Top 10 Stories of 2022: Three Wisconsin 2026s appear on the top 250, the most freshmen ever
December 19, 2022
At the end of the year, our staff reflects back on some of the best moments that came from the past 365 days. As the final month comes to a close, we wanted to highlight the 10 most interesting headlines from around the state, finishing with our number one storyline that will be released on New Year’s Day.
In mid-November, Prep Baseball Report released a brand new set of rankings for the 2026 class of prospects, a group which features a heavy amount of commitments, as around half of the 250 athletes have their plans set for college baseball.
Wisconsin published their own 2026 rankings about a week prior to the national one being released. In the rankings, the top 15 prospects entering their prep career were highlighted, including multiple members from Wisconsin’s 2022 Junior Future Games roster.
OF Aiden Arnett (Stoughton; Florida commit), SS Ben Kuglitsch (Muskego), 1B Dominic Santarelli (Kenosha St. Joseph; Louisville), OF Matthew O’Grady (Badger), and OF Ezra Liggon (Madison West) rounded out the top five prospects from the incoming class respectively.
The top three, Arnett, Kuglitsch, and Santarelli, all accomplished a feat that has not been attained before. Each of them were ranked within the top 150 players in the nation, the most Wisconsin prospects to ever be that nationally recognized entering high school.
Arnett, the top prospect from the state, begins his prep career ranked as the No. 30-ranked player in the 2026 class. The outfielder, built at a solid 5-foot-11, 175-pound frame, was first seen by PBR Florida, at the Florida Rising Stars Spring Games in April. It was there where he topped out at 80 mph on the mound and threw 88 mph from the outfield. Offensively, Arnett brings a short, compact stroke to the plate, allowing him to control his barrel and drive the baseball repeatedly. His top exit velocity maxed out at 95 mph.
Aiden Arnett (4/23/22)
A couple of months later, Arnett brought his talent to the Badger State for the 14U PBR at the Rock Summer Championships, where he launched a 2-run home run in the semifinals, showcasing his power at the plate. Arnett brings projectability and athleticism to the table as a young prospect, leading the state’s 2026 class as they enter high school.
Kuglitsch, a middle infielder, enters the first set of national rankings at 83rd. He presents a long and lanky 6-foot-2, 155-pound frame with room to fill out as he continues to grow. Kuglitsch presented a whippy barrel in an upright stance, giving him the ability to launch the baseball, as he displayed his easy power at The Rock during this past summer.
SS Ben Kuglitsch (Muskego, 2026) with a couple hits displaying “hitters” hands, bat speed, and direct path.— PBR Wisconsin (@PBRWisconsin) June 9, 2022
Flashed actions, feet and strong arm with carry to play SS. Smooth long stride runner with burst. Very projectable body. #PBRatTheRock | @stiksacademy pic.twitter.com/55jlQsEAz8
On defense, Kuglitsch seemed very comfortable at the shortstop position, as he showcased his smooth actions and large arm. The freshman enters a quality Muskego squad heading into the Spring of 2023.
The final prospect within the top 150 players in the 2026 class was Santarelli, ranked at 130th. Santarelli represented Wisconsin at the Junior Future Games in 2022, catching the eye of multiple college scouts, including Louisville, where he eventually committed to this winter.
The first baseman enters high school at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, leaving room for growth and development. His advanced footwork and fielding fundamentals around first base complements the offensive firepower that he provides from the left side of the plate. Santarelli had a max exit velocity of 91 mph in Georgia this summer, a number that continues to rise with every showcase he’s attended. His quiet hands and feet, in addition to the raw power, illustrates Santarelli’s mature offensive skills that he brings to the table. The freshman begins his prep career at Kenosha St. Joseph High School, a group looking to make their third straight WIAA Div. 3 state appearance.
Dominic Santarelli (7/26/22)
O’Grady comes in ranked at 225th, and 1B/RHP Brett Biondich (Kettle Moraine Lutheran; TCU commit) follows closely behind at 229th.
All three prospects, along with the others, illustrate the up and coming talent throughout the Badger State, as the state continues to produce high-level college baseball players and MLB Draft prospects on a consistent basis. This 2026 class is another example of that, as we’re excited to watch them develop and advance throughout their prep careers.