Top Prospect - Milwaukee: Infielder Analysis


By Wisconsin Staff

On July 14, the PBR Wisconsin staff made its return trip to The Rock Complex to host its annual Top Prospect - Milwaukee showcase for prospects headed into their senior years of high school. Each year, this showcase does well to spotlight some of the best incoming, uncommitted seniors in the area, and this year’s roster was especially talented.

We previously began our coverage of this showcase in the days that followed the event, in the form of our Quick Hits and Statistical Analysis posts. We started our positional analysis on Monday, with the day’s catchers, and we’re onto the infielders today.

A couple of the state’s top-ranked uncommitted seniors pace this group at the top: Nicklas Williams (Union Grove) and Austin Bestul (Elkhorn). While Williams is carried by his natural right-handed bat – featuring both the feel to hit and for power – we’ve seen the Union Grove prospect show well defensively at second, third, and even behind the plate this summer. His versatility defensively is highly intriguing, considering the bat is probably his best tool.

As for Bestul, he offers genuine two-way potential. He’s been up into the 87 mph range this summer in front of our staff and he’s also a superior athlete, which shows well up the middle on defense.

Check out their scouting reports below, as well as the rest of the seniors who took reps as infielders at this mid-July event.

TOP INFIELD PROSPECTS

1. Nicklas Williams, Union Grove (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: INF/C; a strong multi-positional prospect with bat strength.
Body: 6-0, 180-pounds. Proportional strength tacked onto an athletic frame. Strong wrists and forearms.
Hit: SH. Balanced setup, athletic base, smooth load with a slight wrap, strides to even.  Athletic hands with loose bat speed, short path through the zone, elevated attack angle at times. Knack for the barrel, gap-to-gap approach, juice to the pull-side. Fluid controlled actions throughout.
Power: 93 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 87 mph. Short arm path, high 3/4 slot. Capable of throwing from multiple arm angles on the move.
Defense: Athletic up-the-middle actions. Bouncy defender, quick feet that work well in rhythm, range to the glove-side. Soft hands, clean funnels, quick to release. Silky-smooth advanced actions.
Run: 6.97 runner in the 60. 

2. Austin Bestul, Elkhorn (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: SS/RHP; a tooled-up two-way player still uncommitted in the state’s senior class.
Body: 5-9, 170-pounds. Athletic frame, strong lower half.
Hit: RH. Balanced setup with a slightly open base, minimal load, quick toe-turn timing trigger. Quiet pre-pitch actions.  Simple swing, quick hands, short bat path with an optimal amount of elevation, gap-to-gap approach. Feel for the barrel, loose juice to the pull-side.
Power: 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. Max exit speed of 93.81 mph and an average exit speed of 87.76 mph in BP, per TrackMan, with a max flyball distance of 350 ft.
Arm: RH. INF - 86 mph. Short and loose arm action, 3/4 slot that works from multiple angles on the move. Above-average arm speed for age.
Defense: Athletic feet, quick first step, controlled actions on the move. Steady hands, quick funnels, clean to release, smooth double play actions.
Run: 7.08 runner in the 60. 

3. Ryan Blanchard, Kettle Moraine (WI), 2021; Quincy commit
Positional Profile: SS/2B; a riser this summer in the 2021 class.
Body: 5-9, 165-pounds. Compact, well-proportioned build.
Hit: RH. Balanced setup, active pre-pitch bat waggle, inward toe-turn timing trigger,  Athletic hands with strength, short and uphill path, elevates through contact, gap-to-gap approach. Present bat strength, showed raw power to the pull-side.
Power: 93 mph exit velocity from the tee. Recorded a max exit speed of 95.26 mph in BP, per TrackMan.
Arm: RH. INF - 79 mph. Short and loose arm action, 3/4 slot. Worked from multiple arm angles, especially on the move.
Defense: Bouncy pre-pitch rhythm, athletic feet that work to the baseball, comfortable actions on the move. Steady hands, smooth funnels, quick to release, plays through the baseball.
Run: 7.24 runner in the 60. 

