Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 1 Kimberly

By Maddox Durst
PBR Wisconsin Staff

The Wisconsin high school baseball season kicks off on March 28, opening day for regular season action under WIAA regulations. Over the next week, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2023 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications, counting down through the official PBR Wisconsin Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Perennially, we’ve submitted a Preseason Questionnaire to high school head coaches across the entire state. Their responses have been flooding in and we’re using the detailed insight they’ve provided in our team-by-team preseason analysis. We also utilized some of the information published inside the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association's 2023 Yearbook, which is available for purchase here.

Our 2023 preseason coverage continues today.

Team: Kimberly
Preseason Rank: No. 1
2022 Record: 21-6
Conference: Fox Valley Association
WIAA Division: 1
Head Coach: Ryan McGinnis


Alex Anzelmo OF Kimberly 2023 -
Ryan Csida
2023 Saint Mary's (MN)
Brayden Deering
Kimberly 2023 Upper Iowa
Max Kalk C/INF Kimberly 2023 Ball State
Evan Olson
Kimberly 2023 Wisconsin-Whitewater
Brayden Pleau
Kimberly 2023 Bryant & Stratton (WI)
Kale Twombly
2023 -
Hunter Berry UTL Kimberly 2024 -
Brady Coons C/3B Kimberly 2024 -
Brennen Grams
2024 -
Tanner Hart OF Kimberly 2024 -
Brady Koester
2024 Notre Dame
Carson Medden OF Kimberly 2024 -
Ayden Tomlinson INF/RHP Kimberly 2024 -
Alex Vander Loop
RHP Kimberly
2024 -
Bryson Vieth RHP/INF Kimberly 2024 -
Hudson Wagner INF Kimberly 2024 -
Sawyer Deering
2025 -


+ OF Brandon Carew (2022; Wisconsin-La Crosse)
+ RHP Al Leitner (2022; Madison JC)
+ INF Colin Obermann (2022; Madison JC) 


Brady Koester (2/25/23)

+ LHP/1B Brady Koester (2023; Notre Dame commit), listed at 6-foot-5, 200-pounds, is a physical left-hander who raised his stock immensely over the offseason. Koester, who recently committed to Notre Dame, ran his fastball up to 89.1 mph at the Green Bay Preseason ID, throwing four pitches off it. In addition to the fastball, Koester’s slider ranges between 76-78 mph, and is spun in the 2260 RPM range, advanced for a prep prospect. The curveball spins similarly, but slows the pace down between 72-75 mph, on a 12/6 plane as it crosses the plate. His fourth pitch is his changeup, and with the 18.3 inches of horizontal movement that we saw at the Green Bay Preseason ID, it completes a strong repertoire heading into his junior season on Kimberly. The lefty can also swing it, as a two-way player for the Papermakers, maxing out at 95.3 mph off the bat in our most recent look at him. Kimberly has a void to fill on the mound left behind by Al Leitner's (2022; Madison JC) departure, and Koester, amongst others, rising to the occasion would greatly benefit this team.


Sawyer Deering (7/15/22)

+ As a freshman, RHP/OF Sawyer Deering (2025) took on the big stage as a pitcher and earned four wins for the Papermakers in 2022, a varsity program usually made up of mostly upperclassmen. One of the top overall prospects in his class in the Badger State, Deering impressed in front of us once again this winter at the Madison Preseason ID. On the mound, the righty displayed his comfort with his pitches, mixing in an exemplary curveball (73-75 mph) and changeup (82-84 mph) with a steady fastball that rushed up to 89 mph. His consistency and confident mindset on the bump will have an important presence on the field for Kimberly in 2023. At the plate, with a strong 5-foot-11,180-pound frame, Deering hit .333 as a freshman, and is a name on this roster capable of contributing to both sides of the ball. Expect Deering to take another jump in his sophomore year, all while continuing to cement his status as a high-end prospect in Wisconsin’s current sophomore group.


