quality athlete who plays a very efficient outfield, and he might be on the brink of breaking out offensively, headed into the 2022 season. Kramer’s trending up, and could stand to benefit from another 20-30 pounds of strength attached to his frame.

+ OF Spencer Bartel (2020, WI) is a physical 6-foot, 190 pounds, and he’s a reliable corner outfielder whose best attributes belong in the right-handed batter’s box. He carries a strong bat, and makes stiff, yet balanced, moves in the box while maintaining his posture throughout his swing. There’s some real pop off the bat and it’s a swing that features good feel for the direction of his barrel release through impact. During BP, Bartel showed a number of hard shots off the bat that were representative of above-average slugging potential. He isn’t a burner on the bases (6.78), but he runs well for his solid frame.

+ OF/1B Gunnar Doyle (2020, WI) is a dense body with serviceable outfield defense, and he manages well as a first base flex. Much of Doyle’s value added on the field comes in the left box. As his bat goes, so does his impact. He’s a strong bat handler in the box with some gap-to-gap thump. He’s a rather difficult out, and he will often do damage out front when he’s favoring the pull-side. Doyle pulled together the second best team batting average (.356), as well as one of the team’s top OPS (.923) marks, resulting in lots of RBIs (48) during his freshman season.

+ OF Gabe O’Brien (2019, WI) has sound footwork, and plenty of range defensively as a left/left prospect. The arm leaves something to be desired on outfield assists, but nothing overly concerning. It is, however, his left-handed bat that provides his next-level value. He has a very direct barrel action from a high-and-tight hand path that starts close to the neck. O’Brien’s action provides high-to-low coverage of the zone with very little vulnerability to an elevated four-seam fastball. His batting practice resulted in solid ball speed with line-drive repeatability.

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