PBR at The Rock Fall Championships: Underclass Preview

By Diego Solares
Staff Writer

This weekend, the PBR Wisconsin team is headed back to The Rock Complex in Franklin, Wis., to host its final tournament of the 2020 season: the PBR at The Rock Fall Championships. Prospects from 2021 through 2024 classes will be on hand to participate in two separate divisions, an Underclass and Upperclass.

We’re previewing both divisions today, beginning below with the prospects in the Underclass, representing high school classes 2024 and 2023.



This Cangelosi Sparks roster doesn’t have a shortage in high-end talent, including two of the top overall prospects for the Illinois 2023 class: SS Ryan Jefferson (Providence Catholic, 2023; Illinois commit) and OF Trey Swiderski (Joliet Catholic, 2023; Louisville). Jefferson swings a loose bat from the left side with exceptional barrel feel, and he’s a standout defender with premium up-the-middle actions. Swiderski’s explosive bat is his most noteworthy tool and he’s capable of leaving the yard at any time, which he almost routinely did at our Underclass Games event, recording an average flyball distance of 309 feet in BP, per TrackMan. SS/3B Tommy Atkinson (St. Rita, 2023) just looks the part on the diamond, producing noticeable bat speed with his wrists and bringing some thump to the plate, too. OF Krew Bond (Mendota Township, 2023) is an outfielder who’s advanced athletically for his age, with arm strength and the actions that’ll help him stick up the middle moving forward. He had himself a strong summer offensively as well, so it’ll be an interesting up-to-date look on Bond for us this weekend.

Ryan Jefferson (7/21/20)

The Sparks have plenty of noteworthy arms worth mentioning. Headlining this staff are LHP T.J. Schlageter (Joliet Catholic, 2023) and RHP Grant Tenuta (Sandburg, 2023), both of whom are names to know on the mound in their class. Schlageter is a projectable 6-foot-1, 175-pound southpaw that fills up the zone with a true three-pitch mix. He’s capable of consistently running his fastball up to 84 mph, usually sitting in the 80-82 mph range, and there’s room for more velocity to come as he continues to physically develop. Tenuta’s fastball was up to 85 mph at our Underclass Games event this July and he showed innate feel for both offspeed pitches, especially a changeup that plays with natural fade. RHP Drew Zemaitis (Providence Catholic, 2023) is an athletic 6-foot-2, 185-pound arm that controls his body well down the mound. His fastball sat at 82-85 mph at the PBR Midwest Fall Championships a few weeks ago, averaging 2,200 to 2,400 rpm. He can really spin a slider that mimics his fastball well and plays off a tight 10/4 plane at over 2,500 rpm.

We’ve never seen RHP Cole Van Assen (Brother Rice, 2023) at an event, but his 6-foot-4, 165-pound frame is definitely worth noting – and he also pitched very well at that same Midwest Championships tourney. This Sparks team is one of the more talented teams in the Underclass division and is poised to make a run deep into Sunday. 


The CBT program is consistently able to introduce us to fresh follows from the Appleton area, and this 16U roster is filled with players who’ve not yet made their PBR event debuts. Incoming freshmen SS/OF Jake Narvaez (Appleton North), C Will Hoerner (Appleton), and C/OF Abe Maurer (Fond du Lac) are a few 2024 names to keep an eye on ahead of time.


There are a handful of new additions to this GRB Rays MKE squad, including two infield prospects that impressed us in our looks a few months ago: 3B/SS Brady Davidson (St. Joseph Catholic Academy, 2023) and Noah Dreier (Brookfield Central, 2023). Davidson is a left-handed hitter who can really swing it, finding the barrel more often than not and he starred at our 15U at The Rock tournament back in June. Dreier looks every bit the part of a potential up-the-middle infielder at the next level, showing off silky-smooth defense actions with an above-average arm to pair. On the mound, RHP Tyler Lusic (Waterford Union, 2023) is a lanky, high-waisted 6-foot-2, 163-pound upside arm that was up to 82 mph back at our Madison Preseason I.D. while flashing feel for a tight curveball that works off an 11/5 plane. C Hunter Szymborski (Brookfield Central, 2023) is another name to know on this roster, as he represented Team Wisconsin at the PBR Junior Future Games back in 2019.

Brady Davidson (7/21/20)


This group of 2023s is primarily comprised of new names and faces to our PBR Illinois colleagues, though there’s some familiarity in the last names, like Zach Zalewski, from Wheeling. OF Kade Schneider (Barrington) is a lanky 6-foot-3, 170-pound prospect who showed some follow traits in his switch-hit bat earlier this year. We’re looking forward to pulling even more names from this roster by the end of the weekend.


