Back

Top Prospect - Milwaukee: Quick Hits


By Wisconsin Staff

On Tuesday, July 16, the PBR Wisconsin team hosted one of its biggest annual showcases on its calendar: Top Prospect - Milwaukee. The event hosts some of the top uncommitted talent in the state’s incoming senior class, the 2020 class, and provides prospects with the platform to perform in front of a collection of college recruiting coordinators.

Nearly 70 prospects made it out to The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin, Wis., yesterday to participate in the showcase and scrimmage, and today we’re revealing some of the day’s highlights and top performances.

Check out our Quick Hits below for rapid analysis on Tuesday’s event, and keep an eye out tomorrow when we publish all our measured statistical data taken.

QUICK HITS

BIG BATS

+ One of the biggest power bats in Wisconsin’s 2020 class remains on the market: Thomas Otto (Appleton North). The 6-foot-2, 200-pound, right-handed hitter had a big BP where he showcased some all-fields juice and it translated to gameplay, too. He turned around an 86 mph fastball on the inner half against one of the top uncommitted arms in attendance and slugged a no-doubt bomb over the left field fence. And despite his hulking size, Otto moves well behind the dish and his actions have only gotten better in our looks. Regardless of where he slots in defensively, his bat is going to provide some lineup at the next level with some middle-of-the-order thump.

+ Jack Leverenz (Lake Country Lutheran) has long wielded one of the most physical left-handed bats in the state and it was on display at The Rock on Tuesday. During live gameplay, Leverenz tallied two hits, including one hard line-drive back up the middle. Leverenz’s bat works on an uphill plane with present bat strength, helped along by an aggressive approach in the box. He was making hard gap-to-gap contact in BP, and you’d have to think there’s even more upside here.

+ This 6-foot-4, 205-pound corner infielder is hard to miss – literally. Lukas Broske (West Bend West) swings a loud right-handed bat, and is another prospect who made it work in-game. He barreled a double deep to his opposite field on an 83 mph fastball. That oppo double fits his offensive profile well. His physical, fast bat has some rhythm through contact and he’s able to use his big frame to lift the ball to all fields. While Broske’s swing path can get a little long, his easy all-fields pop leaves a lot to the imagination.

+ We had one other home run in the afternoon’s gameplay, and it came off the bat of Anthony Pogodzinski (Eau Claire North). The 5-foot-11, 225-pound lefty swings a fast, fluid bat, especially for his size, and it obviously plays in-game. His homer came in a left-left match-up too, which helps prove his natural feel to hit.

ON-THE-RISE FOLLOWS

+ First of all, Avery Owusu-Asiedu (Waukesha West) is only a member of the 2020 class because of his work in the classroom. The Waukesha West prospect is playing up grade because of his academic aptitude. Secondly, his athletic 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame has long been among the most tantalizing in the state, but Owusu-Asiedu has really begun to harness it over the last six months or so. His toolset is unmatched, as a right/right bat with power potential who can also run a 6.81 in the 60-yard dash. At The Rock, Owusu-Asiedu showed an improved feel for the barrel and his frame could even withstand more strength to add. And given his present bat strength, it’s exciting to wonder what an all-around athlete like this would look like swinging an even stronger bat. Few in the state have the upside like Owusu-Asiedu.

+ Jaden Werner (Crivitz) was one of the bigger revelations of the day. We first saw Werner back in February, and he’s taken his game to a new level. Werner first impressed with his natural defensive actions in the middle of the infield. He defends athletically and it shows in his arm action on ability to glide to the groundballs on the move. Offensively, he impressed with his approach in the box. Werner is a natural line-drive hitter who works the middle of the field, but flashed some pull-side pop in game play on the very next pitch after taking a pitch high and tight off the back of his shoulder.

+ We’ve personally circled Brady Jurgella’s (Menasha) name this summer as a prospect to follow closely, so we were excited to see him up close at Tuesday’s event and he did not disappoint. Jurgella showed us more of the same; he’s an easy athlete with a strong arm with defensive versatility. While his arm strength might be his best tool, his defensive actions and left-handed bat are right there with it. He’s a soft-handed defender who puts in the work at the plate with a smooth line-drive approach that’s able to fill up the gaps.