4. Cade Neuber, Slinger (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: 3B; interesting hit/power profile with smooth actions on defense.
Body: 5-10, 175-pounds. Lean, athletic build; room to add more strength.
Hit: RH. Balanced setup, smooth load, steady leg lift trigger, strong lead leg block.  Athletic hands with twitch, short and uphill path, excels at elevating the baseball. Gap-to-gap approach, flashed middle-in juice, consistently hits in a fluid rhythm.
Power: 90 mph exit velocity from the tee. Natural loft in swing creates some viable power potential; averaged the furthest distance at this event (298 feet).
Arm: RH. INF - 79 mph. Short and loose arm action, high 3/4 slot. Works from a lower 3/4 slot on the move.
Defense: Bouncy pre-pitch defender, athletic fielding position, feet field in a fluid rhythm. Soft hands, clean hand transfer, quick to release at times. Defends with an innate confidence; savvy up-the-middle future profile.
Run: 7.41 runner in the 60. 

5. Gabe Roessler, Hononegah (IL), 2021
Positional Profile: SS/OF
Body: 6-2, 175-pounds. Lean, wiry frame that projects.
Hit: RH. Tall setup, narrow base, bat rests narrow over back shoulder, hands tuck at load, steady leg lift timing trigger.  Uphill path, works under the baseball, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 80 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 85 mph. Short arm path works from a loose high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Patient to the baseball, athletic base, feet field in rhythm, comfortable on the move. Soft hands work out in front, smooth funnels, quick hand transfer, plays through.
Run: 6.90 runner in the 60. 

6. James Rae, Verona Area (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: 3B
Body: 6-2, 215-pounds. Well-proportioned frame that projects to add strength with more physical development.
Hit: RH. Balanced setup, active pre-pitch rhythm in hands, minimal load, quick leg lift trigger.  Short and uphill path, hits out front, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 80 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 84 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Athletic fielding position, feet work around the baseball, steady hands play out front and low to the ground. Clean funnels, quick to release at times, third base profile.
Run: 7.47 runner in the 60. 

7. Mason Kirchberg, DeForest (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: 3B/2B
Body: 6-0, 190-pounds. All-around strong frame, broad shoulders.
Hit: RH. Balanced setup, smooth load, short stride, maintains posture through contact.  Strong hands, loose bat speed, short and simple stroke, elevates the baseball. Consistent feel for the barrel, works inside the baseball, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 91 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 80 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot. Multiple arm angles on the move, including a low 3/4 release.
Defense: Feet work around the baseball, steady two-hand gather, clean transfer.
Run: 7.05 runner in the 60. 

8. Ryland Wall, Holmen (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: 3B
Body: 6-3, 195-pounds. Lean and lanky frame that projects.
Hit: RH. Tall setup, minimal hand movement at load, quick leg lift timing trigger.  Strong hands and wrists, raw bat strength, short path with an elevated attack angle, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 87 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 82 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Active feet, moves well up the middle, covers ground. Two-hand gather, corner infield profile.
Run: 7.30 runner in the 60. 

9. Carter Wambach, Sun Prairie (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: 3B/RHP
Body: 6-2, 190-pounds. Strong lower half.
Hit: LH. Balanced setup, fluid pre-pitch rhythm, smooth load, short stride to even.  Strong hands, short and uphill bat path, barrels out front, elevates. Gap-to-gap approach, flashed loose power to the pull-side.
Power: 90 mph exit velocity from the tee. Max exit speed of 92.91 mph with an average exit speed of 86.12 mph in BP, per TrackMan.
Arm: RH. INF - 83 mph. Compact arm circle works from a loose high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Bouncy pre-pitch defender, rhythmic footwork, steady on the move. Hands play out front of body, secure exchange, some pack pre-release.
Run: 7.25 runner in the 60. 

10. Matthew Perry, Bay Port (WI), 2021; St. Cloud State commit
Positional Profile: SS/2B
Body: 5-9, 170-pounds. Compact, athletic frame.
Hit: RH. Balanced setup, slightly open base, fluid pre-pitch rhythm, smooth load, strides to even.  Short and level path, line drive type hitter, all fields approach. Confident bat-to-ball skills, goes with the pitch, smooth rhythm throughout.
Power: 89 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 80 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Bouncy pre-pitch rhythm, athletic base, feet work in rhythm around the baseball. Steady hands, quick funnel, smooth double play turn. Profiles best at second base.
Run: 7.07 runner in the 60.