We saw this ISA Stars team win it all at our final tournament of this summer at The Rock, and several prospects on this squad have since established themselves as follow ‘24s in Wisconsin’s incoming freshman class. 3B/RHP Javin Gauthier (De Pere, 2024; Illinois State) has noticeable size and strength for someone his age, boasting an athletic 5-foot-11, 175-pound frame. It’s an aggressive left-handed stroke for Gauthier that works on an uphill trajectory and helps him tap into some noteworthy raw power to the pull-side. He’s quickly making a case to be one of the best overall players in Wisconsin’s 2024 class, and something similar can be said about C/SS Cal Casper (Pulaski, 2024). A scrappy, hard-nosed player, Casper stands out for his intensity and vocal leadership. He profiles as a top-of-the-order bat with athleticism behind the plate, giving him an enticing all-around profile. CIF Colton Angell (Oshkosh North, 2024) is a strong 6-foot, 180-pound prospect that profiles best in a corner infield role with advanced bat strength. He gives ISA another thumper to pair with Gauthier right in the middle of their lineup. On the mound, RHP Donatello Badalamenti (Pulaski, 2024) ran his fastball up to 78 mph this summer, sitting in the 75-77 range, and he aggressively attacks the zone with confidence in himself to challenge opposing hitters. This team will be playing up all weekend, as a majority of the roster is 2024 graduates, but they’re talented enough to hang around on Sunday.


The second ISA Stars squad competing inside this Underclass division is made up of a strong cast of 2023s. C Maxwell Kalk (Kimberly, 2023) caught our attention at our Fox Cities Preseason I.D. back in March and continued to impress throughout the summer. He’s an athletic left-handed hitting catcher with a picture-perfect frame that is an impact top-of-the-order bat. Kalk is still relatively new to catching and he’s picked up on it rather quickly, showing off advanced receiving actions paired with athletic catch-and-throw skills, giving him an opportunity to stick behind the dish long-term.

Maxwell Kalk (3/8/20)

RHP/1B Eli Zollar (Ashwaubenon, 2023) is a gigantic 6-foot-3, 225-pound physical specimen and uses every bit of that standout physicality to his advantage, both on the mound and offensively. He swings one of the strongest bats in the class, absolutely throttling the baseball when he’s on the barrel and is a threat to hit one out in every single at-bat. On the mound, Zollar is more than just a thrower, as he truly has a feel for all three pitches, including a sharp swing-and-miss breaking ball. His arm strength doesn’t hurt, as his fastball typically sits in the 80-83 mph range, touching 85 mph with room for more. Another follow arm on this pitching staff that impressed us each time we saw him this summer is RHP Cole Bensen (Bay Port, 2023). He was up to 84 mph at our annual Badger State Battle tournament and typically dials into the 80-82 mph range, with a feel to spot it. What makes Bensen so effective on the mound is his feel for an advanced slider in the low-70s range that he’ll constantly throw for strikes and has natural bite to it. You’ll be hard pressed to find players more competitive than 3B Garrett Hietpas (Appleton North, 2023), who plays the game with high energy. He uses an all-fields approach at the dish and can really pick it at the hot corner as well. C Boone Kirst (Ashwaubenon, 2023) and RHP Sean Severson (Kaukauna, 2023) are each intriguing follows as well. This team has the talent and depth capable of taking them deep into Sunday. 


Anchoring this Halos’ pitching staff is one of the top arms in Wisconsin’s 2023 class: RHP Presley Wachowiak (Catholic Memorial, 2023). We’ve gotten a few looks at Wachowiak in multiple different settings over the last six months, where he’s been up to 86 mph with his fastball and routinely sits in the 81-84 mph range. The separator with him is a true 12/6 curveball with genuine swing-and-miss qualities at high spin rates, working in the 72-74 mph range while consistently showcasing hard, late bite under the zone.

Presley Wachowiak (7/21/20)

Two more interesting prospect follows on this team are SS Vidal Colon (University School of Milwaukee, 2023) and 1B Anthony Rieck (Catholic Memorial, 2023). Colon has proportional strength in a durable 5-foot-8, 175-pound frame, with an athleticism that plays up on the diamond. He’s shown above-average bat speed and the ability to land low-lying line-drive contact with frequency. As for Rieck, he’s a physical 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, and he uses his size well from the right-handed batter’s box. He’s demonstrated a powerful profile and we’ve seen him connect on lofted contact to both gaps. An under-the-radar name to know on this squad: OF Owen Sullivan (Oak Creek, 2023). He’ll look to play the part as the team’s table-setter at the top of their lineup, where his above-average foot speed plays best.


There are a lot of interesting names on this Pro Player squad, including C Ryan Bakes (Huntley, 2023), who is one of the top overall prospects in Illinois’ 2023 class. A right-handed hitter with noticeable physicality in the box, Bakes represented Team Select at the PBR Future Games this past August and showed very well, holding his own against older competition. He’s an exceptional athlete with inherent strength in his broad-shouldered 5-foot-9, 180-pound build. He’s an advanced defender behind the plate, with a big arm, and he’s blossoming offensively, too. Bakes swings a fast right-handed bat and he connects for especially loud contact for both his size and age. At the Future Games, he hit a ball 397 feet at 101 mph off the barrel. The tools are off the charts for this budding sophomore follow.

