Prep Baseball Report

Senior Games: Quick Hits

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer, Associate Scout

On Sunday, the PBR Wisconsin team hosted its annual Senior Games event at STiKS Academy. The event was originally slated to be held outdoors at Concordia University, but rain pushed us inside. This event is designed to provide some of the state’s top uncommitted seniors with the platform to perform in front of an assembly of college recruiters in the final fall of their high school careers. We had around 35 of the top on-the-market 2020s in the area, and we’ll break down the best things we saw from Sunday’s showcase in the post below.



+ Kimberly middle infielder Ben Coons is a strong individual and he makes it work in the right-handed batter’s box. He has solid feel for the barrel, and his natural strength at the plate allows for it to play off the bat, too. He also plays a fundamental defense and profiles well as a second base-type with above-average bat strength at the next level.

+ OF Ben Nelson (Oconomowoc) was one of the bigger surprises of the day, showing some serious athleticism in a projectable 6-foot-3, 165-pound frame. He ran a 6.75 all while demonstrating some next-level arm strength and bat strength. Nelson swings a fluid left-handed bat that peppered the middle of the field with hard, line-drive contact. He presents programs with a unique upside that’s hard to find this late in his class’ recruiting game.

+ There were a few prospects in attendance on Sunday who showed some real power potential, and the left-handed twitchy slugger Blake Hall (Random Lake) was among them. One of the biggest winners of last month’s Eastern Wisconsin Open showcases, Hall doubled down on his performance there and tied for the top exit velocity (93 mph) of yesterday’s showcase. He swings a fast and loose left-handed bat that allows him to both find the barrel with relative ease and generate natural loft and extension through contact. While he does tend to get a little pull-heavy, his feel to hit can carry him to the next stage come the fall of 2020.

+ West Bend West’s Lukas Broske was also among the strongest prospects in attendance, and he was also the highest ranked on our 2020 board, at No. 52 overall. He’s a first baseman and right-handed slugger with a hulking 6-foot-4, 209-pound frame that allows him to leverage baseballs into the gaps easily. He swings on a long, fast path that allows him to batter baseballs in the zone. Broske is a multi-sport athlete and his work on the hardwood has helped his footwork near the bag as a defender as well.

+ Another first baseman, Jason Brulport (Tremper), likely produced the best round of batting practice on Sunday. Brulport has steadily sharpened his offensive profile and it produced a healthy amount of loud barrels in BP from the left side. He swings a controlled, but violent, bat on an uphill plane with big extension through contact. It’s a smooth and fast bat that looks capable of packing a middle-of-the-order punch at the next level.


+ From Wrightstown, Luke Renard showed a well-rounded profile as a compact athlete and sub-7.00 runner. He brings a reliable glove to the infield with a clean exchange and athletic release that allows him to put throws on the bag with precision. Offensively, Renard is a right-handed bat with some looseness and bat speed, too.

+ Payton Foltz (Watertown) is an athletic defender who plays with a natural instinct up the middle of the infield. Built at an athletic and lean 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, Foltz uses that athleticism well in the right-handed box to generate bat speed and some gap-to-gap quality of contact. He’s also a particularly useful defender who profiles well up the middle, demonstrating a natural feel to glide to groundballs on the move.

+ Brooks Kalscheur (Middleton) is a natural defender at second base and another one of the day’s winners at last month’s Sheboygan showcase who showed well at STiKS on Sunday. He’s a savvy defender with all-around actions and he’s also able to spray low-lying contact to all fields with barrel feel.

+ Nolan Olszewski’s (Germantown) lean athleticism alone makes him an intriguing profile as a collegiate middle infielder. He swings a twitchy left-handed bat that’s both smooth and allows from some hard-hit contact from the barrel, but his carrying tool(s) are up the middle on defense. Olszewski was arguably the top defender on the day, cruising to grounders to his forehand and backhand, fluidly funneling baseballs into a quick and accurate release.

+ We’ve had plenty of looks at Mineral Point’s two-way athlete Grady Gorgen in 2019, and he continually shows unique athleticism that’s worth following closely. He looks to be a natural defender with some promise to stick to center field. He swings a smooth, level right-handed bat with a fluid feel to hit line drives to all fields. On the mound, Gorgen is a southpaw with long and loose arm action, sitting 78-80 mph. He’s still harnessing his command, but the ease of action in which he throws is something to watch.


+ All three catchers who attended Senior Games look to profile well at the next level: C Hunter Petska (Green Bay Preble) has been on our radar all summer and solidified his standing as one of the top uncommitted catchers in the state, with a loose and fast right-handed swing and a reliable catch-and-throw skillset.

+ Neenah’s Jack Carlson is a strong and compact prospect who swings a fast right-handed bat on a level plane with extension through contact. He’s been trending up throughout the summer and looked completely capable of catching at the next level, too. Carlson is a confident receiver, a soft blocker, with a feel to hit.

