Prep Baseball Report

Milwaukee Preseason I.D. Superlatives

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor - Wisconsin/Illinois

A superlative is a form of an adjective or an adverb used for comparison. Scouts use them quite often when describing who has the best ___________ (fill in the blank). Today we look at a few common baseball tools and who topped the list from the Milwaukee Preseason I.D.

Best Fastball: RHP Matt McCarty (South Milwaukee, 2016)
McCarty’s heater narrowly edged RHP Joe Gahm. McCarty peppered the zone a touch better and the late heavy finish to his fastball proved to be the separator.

Best Breaking Ball: RHP Joe Gahm (Germantown, 2016) & LHP Ben Dragani (Catholic Memorial, 2017)
Both Gahm and Dragani showcase the best breaking balls at the Milwaukee Preseason I.D. Gahm’s, more of a true curveball flashed plus biting action at 73-76 mph. He throws it aggressively with conviction and should develop into a big time out pitch. Dragani on the other hand has a sharp slider that he threw at 78-79 mph with seemingly little effort, only four mph off of his fastball, Dragani’s slider is only going to get better and tells us that there is more to come out of his fastball as well.

Best Speed: J.T. Reed (Whitnall, 2016)
Reed ran the best 60 using a laser timed system at 6.79. His speed should translate well in the outfield when he gets outdoors and starts chasing balls in the gaps.

Best Arm Strength: Cyrillo Watson (South Milwaukee, 2016)
OF/RHP Cyrillo Watson has maybe the most electric arm in the state. Watson recorded the top velocity from the outfield at 92 mph (we’ve previously seen him up to 95 mph), 85 across the diamond and topped out at 87 mph on the mound. Watson has shown premium arm strength since he was a freshman.

Best Hit Tool: Gavin Lux (Indian Trail, 2016)
Lux’s hit tool is just as good as his premium defense. Lux has a quite approach that explodes on the baseball, seeing and tracking it well. His plate discipline and coverage is advanced for his age and quietly flashes pull side power that is unexpected for his frame.

Best Outfield Defender: Jarred Kelenic (Waukesha West, 2018)
A Louisville commit, Kelenic showed the best actions playing through the baseball aggressively while staying fluid and athletic. He plays with a quick ease about him and we’ve also seen him in game track balls better than most upperclassmen. He already runs a 6.9 as a freshman and should easily improve that time over the next few years to solidify him as a lock down centerfielder.

Best Hands on the Infield: Gavin Lux (Indian Trail, 2016)
There wasn’t too much question about this one. Lux is one of the premier defenders in the country. His quick twitch actions and soft hands make him a game changer defending the middle of the infield.

Best Receiver: Ben Rortvedt (Verona Area, 2016)
We’ve been keeping tabs on Ben Rortvedt since the spring of his freshman year and that time there were question marks about his receiving abilities. Fast forward two year and Rortvedt has developed himself into one of the top receivers in the Midwest. His hands have softened up and his ability to catch and throw are off the charts.

Best Two-Way Prospect: INF/RHP Joe Gahm (Germantown, 2016)
Gahm had one of the better all-around days at the Milwaukee Preseason I.D. He looked athletic in the infield and showed an 82 mph arm across the diamond, while offensively showed fast athletic hands and line drive approach at the plate. On top of that he was one of the top pitchers at the event, as stated above.

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