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PBR at The Rock Fall Championships: Underclass Scout Blog


By Wisconsin Staff

From Sept. 25 to 27, the PBR Wisconsin staff hosted its final tournament at The Rock in 2020, featuring prospects ranging from the 2024 through 2021 classes. We produced day-after content after each gameday, which you can find at the following links: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3. We also published posts last week highlighting the players of the tournament, which you can find here: All-Underclass Teams | All-Upperclass Teams.

Today, we’re beginning to wrap up our tournament analysis by publishing scouting reports on the Underclass players who caught our attention at the event, all of which you can find below.

UNDERCLASS

Cangelosi Sparks

Grant Tenuta, RHP, Sandburg, IL, 2023
6-foot, 180-pound right-handed pitcher. Repeatable delivery, showed ability to control the zone. Arm plays out of high ¾ slot. Fastball plays with slight sinking action, worked 81-84 mph, touched 86, at roughly 1,800 rpm. Curveball has 11/5 shape, 65-69 mph. Changeup plays with sink. Tenuta started last Friday evening and looked strong in 4.2 innings, where he struck out eight, walked three, and allowed one earned run.

Drew Zemaitis, RHP, Providence Catholic, IL, 2023
Athletic, projectable right-handed pitcher, 6-foot-2, 185-pounds. Easy delivery, tall and fall type. Arm is long loose and live, plays out of high ¾ slot with well above average arm speed, high ceiling arm. Fastball has arm side life, finishes well through the zone, 80-83 mph, topped at 84 mph. Advanced curveball at 71-73 mph, plays with 11/5 biting action, swing-and-miss offering. Zemaitis made two appearances over the weekend, earning credit for both a win and a save. In 7.1 innings for Sparks, he allowed just three hits, one earned run, and three walks while K'ing eight.

Ryan Jefferson, SS, Providence Catholic, IL, 2023
Illinois commit. Wiry, athletic frame with room to add more muscle as he matures. Left-handed hitting shortstop, 5-foot-10, 145-pound frame. Comfortable and relaxed in the box, balanced setup, smooth load, controlled high leg kick trigger, strides to even. Loose fast hands, short and uphill bat path, all-fields approach at the dish, elite bat-to-ball skills for age. Showed comfort and capability to go the other way all weekend; goes with the pitch and doesn’t try to do too much. Developing power will fully come around as he continues to physically mature. One of the best all-around defenders in the Midwest. Silky-smooth up-the-middle actions, certainly going to stick there long-term. Polished prospect with legitimate upside on both sides of the ball. 

Cal Sefcik, SS/3B, Marist, IL, 2023
5-foot-11, 155 pounds, a high-waisted, athletic prospect who swings a fluid, loose right-handed bat that does well to square up contact. A hard-nosed player who can do a little bit of everything, Sefcik recorded five hits and scored a team-high seven runs this past weekend for the team that ultimately won the Underclass Division – and he struck out only twice in 17 plate appearances. He's a lead-off type who has multi-positional upside, as a player who can handle himself at third base, but also at either middle infield spot.

Tommy Atkinson, SS/OF, St. Rita, IL, 2023
5-foot-10, 170 pounds; Atkinson has a compact frame, muscular lower half, present twitch. Like his Sparks teammates, Atkinson is athletic enough to provide value defensively all over the diamond, either in left field or on the left side of the infield. His quick feet work well on the outfield grass, and they help position himself well on the dirt where he corners ground balls well. At the plate, he swings a simple and quick right-handed bat and favors the pull side for line-drive contact.

Krew Bond, OF, Mendota Township, IL, 2023
Strong, compact right-handed hitting outfielder, 5-foot-9, 165-pounds. Balanced setup, hands rest high pre-pitch, smooth load, steady leg kick timing trigger. Strong hands with present bat speed and twitchiness, short bat path, line drive type approach. Advanced bat strength for age, sneaky juice, feel for the barrel. Profiles as a top-of-the-order table setter. Above-average foot speed and athleticism, capable of sticking in center field long-term. All-around enticing profile, name to know in Illinois’ 2023 class. 