Ryan Bakes (8/2/20)

Joining Bakes this weekend is high school teammate RHP Andrew Ressler (Huntley, 2023). Ressler figures to play a role for the Red Raiders’ pitching staff when IHSA play resumes and is a polished arm that fills up the zone with three pitches, including a potential swing-and-miss breaking ball. We got an interesting look at southpaw Ian Boal (Johnsburg, 2023) at our West Milwaukee Preseason I.D. this past winter. He showed well, sitting 78-80 mph with his fastball and spinning off a few sharp breaking balls, too. 3B Sheppard Graf (Lake Forest, 2023) is a right-handed hitting corner infielder that caught our eye at The Rock this past summer because of the power upside he brings to the plate in his physical 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame. Then there’s J.R. Nelson (Stevenson, 2023), a smooth, action-y middle infielder. There’s some exciting must-see talent among this group, and it goes beyond these aforementioned names.


It’s a relatively new PTA Cardinal 2024 roster, so it’ll be good to see the new faces they’ve brought on board. One prospect we’ve seen a lot of is SS Kyle Alivo (St. Thomas More, 2024), who’s a lanky middle infielder that plays with bounce up the middle and swings a confident bat from the right side.


SS Max Hennemann (Oak Creek, 2023) is a top middle infield prospect in Wisconsin’s 2023 class. It’s a short-and-sweet stroke from the left side for Hennemann and he uses natural feel for the barrel to spray the ball across the yard. His most notable skill is with the glove, however, as Hennemann’s defensive actions are advanced compared to his peers. He’s got all the actions you want to see out of someone who can play shortstop at the next level, primarily on the move, where he slows the game down and works effectively throughout.

Max Hennemann (7/21/20)

3B Parker Wyatt (Marquette, 2023) ran a 7.01 60-yard dash at the Underclass Games event and that speed plays up on the field. He’s still honing his offensive game, but there’s upside here, especially given the athleticism. 3B William Hyland (Oak Creek, 2023) is someone who stood out back during our 15U at The Rock tournament. He’s a strong 6-foot-1, 187-pound right-handed hitter with strong hands and advanced bat strength to pair, all while being young for the class. 1B Michael Comber (Verona Area, 2023) is a huge 6-foot-5, 205-pound first baseman with natural raw power that’s still fully grasping his offensive game. C Jake Olszewski (Germantown, 2023) has shown our staff above-average actions from behind the plate, with athleticism.


Hailing from Shakopee, Minnesota, this Starters squad is the lone team in the entire tournament that doesn’t reside in either Illinois or Wisconsin. It’s a talented roster with several scrappy gamer-type prospects, including C Mason Lang (Chanhassen, 2023), who’s left-handed swing is fluid and stays on plane. RHP Sam Kluever (Mound Westonka, 2023) is a projectable 6-foot, 170-pound athlete with room for more physical development, especially in the lower half. His fastball sat at 79-82 mph this past June, showing heavy arm-side action, and he also showed feel for a tight spin 68-69 slurvey breaking ball. 1B/LHP Dayton Franke (Robbinsdale Armstrong, 2023) and SS Maddox Foss (Chaska, 2023) are also names of note.

Sam Kluever (6/17/20)


A follow in the Illinois’ 2023 class is 6-foot-1, 165-pound RHP Tommy Haggerty (Homewood-Flossmoor, 2023). There’s so much room for physical development with Haggerty, and he’s already touched 84 mph with his fastball this summer.

Tommy Haggerty (7/21/20)

SS/RHP Benjamin Oosterbaan (Hinsdale Central, 2023) is a lanky, highly projectable 6-foot-2, 145-pound athlete that represented Team Illinois at the PBR Junior Future Games back in 2019. He can really pick it on the diamond and moves well on the dirt for someone his size, but Oosterbaan’s real upside comes on the mound, where his ceiling is quite high. We had his fastball up to 80 mph at an event back in February and it’s possible he’s made some noteworthy velocity gains since then. His ability to spin an advanced breaking ball that sits in the 72-75 mph and shows sharp, biting action off an 11/5 plane is impressive for someone his age and it’s a pitch that will help him miss bats as he continues to mature. Another noteworthy name on this roster is toolsy OF Lucas Smith (Nazareth Academy, 2023), who represented Team Illinois at the Junior Future Games back in 2018. Smith’s offensive profile is intriguing as he pairs noticeable bat speed with easy power to the pull-side, as supported by a  ball he hit 342 feet during batting practice at an event this past July, per TrackMan.