BEST OF THE REST (LISTED ALPHABETICALLY)

Bradon Ahn, Marquette University (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: SS/2B
Body: 5-9, 145-pounds. Lean, athletic frame.
Hit: RH. Open setup, balanced base, smooth load, short stride to even, controlled posture through contact.  Loose athletic hands, short path, elevated attack angle. Line drive approach, fluid rhythm throughout.
Power: 83 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 74 mph. Loose arm action works from a quick 3/4 slot.
Defense: Smooth infield actions. Rhythmic footwork, moves well on his feet with range to both sides. Soft hands, works out front, clean exchange and quick to release. Fluid double play and run through actions. Savvy up-the-middle defender, second base profile.
Run: 6.92 runner in the 60. 

Jacob Borchert, New Berlin Eisenhower (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: RHP/3B
Body: 6-2, 185-pounds. Athletic, well-proportioned frame.
Hit: RH. Balanced setup, slightly open base, bat coil at load, leg lift timing trigger.  Quick hands, short and uphill path, pull-side approach, swings with intent.
Power: 91 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 83 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Tempoed infield actions, patient to the baseball, two-hand gather, glove plays out front, length to release.
Run: 7.81 runner in the 60. 

James Bornick, Bay Port (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: 3B/SS
Body: 6-2, 165-pounds. Slender, wiry makeup.
Hit: LH. Open setup, front arm bars at load, quick leg kick timing trigger.  Uphill bat path with natural loft, meets the ball out front, consistent hard contact. Wiry pull-side power, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Max exit speed of 94.21 mph with an average exit speed of 88.25 mph in BP, per TrackMan. Max fly ball distance of 368 ft.
Arm: RH. INF - 78 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 slot
Defense: Feet play to the baseball, works around at times, clean exchange, length to release.
Run: 7.33 runner in the 60. 

Adam Bretsch, Marquette University (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: 3B/RHP
Body: 5-10, 185-pounds. Strong, athletic frame.
Hit: RH. Quiet in the box, open setup, balanced base, fluid load, smooth leg lift trigger.  Simple stroke, short and level path, some feel for the barrel. Line drive approach, repeats.
Power: 93 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 78 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot. Worked from a 3/4 slot on the move.
Defense: Fluid feet that work in rhythm, athletic fielding position, comfortable on the move. Plays low to the ground, steady hands work out front, clean exchange, quick to release.
Run: 6.94 runner in the 60. 

Thomas Ellisen, Kimberly (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: RHP/SS
Body: 6-3, 180-pounds. Lanky, high-upside frame that projects.
Hit: RH. Balanced setup with an open base, bat wraps at load, short stride.  Short path with elevation through contact, line drive type approach.
Power: 87 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 82 mph. Long and loose arm action, over-the-top slot.
Defense: Patient to the baseball, athletic base, steady hands, quick hand transfer, pack to release.
Run: 7.20 runner in the 60. 

Ridge Guyette, Hilbert (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: 3B/1B
Body: 6-1, 225-pounds. Strong all-around frame, durable lower half.
Hit: RH. Balanced setup, slightly open base, bars at load, high leg kick timing trigger.  Natural bat speed, strong hands with twitch, short and uphill path. Raw bat strength, all-fields approach, knack for the barrel.
Power: 92 mph exit velocity from the tee. Physical presence in the box with natural power to pair; max exit speed of 97.62 mph and average exit speed of 88.59 mph in BP, per TrackMan.
Arm: RH. INF - 77 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Active pre-pitch defender, fields low to the ground, hands work out front. Secure funnels, clean exchange, some length to release.
Run: 8.02 runner in the 60. 