T.J. Schlageter, LHP, Joliet Catholic, 2023
6-foot-1, 175-pound left-handed pitcher. Deliver starts with subtle rocker step, into balance position and lands slightly closed. Arm action is clean out of a high ¾ slot, shorter arm action, out of tight window. Fastball plays with slight arm side run and finish, some effort. Curveball has 1/7 shape, 67-68 mph. Changeup plays with fading action, 74-75 mph. 

Jake Stefanos, MIF, Marist, IL, 2023
Athletic, compact right-handed hitting middle infielder, 5-foot-8, 150-pounds. Quiet in the box, tall setup, smooth controlled load, quick leg lift timing trigger. Loose hands, whippy bat speed, short and level path, works inside the baseball. Feel for the barrel to all fields, shot some into the opposite gap a few times this weekend. Key contributor offensively for Cangelosi this weekend and helped pace them to a tournament championship. 

Trey Swiderski, OF, Joliet Catholic, IL, 2023
Louisville commit. Swiderski stands at a wiry, athletic, projectable 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, with a high-ceiling offensive profile. The kind of contact he makes off the barrel is one-of-a-kind, as his feel to elevate barreled contact is exceptional, and he slugged a no-doubt homer on Sunday and recorded a clutch triple later in the day. The right-handed bat is fast, loose, and aggressive, it's simple to the zone though he unleashes it on the regular which does result in some swing and miss, but it's worth it, as he's demonstrating a special power profile. And Swiderski's athleticism is probably understated. He's a 7.11 runner who moves well for his size and is coordinated on the basepaths and on defense, with some arm strength.

Cole Van Assen, RHP, Brother Rice, IL, 2023
Lanky, high-waisted, projectable right-handed pitcher, 6-foot-4, 165-pounds. Simple tall and fall type, low-effort delivery, repeats well, works in line to target. Short arm action plays from a loose high ¾ window, above-average arm speed for age. Fastball played straight, flashed arm-side action at times, sat 83-85 mph through the first three innings of the championship game, settled in at 80-82 mph afterwards. Sharp, late-breaking curveball at 69-71 mph, spins off an 11/5 plane. Mixed in a sinking changeup as well to both handed hitters, near fastball arm speed, late fade at 72-74 mph. Struck out nine over five innings pitched in the Underclass Division championship game. High-upside arm in the Illinois’ 2023 class.

Mark Mennecke, 1B, Neuqua Valley, IL, 2023
5-foot-11, 175 pounds, Mennecke was one of Sparks' most productive hitters in their march to the top of the Underclass Division. He was 5-for-9 with two doubles and four walks and he drove in five runs. A left/left prospect with projection, Mennecke was a big part of the reason why this squad was able to capture their division's trophy on Sunday.

GRB RAYS MKE

Brady Davidson, 3B/2B, St. Joseph Catholic, 2023
Strong, compact left-handed hitting infielder, 5-foot-8, 165-pounds. Slightly open balanced setup, fluid pre-pitch rhythm, smooth load, strides to even, controlled balance through contact. Strong hands and wrists, above-average bat strength for age. Stays short to the baseball, bat travels on a slightly uphill angle to contact, gap-to-gap approach. Well advanced barrel feel; made hard contact seemingly each time he stepped to the plate all weekend. Showed off developing all-fields power, sending one over the monster at Fenway Field on Sunday morning. Continues to just flat out hit each time we see him. Improved defensive actions since our last look, rhythmic footwork, steady hands, second base profile long-term. Made an athletic body control play at third base as well. A true offensive threat; a follow prospect in Wisconsin’s 2023 class. 

Noah Dreier, SS, Brookfield Central, 2023
5-foot-10, 150 pounds; on multiple occasions this summer, Dreier has shown advanced actions from shortstop. He projects to provide long-term value as an up-the-middle infielder, who ranges fluidly on the move with soft hands, funnels. Long, loose arm action with above-average strength, shows good accuracy while on the move. Right-handed bat, long path, loose hands, line-drive approach.

