Recruiting News: Van Lanen and Widmar make college decisions

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director – Wisconsin/Illinois

More commitments are starting to peel off the board in Wisconsin’s 2014 class. This week, the No. 6-ranked prospect, RHP Luke Van Lanen out of Pulaski HS, verbally committed to Valparaiso, marking the fifth Division 1 commitment in the class.

At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, we’ve seen Van Lanen show off his arm strength multiple times this summer, both at the Showtime Sports Showcase and the Area Codes in Chicago. He has one of the quicker arms around, and we’ve seen him topping out at 89 mph multiple times. Van Lanen has flashed signs of a playable curvebal, which he knows is still a work in progress.

“My off-speed pitches need the most improvement, because I have always relied on my fastball to get outs,” said Van Lanen.

There’s no doubt Van Lanen’s fastball will get outs, as it features late life through the hitting zone, making him tough to square up.

Van Lanen’s arm action is loose and athletic and you can tell he has a lot of athleticism in his game, which stems from his off-season workout.

“In the off-season I play basketball, which keeps me in great shape,” said Van Lanen.

He’s no slouch on the basketball court either, helping Pulaski win the Division 2 state championship in 2013 as well as earning second-team All-Conference honors.

The recruiting process really started to heat up for Van Lanen this summer.

“I received phone calls and emails non-stop,” he said.

Before making his decision, Van Lanen had a few schools still on his short list, including University of Richmond, University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin, Bradley University and Jacksonville University.

When choosing Valparaiso he said, “I really liked the family atmosphere and they are a baseball program on the rise.”

Van Lanen is currently ranked No. 6 in Wisconsin and once he sharpens his secondary pitches the sky is the limit for him moving forward.

+ In other recruiting news LHP/1B Max Widmar from Racine Park HS has committed to Parkland CC. Widmar is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound left handed two way player who has legitimate two way capabilities at the next level.

Send all Wisconsin recruiting information to Steve Nielsen at [email protected].

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