Chase Hanselman, Neenah (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: SS
Body: 6-0, 170-pounds. Athletic, well-proportioned frame.
Hit: RH. Quiet in the box, athletic balanced setup, smooth load, steady leg lift trigger.  Simple stroke, short and uphill path, gap-to-gap approach. Contact-oriented profile, hits in rhythm, repeats well.
Power: 84 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 81 mph. Short arm action, 3/4 slot.
Defense: Quick first step, fluid feet that work in rhythm, comfortable actions on the move. Soft hands, fields out front, clean through release, plays through the baseball.
Run: 7.33 runner in the 60. 

Thomas Hunt, Almond-Bancroft (WI), 2021; Bryant & Stratton commit
Positional Profile: RHP/3B
Body: 6-0, 190-pounds. Strong lower half.
Hit: LH. Open setup, closed front toe, early weight shift onto back leg, high leg kick trigger.  Quick hands with strength, short and uphill path, extends through contact, pull-side approach. Showed raw power to the pull-side.
Power: 93 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 87 mph. Short and loose arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Tempoed rhythm defensively, hands work under center of body, length to release. Corner infield profile.
Run: 7.74 runner in the 60. 

Luke Kracik, Maine South (IL), 2021
Positional Profile: SS/RHP
Body: 6-0, 175-pounds. Athletic, twitchy frame.
Hit: LH. Open setup, slight weight shift onto back leg, minimal load, quick leg kick trigger.  Twitchy hands with natural bat speed, short bat path, line drive type approach, pull-side tendency.
Power: 86 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 81 mph. Compact arm action, high 3/4 slot. Works from a lower 3/4 slot on the move.
Defense: Bouncy pre-pitch rhythm, athletic feet, two-hand gather, quick transfer from glove to hand.
Run: 6.89 runner in the 60. 

Darryl Loyd III, Morgan Park (IL), 2021
Positional Profile: 1B/LHP
Body: 6-2, 210-pounds. Strong, physical frame. Sturdy lower half.
Hit: SH. Balanced setup, simple load, leg lift timing trigger, similar setup from both sides.  Strong hands with bat speed, present raw bat strength, short and level stroke. Feel for the barrel, gap-to-gap approach, pull-side tendency, swings with intent.
Power: 92 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: LH. INF - 77 mph. OF - 76 mph. Short arm path, over-the-top slot.
Defense: Worked out in the outfield and at first base, profiles best as an infielder long-term. Steady two-hand gather, some footwork feel on double-play feed.
Run: 7.93 runner in the 60. 

Jared Mitchell, Random Lake (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: 1B/OF
Body: 6-0, 227-pounds.
Hit: LH. Tall setup, slightly open base, bat rests vertical directly over back leg, leg lift timing trigger.  Present bat strength, long and level path, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Recorded a max exit speed of 98.27 mph in BP, per TrackMan.
Arm: LH. INF - 67 mph. Compact arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Active defender, patient to the baseball, two-hand gather under center of body.
Run: 7.44 runner in the 60. 

Jacob Modjeski, Port Washington (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: 1B
Body: 5-11, 195-pounds.
Hit: RH. Quiet in the box, balanced setup, wide base, smooth load, short stride.  Simple swing, quick hands, short and uphill path, gap-to-gap approach. Natural power to the pull-side, bat strength, controlled rhythm throughout.
Power: 92 mph exit velocity from the tee. Loud on the barrel; recorded a max exit speed of 93.59 mph with an average exit speed of 88.69 mph in BP, per TrackMan.
Arm: RH. INF - 71 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Fields low to the ground, hands work out front, some feel around the bag.
Run: 7.29 runner in the 60. 

Harrison Toone, Brookfield East (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: 2B/RHP
Body: 5-7, 145-pounds. Lean, athletic build.
Hit: RH. Tall setup, slight bend in knees, open base. Fluid pre-pitch rhythm, smooth load, steady leg lift timing trigger.  Simple swing, loose hands, short and level path, line drive approach at the plate, repeats.
Power: 83 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. INF - 81 mph. Short and loose arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: Savvy up-the-middle actions. Athletic feet, quick first step, comfortable actions on the move, strong body control. Soft hands, gloves plays out front, lightning quick transfer, clean to release. Profiles best at second base long term; advanced defender.
Run: 7.62 runner in the 60.

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