Dominic Kibler, C, New Berlin West, 2023
5-foot-8, 160 pounds, Kibler is a strong left-handed hitter who tallied six hits in 11 plate appearances, walking four times too without striking out. Kibler repeats a loose, simple swing well, which helps him land the ball on the barrel without swinging and missing. He showed above-average actions from behind the plate, too, direct out of the chute during his pops between innings. His offensive performance this weekend seriously helped GRB Rays MKE earn a place in bracket play.

Tyler Lusic, OF/RHP, Waterford Union, 2023
6-foot-2, 163 pounds; lean, projectable build. Lusic showed two-way potential over the weekend, but his work from the mound particularly stands out. He struck out eight batters in four innings, pitching over a couple hits and four walks to prevent a run from scoring. With a quick arm out front, Lusic was up to 82 mph, but it's clear there's more to come, given his size and room to fill out.

Garrett Kay, OF, Waterford Union, 2023
Kay was regularly the one scoring after the aforementioned Davidson collected yet another hit. A wiry, diminutive 5-foot-9, Kay swings a loose, spray-type left-handed bat. It's simple and quick, and he uses it to slap contact around to beat out infield singles or shallow base hits into the outfield to set the table for the hitters behind him. He's a well-above-average runner for his age, too, and he ranges around the outfield with athleticism. He notched four hits himself this weekend, including a double and triple, and he walked three times without striking out once.

ISA STARS FALL 15U

Colton Angell, INF/RHP, Oshkosh North, 2023
6-foot, 185 pounds; big build, some strength in stout frame. Turned in an effective outing last weekend; tall-and-fall delivery, over-the-top arm action. Fastball is straight, four-seam, occasional finish; 75-77 mph, touched one 79. Showed some raw power projection in the right-handed bat; above-average bat speed for his age, long path, strength on contact, some feel for the barrel.

Donatello Badalamenti, C/RHP, Pulaski, 2024
Strong, sturdy right-handed pitcher/catcher, 5-foot-7, 175-pounds. Started on the mound for ISA 15U on Sunday morning. Short arm action works from an over-the-top slot. Simple tall/fall type delivery, strides in line to target, lands square. Fastball sat 75-77 mph, touching 78, located for strikes to both corners of the plate. Curveball played at 66-68 mph, 12/6 shape, improved feel to spin with some depth. He did not allow a run in six innings, and he struck out seven in a start Saturday. Right-handed bat, simple, short path to contact, uses inherent strength in swing. Connected for a deep double into the right-center gap over the weekend. 

Cal Casper, C/RHP, Pulaski, 2024
5-foot-6, 145 pounds; lean athlete. A competitive player who finds ways to contribute. Shows advanced defensive actions, especially for his size, ranges behind the plate well, short arm action; innate feel for the position. Barrel feel from the right-handed box, profiles at the top of the order. Simple approach, low-lying line-drive contact, spray contact to all fields. Put together a dominant pitching performance last weekend, too; 5.2 innings, he allowed two hits, two walks, and one earned runs, and he struck out nine.

Javin Gauthier, INF, De Pere, 2024
Illinois State commit. Physical 5-foot-11, 175-pound build; has added strength throughout the course of 2020. Demonstrable bat speed from the left-handed batter’s box, feel for the barrel helps produce regular hard-hit contact in an all-fields approach. Actions align for left side of the infield position, looks like a long-term fit at third base.

Corey Riesop, OF, Fox Valley Lutheran, 2024
A 5-foot-9, 135-pound top-of-the-order type, Riesop energized a scrappy ISA Stars 15U lineup this past weekend, reaching base in nine of his 11 plate appearances, with four walks and five hits, allowing him to score four times. Riesop's production helped this 2024 squad compete admirably against mostly older competition, and they managed to win two of their three games. He swings a level right-handed bat, simple to contact, that clearly has a feel for the barrel and he doesn't swing and miss often. He applies his footspeed out of the box well, especially from the right side.