Following in the footsteps of Sun Prairie in 2021, and Whitefish Bay in 2022, the Kimberly Papermakers are headlined as the top team in the state entering the 2023 season. Legendary head coach Ryan McGinnis and the Papermakers return a majority of their team from the 2022 season, where they finished 21-6 and won a Regional championship, though a loss in the Sectional semis was ultimately not what they had in mind. This year, they look to make another run at the state tournament, and even having graduated some of their program's most reliable names, Kimberly returns many of its key players and they're also boosted by some names who weren't on last year's roster. 

The lineup presents itself as intimidating on paper for Kimberly, who returns almost 90 percent of their at-bats from last year. 

Two key left-handed hitters to know for Kimberly are C/1B Maxwell Kalk (2023; Ball State) and UTL Kale Twombly (2023). Kalk has made strides to all aspects of his game over the past year or so, tacking on strength in particular, now standing at 6-foot, 200-pounds. He’s directly added bat strength as a result, and is starting to impact the ball more consistently, all while providing valuable defense behind the plate. 

Twombly’s earned playing time on varsity since his sophomore year and his ability to impact the game in multiple different ways is what makes him a valuable asset. Typically penciled in towards the top of a lineup, he’ll look to put the finishing touches on a successful high school career this spring, and he might be the everyday starting shortstop too, which is a spot in question headed into Opening Week, one of the few question marks on this roster.

INF Brayden Pleau (2023; Bryant & Stratton, WI) is an impact returning bat for the Papermakers. Standing at a solid 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Pleau is a key piece to the depth and power of the Papermaker lineup, something necessary versus the teams that they compete against. C Evan Olson (2023; Wisconsin-Whitewater commit) returns a team-high .383 batting average, deepening a roster full of options even more so – and Olson is a stellar defender as well. C/3B Brady Coons (2024) is a strong, compact left-handed hitter who offer this team yet another dependable backstop, and he could see time at third base to help get another lefty into the lineup more often. 

Adding to that offensive depth is OF/RHP Ryan Csida (2023; Saint Mary’s, MN), who will be asked to step into a two-way role in 2023. Csida presents a long and lanky frame at 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, that helps his play both at the plate and on the mound, where he should see some time for Kimberly.

The pitching staff is about as good as it gets in the WIAA in 2023, headlined by RHP Brayden Deering (2023; Upper Iowa), who finished 2022 with an unblemished 8-0 record. Similar to his younger brother Sawyer, mentioned earlier, Brayden is steady and consistent on the mound. His clean, repeatable delivery allows him to return as the ace of the best team in the state, featuring a four-pitch mix with advanced control, as Deering has proven multiple times that he can be effective.  

Brayden Deering (7/22/22)

Kimberly sets up with a big three on the bump, including both of the Deerings and Koester, who’s successful resume was illustrated before. To strengthen the depth, RHP Alex Vander Loop (2024) and PBR Future Games participant RHP/OF Brennen Grams (2024), are two juniors who will be asked to make spot starts and relieve for the Papermakers. Both arms sit in the mid- to upper-80s with quality off-speed offerings, respectively. Vander Loop was up to 87.4 mph this offseason with a biting slider that looks ready to get FVA outs right now. As for Grams, he's a gifted athlete who can offer Kimberly something on both the mound and, possibly, the outfield, should they need some more depth out there.


Kimberly’s roster shapes them up to be one of the most complete and dominant squads in the state of Wisconsin in 2023. Having enough offensive contributors will be the most important part of their future outcomes, as the pitching staff is filled with high velocity strike-throwers, a perfect formula for success in the WIAA. 

As always, the Fox Valley Association will be a difficult conference to handle, despite the Papermakers winning it since the 2019 season, as Kimberly will face the likes of some of the conference’s other top contenders, including Hortonville, Appleton North, and Neenah. Nonetheless, we’re excited to see what this group has to offer in 2023, as it’s a team filled with future collegiate athletes and prospects all over the playing field. 

Make sure to follow @PBRWisconsin on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2023 season.

Find more information on the 2023 Papermakers below:

+ Team Website
+ Team Schedule
+ Team Twitter