+ The final backstop to mention is Mineral Point’s Justin Baehler, who looked a little more defined and stronger than we’d seen him back in March. He put together one of the day’s best overall rounds of BP, smashing balls into both gaps with consistency, producing some all-fields power potential as he continues to mature. He’s a little more rigid as a defender than Carlson or Petska, but he’s a steady presence behind the plate and is trending up at just the right time. 


+ Two-way prospect Owen Weber, from Appleton North, has the present stuff to compete at the next level a year from now. In his lone inning of work, he sat 81-83 mph with a mostly straight fastball that carried through the zone, complemented by a breaking ball he flashed a feel to spin. With a little more offspeed polish, Weber can become a reliable option at the next stage of his career.

+ The lone prospect making his way up from Illinois was LHP Tayden Patterson (River Ridge, IL). Inside of STiKS, Patterson pounded the zone with his heavy fastball that sat 78-81 mph that dodged barrels, especially with the help of his tight curveball, 64-66 mph, that flashed bite and was thrown with conviction. A third pitch, a change-of-pace changeup, helped keep hitters off balance, and his ability to firmly hold his velocity through a pair innings help create the image of an innings-eater starter at his next stop – and his strong 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame make that profile easier to imagine.

+ From Franklin, RHP Steven Kleyheeg showed an 79-82 mph fastball that featured a little more jump than we’ve seen this summer. Thrown from that same over-the-top arm slot, Kleyheeg’s low-80s fastball works well downhill with some tilt and it earned him a ton of swings and misses during the scrimmage. He also showed our staff a tighter breaking ball than we’d seen previously, and while he’s still working to find its consistency, when he’s able to spot it up, it gives him a couple of power pitches to earn his outs.

+ Brandon Peace (Nicolet) is a quick-tempoed right-hander who works in rhythm and with athleticism. It’s that athleticism that allows him to offer a little more upside than you might expect from a thin 6-foot righty. He’s able to spot up his 78-80 mph to both corners, creating a little natural tilt. Peace’s feel for offspeed is also excellent. His curveball is thrown aggressively and at arm speed, flashing tight bite with an ability to locate. He also mixes in a straight changeup that he has confidence in, also thrown at arm speed.

+ Like Kleyheeg, we’ve had the pleasure of watching Badger southpaw Addison Hochevar a couple times already this summer, but Sunday might have been our best look from a pure stuff perspective. He had trouble hitting his spots, just missing the corners with his fastball, but it carried through the zone at 78-81 mph, touching 82 mph, from a deceptive ¾ slot. His feel for the breaking ball only improved as he went, flashing some sharp action with it off a 1/7 plane.

+ Marquette University had a pair of right-handers in attendance who both showed a feel to spin it: Joseph Pettit and Matthew Niederjohn

+ Pettit is a two-way prospect who showed promise on both sides of the ball, barreling baseballs from the right-handed batter’s box, all while filling up the zone with three pitches. His fastball sat 78-79 mph with hard run, and he also showed an ability to miss bats with a tight and sharp breaker, 67-69 mph, thrown aggressively and with control. Pettit’s changeup was a separator, giving him three reliable pitches. It caught his opposition off guard constantly, thrown with conviction while generating that same hard run he was able to muster on his fastball. His size (5-foot-10, 192 pounds) helps create some added next-level upside, too.

+ As for Niederjohn, he might have produced the day’s best breaking ball overall. While also utilizing a running fastball, ranging from 73 to 77 mph, his 11/5 curve broke sharply and consistently on the outer half to right-handed bats, earning a couple ugly swings and misses.

+ RHP Quinn Berglin (Pewaukee) had a stellar outing earlier this summer at a PBR-hosted tournament at The Rock. He uses a low ¾ slot that helps produce hard run/sink on his fastball 75-78 mph, touching 79 mph. Berglin also mixes in a frisbee-type breaking ball, 66-69 mph, that earned swings and misses. A straight change also helps him earn outs against lefty bats, too.

+ Verona has an athletic right-hander in Joe DuCharme to watch for. He sat in the 77-80 mph range on Sunday that featured some jump from his hand. He hit his spots with his fastball and it allowed for him to play his tight breaking ball well off of it. DuCharme also mixed in a couple of straight changes, rounding out a solid three-pitch mix that helped him punch out four batters in his two innings of work.

+ Jared Vogel (Jefferson) is raw, but his huge 6-foot-7, 195-pound frame is a frame worth molding. He’s a two-way talent who moves pretty well for his size, but his upside is especially evident on the bump. Vogel is an imposing force on the mound even though the velocity isn’t exactly where you’d expect. He sat 74-77 mph, touching 78 mph, in his lone inning of work, but given his size and ability to hide the ball, the fastball jumps from his hand and plays up. And for as raw as Vogel’s game is, he has a real feel to spin a breaking ball that he was also able to land for strikes. He struck out a pair in his one inning of work.