ISA STARS FALL 16U

Cole Bensen, RHP, Bay Port, 2023
5-foot-11, 160 pounds; athletic, lean build. Bensen has shown to be one of the state’s most competitive sophomores on the mound, working at an uptempo pace, controlling the speed of the game, sitting anywhere from 78 to 83 mph, adding and subtracting from the fastball when he needs to. He struck out nine over five innings, allowing no runs, three hits, and he walked only one.

Garrett Hietpas, SS/2B, Appleton North, 2023
5-foot-10, 160 pounds; Hietpas is an athletic right/right prospect who continues to show well inside Wisconsin's '23 class. He spent just about all weekend at shortstop for ISA Stars' 16U squad and he was spraying hard-hit contact around the diamond, and landed some hard-luck outs as well. Regardless, Hietpas' loose and fast swing is aggressive and projectable. His athleticism shines through on defense, as he looks like a versatile infielder who can handle himself at any of third, short, or second effectively. He was smooth all weekend at shortstop, handling all the necessary plays with confidence. His high-energy style of play is also infectious, and it's an intangible asset to his game that seemingly helps motivate his teammates.

Maxwell Kalk, C, Kimberly, 2023
5-foot-11, 170-pound catcher with strong, advanced build. He's highly athletic behind the plate, and he's actually pretty new to the position but you wouldn't know it when you watch him back there. He's mobile, flexible, and quick out of the chute. This past weekend, however, he made more noise offensively. Kalk was constantly on the barrel, and his left-handed bat and overall athleticism has him emerging as a high-follow sophomore in Wisconsin's 2023 class. It's a fast, loose swing with hand/eye feel that helps him spray hard-hit contact to all fields.

Caden Popp, INF, Appleton North, 2023
5-foot-9, 145 pounds; was an energizer atop ISA’s order last weekend. Short, loose swing with feel for the barrel, line drives; repeats, easy rhythm. Above-average actions on defense, plays well on the move.

Sean Severson, RHP, Kaukauna, 2023
5-foot-10, 200 pounds; long arm action, high ¾ slot, inherent strength. Sat 76-78 mph, touched 80, straight four-seam. Feel to spin an 11/5 breaking ball, depth, flashed above-average action. Still working on repeating slot to throw more strikes, but earns swings and misses, struck out seven in 5.2 innings on Saturday evening.

Eli Zollar, RHP/1B, Ashwaubenon, 2023
6-foot-3, 225-pound frame; hulking build, strength works from the batter’s box and from the mound. Projects best on the mound, as he’s shown a three-pitch profile with low- to mid-80s velocity. Shortened, cleaned up arm action since our most recent look. Sat 82-84 mph last weekend with some arm-side action. Curveball showed inconsistent action, 11/5 shape, 69-70 mph, flashed sharp action late. Changeup is thrown at arm speed and looks like his best offspeed offering with fade. Big raw power potential from the right-handed box; connected for a loud, deep fly ball that only just missed landing fair – must have travelled 380 feet or more. A powerful profile and a follow sophomore in the state.

Boone Kirst, INF/C, Ashwaubenon, 2023
6-foot-3, 190 pounds; lean, athlete with comfortable projection. In several looks this summer, Kirst has consistently shown well, and his loose right-handed bat finds the barrel well. He’s growing into his lanky frame well, too. Simple, timely swings with a line-drive approach. Raw defense, but shortened arm action to get to more usable arm strength; growing athleticism could help him develop into an asset at third base, as he may simply outgrow catcher.