+ Jack Heiring (Kenosha Christian Life) is the epitome of projection. At 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, he clearly looks the part with more added strength to carry. Heiring is just a natural left/left athlete who moves effortlessly in the outfield and uses loose hands at the plate to create bat speed through the zone and hard gap-to-gap contact. Certainly, the tools are here to produce well-rounded contributor at the next level.

+ We’ve been hearing reports on the kind of summer Kimberly’s Ben Coons is having for his club team, and the work he’s been putting in was evident yesterday. Coons fills the typical Papermaker mold – a hard-nosed competitor who knows how to work an at-bat and battle with two strikes. He’s a compact, muscular middle infielder who produced a couple opposite-field line-drive singles in gameplay.

THE TOOLSHED

+ Sun Prairie’s Matthew DePrey earned his reputation as one of the state’s best backstops. At The Rock, he made his work behind the plate look easy. He was the top defensive catcher in attendance; his throws to second carried (topped 74 mph) and he explodes out of the crouch, leading to the lowest average pop times in the workout, including an event-low 1.93 mark. He also has a quiet, simple right-handed bat with a smart approach, making his entire profile that much more enticing for recruiters.

+ OF Jacyk Uehling (South Milwaukee) was the odds-on pick to produce the fastest 60-yard time and he pulled through with an event-best 6.63 mark. In gameplay, Uehling is determined to make the most out of his plus speed both on the basepaths and out of left-handed batter’s box. He laid down a perfect drag bunt that didn’t even yield a throw to first, and he’s constantly testing pitchers and catchers with his big leads to quick jumps. Back in the batter’s box, he’s a competitive lefty bat who’s simply looking to make enough contact to get to first base. This profile helps his bat play better in-game than it does in BP, but his skillset makes him a highly interesting follow at the next level.

+ Eric Hughes (Janesville Craig) is a tooled-up outfielder with a strong, athletic build and easy actions all over the diamond. That athleticism plays especially well in the right-handed batter’s box where he swings a balanced, fluid bat with sneaky bat strength to the gaps. He ran a personal-PBR-best 6.89 time in the 60-yard dash and recorded a top outfield velocity of 87 mph and an exit velocity of 86 mph. We’ve also seen him reach 84 mph on the mound in the past. Hughes has a dynamic profile and it should make him one of the top commodities on Wisconsin’s 2020s remaining on the market.

+ Riley Zirbel (Lake Mills) ran the second-fastest 60 time (6.71) and also offers some value in the right-handed batter’s box and in the middle of the infield on defense. His twitchy actions work at the plate and help him generate bat speed and hard contact, especially for his 5-foot-10, 155-pound frame. On defense, he has solid-average hands with above-average arm strength. Zirbel’s collection of tools makes him one of the most intriguing next-level bets in attendance at The Rock.

ON THE BARREL

+ Two of the day’s cleanest rounds of batting practice came from left-handed hitters Eduardo Saucedo (Oregon) and Brayden Gorecki (Sussex Hamilton). Saucedo was able to spray line-drive contact to all fields with relatively low effort, and Gorecki’s bat looks similar. The Hamilton infielder is short to the baseball and creates hard up-the-middle contact. The two are also savvy, reliable defenders who fit the middle infield mold.

+ One of the days best BPs belongs to West De Pere’s Ethan Habetler. The right-handed third baseman has a quiet, aggressive right-handed swing and was constantly finding the barrel during batting practice. He was regularly producing hard all-fields contact and flew out to deep right during gameplay, showing off that ability to barrel baseballs from foul pole to foul pole.

+ Call Verlanic (Bay Port) took a big round of BP and sits in the box with one of the more comfortable intentful approaches of the day. He routinely found the barrel with authority and has a confident swagger that translated to gap to gap pop that should play well at the next level. 

+ From Arrowhead, left/left two-way prospect Jacob Cinelli’s BP could be categorized with some of the day’s top performers. He swings a fast, powerful bat that produced some of the hardest contact of the day, utilizing both gaps. Cinelli separates himself with his work on the mound. Just like his advanced bat strength, he has some real arm strength on the mound, too. His fastball sat in the 80-81 mph range in-game, touching 82 mph a couple times, and it really carried well through the zone. His 1/7 curveball flashed sharp, tight break, giving him the makings of an out-pitch.

