Prep Baseball Report

Top 10 Stories of 2015: No. 1 Wisconsin's 2016 Draft Class

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

Over the past few weeks we have highlighted the Top 10 Player Profiles of 2015, as well as the Top 10 Stories in Wisconsin High School Baseball during 2015. Today we concluded the countdown with the No. 1 story of 2015 in Wisconsin High School Baseball. 

Wisconsin is not a traditional baseball power, so it's rare to see even one high school prospect taken out of the Badger State, but the PBR Draft 100 includes three Wisconsin natives, all of which will get carefully scrutinized by scouts, crosscheckers and directors between now and the draft in June. C Ben Rortvedt (Verona Area HS, WI) is the top prospect in the state and No. 19 on the PBR Draft 100. SS Gavin Lux (Indian Trail HS, WI) checks in at No. 27 and RHP Nathan Brown (Arrowhead HS, WI) is No. 98.

Ben Rortvedt

Ben RortvedtLeading the way in Wisconsin, as far as draft talks go, is C Ben Rortvedt (Verona Area). A top 20 PBR Draft 100 prospect, Rortvedt has been on our radar since the spring of his freshman year, standing out as a physical specimen with a raw tool set that appeared to have the ability to play at an extremely high level. That summer is when the left-handed hitting catcher really put everything together and was putting it on display at high level events.

This past summer Rortvedt planted his name firmly in the national draft landscape and took over the No. 1 spot in Wisconsin, outperforming his peers on several of the nation’s biggest stages, and most notably with his bat. Garnering comparisons to a Kyle Schwarber type profile, Rortvedt is determined to show that he is not just a bat, but can really defend as well. Most recently, this fall in Jupiter Rortvedt’s bat took an uncanny weekend off (3-for-19), but showed that he can be a highly capable defender cutting down two base runners in one game.  

Rortvedt’s next test, and possibly most influential, will be the PBR Super 60 Pro Showcase in February, a chance for him to give scouts a look at his impressive tool set. A cold weather state, Rortvedt’s opportunities in the spring will be late and limited as several of the country’s top prospects will have 20 games under their belt before the snow melts in Verona, WI. Either way, Rortvedt will be a hot topic among the pro scouting community over the next six months.

For the complete Inside Look on Rortvedt CLICK HERE.

Gavin Lux

Gavin LuxOne of those prospects under the microscope will be SS Gavin Lux (Indian Trail HS). No stranger to the spotlight, Lux has been a highly touted prospect since he was a scrawny freshman at PBR Wisconsin’s inaugural showcase. Never wavering below the No. 2 spot in the state Lux has been a bit of the poster boy for Wisconsin’s 2016 class. A top 30 prospect in the PBR Draft 100, Lux was tabbed as a plus defender at an early age and ran circles around even his older peers at shortstop.

Defensively, Lux is a far cry from what is typically seen in these parts of the country. Many have described his actions to be on par with what is seen in some of baseball’s top Latin American countries, and generally has made up the majority of Major League Baseball’s middle infielders.

Lux was a staple on the national circuit this summer traveling from Cary, NC to San Diego, CA and everywhere in between. Along the way his draft stock has continued to rise, and we’ve seen his PBR profile receive more clicks than any other Wisconsin prospect since June 1. The only hurdle now is smashing stereotypes and convincing the pro scouting community that a shortstop from Wisconsin can stick in the big leagues. Lux will have his chance this February at the PBR Super 60 Pro Showcase where nearly every MLB team will be taking note.

For the complete Inside Look on Lux CLICK HERE.

Nate Brown

Nathan BrownRounding out the Wisconsin contingent in the PBR Draft 100 is the top ranked pitcher in the state, RHP Nathan Brown (Arrowhead HS). Brown was another high interest guy to the PBR staff at an early age. Catching our attention with his lean athletic frame and loose easy arm action, it was easy to see early on that Brown had a tremendously high ceiling.

Brown went fairly quiet under the radar for most of his sophomore season. At that time Arrowhead HS was still playing summer high school baseball and it was that spring that they announced the move to spring baseball for 2015. It wasn’t until the summer of 2014 when he really started to get noticed. Playing travel baseball with STiKS Academy, Brown then skyrocketed on the national scene at the PBR Future Games in August of 2014. Brown was one of the top risers from that event and where Florida got their first peek at the right-hander.

Two months later, Wisconsin’s most coveted arm verbally committed to the Gators. The next step for Brown was proving he’s worthy of draft talk going into his senior year. Brown started that discussion right away in his draft year summer showing an electric arm, touching 91 mph, and wipe out slider at the PBR ProCase in June.

Brown capped off his summer/fall run in Jupiter with another strong showing, really solidifying himself as a draft follow for pro scouts this spring. Just like Rortvedt and Lux, Brown will have his chance to pick up where he left off this fall and show scouts his arsenal at the PBR Super 60 Pro Showcase in February.

For the complete Inside Look at Brown CLICK HERE.

Top 10 Stories of 2015

No. 10 Madison Preseason I.D. Showcase

No. 9 Inaugural Badger State Battle

No. 8 Janesville Craig Wins D1 State Title

No. 7 Milwaukee Lutheran Win D2 State Title

No. 6 Arrowhead Switches to Spring Season

No. 5 The National Rise of Jarred Kelenic

No. 4 2016 Recruiting Class

No. 3 Lake County Lutheran Wins D3 State Title

No. 2 The Recruitment of Gavin Lux

No. 1 Wisconsin’s 2016 Draft Class