MIDWEST HALOS

Presley Wachowiak, RHP, Catholic Memorial, 2023
6-foot, 200 pounds; sturdy lower half, strength involved. Looking like one of Wisconsin’s top sophomore arms; showed increased velocity and held it last weekend, sitting 83-85 mph, touching a couple 86-87s, with spin and ‘rise’ through the zone. Our spin rate gun recorded his fastball rates in the 2,400-plus range. Pairs it effectively with a 12/6 curveball that features depth, tight spin, and downer bite; inconsistent feel to locate right now. Spin rates are similarly encouraging, 2,300-plus rpm. His outing last weekend was erratic, but we’ve seen him throw more strikes in the past, and he’s repeated better in other looks. The spin and velocity are enough to warrant high-follow status in this 2023 class.

Anthony Rieck, 1B, Catholic Memorial, 2023
Physical, well-proportioned right-handed hitting first baseman, 6-foot-2, 205-pounds. Tall setup at the plate, slight bar at load, steady leg lift trigger for timing. Strong hands and wrists, natural bat strength, some bat speed to pair. Bat travels on a shorter uphill plane, gap-to-gap approach, advanced all-around power for age, improved bat-to-ball skills since our last look. One of the top power threats in Wisconsin’s 2023 class; slowly starting to tap into his offensive upside at the plate.

Owen Sullivan, OF/RHP, Oak Creek, 2023
Wiry strength in frame; right-handed-hitting outfielder, 5-foot-8, 155 pounds. Tall setup in the box, hands stay back, short stride to even. Strong hands, present bat strength, short and slightly elevated bat path, line drive approach. Above-average foot speed that plays up on the diamond, covers plenty of ground in center field, strong arm to pair. Athletic delivery on the mound, above-average rotation and hip/shoulder separation at foot strike, works in line to target. Long and loose arm action, high ¾ slot. Fastball sat 78-80 mph, touched 81, inconsistent feel for the zone at times. Noteworthy athlete worth following.

PROPLAYER HURRICANES

Ryan Bakes, C, Huntley, IL, 2023
He's a barrel-chested 5-foot-9, 180-pound catcher with advanced actions and strength back there, and he gets to some easy power from the right-handed box. He homered three times at a PBR Wisconsin-hosted tournament over the weekend, two of which were absolutely no-doubters off the barrel. It's a simple, explosive swing that has Bakes on the national radar, up to No. 217 overall in the most recent update, and he's still uncommitted.

Sheppard Graf, 3B, Lake Forest, IL, 2023
6-foot-3, 190-pound third baseman. Strong right-handed hitter with a presence in the box, looks comfortable and eager to hit. Hard pull-side double in game one. Graf has made his presence felt on multiple looks this summer as a follow bat. He recorded a couple hits in his team's championship game, including a double. He takes long, fast swings that looked geared for high-flying contact, with some of the top power potential we've seen at The Rock this summer.

Andrew Ressler, RHP, Huntley, IL, 2023
Athletic, well-proportioned frame that projects. 6-foot, 170-pound right-handed pitcher, started on Saturday night against CBT 16U. Simple and easy drop/drive type delivery, coils into back hip, maintains linear progression to target, athletic posture at release. Quick-tempo worker, innate confidence and moxy in himself on the mound. Long and loose arm action, high ¾ slot, ball comes out clean. Lively fastball sat 83-86 mph, touching 87 mph several times throughout his outing, 2,200 to 2,350 rpms on average, consistently pounds strikes to both sides of the plate. Relentlessly attacked hitters, fastball dominant sequencing in this outing. Curveball was used sparingly, 67-68 mph, 11/5 shape that flashed sharp actions, left up in the zone at times. Threw a 12-strikeout perfect game, only allowing three balls to be put in play over five innings of work. High-ceiling prospect with present polish, must-follow name in Illinois’ 2023 class.

Joey Pflug, SS, Westosha Central, 2023
5-foot-10, 140 pounds; Pflug is a thin, wiry athlete who moves around the middle of the infield with advanced actions, which has helped him stick out to our staff one more than one occasion. In this specific look, Pflug swung a hot bat for Canes' sophomore roster, he led off for his team throughout the weekend and doubled twice in the team's 11-1 win on Sunday afternoon. It's a loose, level right-handed swing that projects well as he adds strength/weight.