ON THE MOUND

+ Brookfield Central RHP Mitch Mueller grabbed our attention during the high school season with a stellar start against a ranked Wauwatosa East team and that momentum carried him to The Rock on Tuesday, where he shined. Mueller put together one of the day’s best performances on the mound. He has a strong and athletic frame and looks to have added useable strength to his lower half. Mueller uses an easy and athletic tall-and-fall delivery, controlled finish. Long, arm swing, quick arm speed with looseness out front, high 3/4 slot. Fastball had finish thougth the zone, worked both sides of the plate, came out easy with occasional cut, 84-86 mph. 

+ Mitchell Alba (Franklin) just turned in a great performance less than two weeks ago at the Badger State Battle, but it was nice to see him once more in this setting. He showcased a short, quick arm action with present arm strength. Fastball had finish through the zone, easy run at times, 82-85 mph, topped 86 mph. Alba showed his trademark breaking ball that plays as one of the best in the state for an uncommitted 2020; sharp 10/4 action with swing and miss break across the zone, present depth and arm speed. He has some two-way upside, too, and also singled in a run in the first pitch he saw at the plate.

+ RHP Carter Endisch (Arrowhead) has also been trending up this summer. He has live and loose actions on the mound, with arm speed coming out of a high ¾ slot. Endisch topped 86 mph with his fastball and was consistently working to elevate while ahead in the count.

+ From Cedar Grove-Belgium, RHP Brad Katte pounded the zone with his arsenal in a scoreless inning on the mound. Katte attacked hitters and put them away, striking out two swinging. Clean actions from first movement to release on the bump, muscled arm action, full swing out of an over the top slot, easy effort. Fastball plays straight, 82-84 mph. Curveball was a nice wrinkle pitch, shorter break,11/5 shape, used to keep hitters honest.

+ RHP Danny Perdzock (Milwaukee Lutheran) struck out two in his inning of work, both swinging. Sits on back side, still uses his 6-foot-6, 215-pound frame to create tilt towards the bottom of the zone. Short stride paired with a short arm action that works loose and out front. Fastball topped 86 mph with occasional cut, firm through the zone, sat 80-84 mph.

+ RHP Nick Cairo (Bradford) gave up some hard-hit contact on Tuesday, but he’s been trending up this summer and it’s clear why, as one of the top uncommitted arms in the state still. He sat 85-86 mph in his inning of work with a sweeping, slurve-y breaking ball. His repeatable motion and advanced arm strength still has him as one of the top arms to follow in the state’s on-the-market 2020 class.

+ Lanky lefty Addison Hochevar (Badger) just recently impressed us at last week’s Western Wisconsin Open, and it earned him an invite to The Rock where he looked solid once more. His loose and quick arm helped him a 78-81 mph fastball that plays up with his arm slot and ability to locate and spin it. He was also mixing in a 1/7 curveball with above-average action he showed feel for. This two-pitch mix, coupled with his highly projectable, thin 6-foot-3 frame, has landed him on the radar.

+ Another lefty to follow is Hortonville’s Reed Hafeman. His long, quick, and loose arm helped him dial up fastballs that topped 86 mph, but more regularly sit in the 81-84 mph range. He was primarily working off his fastball in yesterday’s outing, but he did show a firm straight changeup as well as an aggressive, downer slider thrown at arm speed.

+ Big righty Sam Scarlato (Indian Trail) didn’t need much other than his fastball in his inning of work on Tuesday. He attacked the strike zone with it, a heavy running and sinking 83-85 mph pitch. He confidently pounded both sides of the plate with feel and rhythm and an easy effort. He only threw (and needed) a few curveballs to mix in, but they were also better than we’d seen out of Scarlato in the past. An 11/5 breaker with solid depth and action that caught a couple hitters totally off balance. His arrow is pointed straight up after Tuesday.

+ Finally, two Illinois-area arms made it out to The Rock, both from Loyola Academy: the 6-foot-1, 220-pound RHPs Michael Ellingsen and Blake Oesterblad. Ellingsen pieced together a solid inning of work in gameplay. He sat 83-84 mph, touching 85 mph, with a straight four-seamer that he pounded the zone with, and earned some chases with a 11/5 breaking ball that flashed sharp action with feel. As for Oesterblad, he’s a tough look for righty bats. He hides the ball well and unleashes an 81-84 mph fastball, that touched one 85 mph, that comes up on hitters quickly. He also threw a couple power sliders with sharp action and real swing-and-miss potential, 71-74 mph.

RELATED CONTENT