PROSPECT TRAINING ACADEMY CARDINAL

Max Hennemann, SS/OF, Oak Creek, 2023
5-foot-10, 155 pounds; lean athlete. Hennemann has previously stood out this summer for his easy actions at shortstop, showcasing smooth funnels and fluid footwork. At this tournament, he actually spent some time in center field and it certainly warrants a closer look. He chased down several balls in gaps with natural route-running skills and he threw out a runner at home on a clutch play. His left-handed bat is smooth and fast, with a spray-type approach.

STARTERS 16U NATIONAL

Dayton Franke, 1B/LHP, Robbinsdale Armstrong, MN, 2024
Physical 6-foot-1, 215-pound L/L two-way player, strong lower half. Hitterish in the left handed batters box, athletic setup, on time with athletic hands. Swing plays short to the baseball, worked competitive at bats with ability to extend the at bat. Flashed natural power with a hard double to deep center in game one. Above average athlete for age and size, showed well around the bag. On the mound fastball played 73-76 mph with a 65 mph curveball.

Mason Lang, C, Chanhassen, MN, 2023
6-foot, 180 pounds; athletic and physical with broad shoulders, room to add strength. Loose left-handed swing, uphill plane. Athleticism works well behind the plate, with advanced overall actions that leads to quick catch-and-throw; recorded a 2.19 pop time in-game.

TOP TIER (2023)

Zachary Kwasny, RHP, Lincoln-Way East. IL, 2023
Athletic, highly projectable frame with added room for physical development. 6-foot-4,195-pound right-handed pitcher, started on the mound Friday night for Top Tier against Illinois Indians. Controls body well at his size, stretch only, drop and drive type delivery, stays in line to target, athletic finish through release. Brings a competitive bulldog mentality to the mound, pitches with confidence and moxy in himself. Compact arm path, high ¾ slot; above-average arm speed for age. Fastball sat 79-81 mph throughout his entire start, played straight, averaged 2,000 to 2,100 rpms, not afraid to challenge hitters. Advanced feel to spin a 68-69 mph curveball off an 11/5 plane, confident enough to land it for strikes or manipulate it for strikeouts. Threw 4 ⅔ scoreless innings, striking out eight. Follow name in the Illinois’ 2023 class. 

Ryan Deist, RHP, Lincoln-Way East, IL, 2023
Large right-handed pitcher, 6-foot-3, 200-pounds. Arm strength out of large frame, high velocity potential. Delivery works with high front side, arm action stays connected and behind the baseball. Fastball topped at 83 mph, sat 81-82 mph. Flashed a curveball at 68-71 mph.

A.J. Malzone, C/3B, St. Rita, IL, 2023
Strong stocky built left-handed hitting C/3B. Two-hole hitter, comfortable setup in the box, on time and athletic hitter. Path is short to the baseball and shows feel for his barrel. Lets ball travel and shows ability to recognize off speed offerings, stay back, and stay to the big part of the field. 

Johnny Wendling, C, St. Laurence, IL, 2023
Sturdy build catcher with above average receiving skills, showed 2.25 pop time between innings. Right-handed hitter, middle of the order, lifted swing that flashed pull side pop and strength. 

Blainey Dowling, OF, Mount Carmel, IL, 2023
Top of the lineup R/R outfielder, flashed top end speed, 4.36 down the line for infield single and 4.45 on a groundout. Above average runner in the outfield, showed ability to track the baseball and take concise routes. 

Lucas Smith, OF, Nazareth Academy, IL, 2023
5-foot-11, 175 pounds; thin, wiry frame with athleticism. Twitchy hands help his right-handed bat land hard barrels with feel, ball comes off the bat loudly. Hit in the three-hole for Top Tier and recorded several hits this weekend, including a hard backside double. Athleticism also shows well in the outfield, where he defends with some bounce and instinct.

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