Top Ten Stories of 2016: No. 1 The Year of Gavin Lux

By Steve Nielsen & Matt Huck
PBR Wisconsin Scouting Staff

Over the next few weeks in addition to highlighting the Top 10 Player Profiles of 2016, we will also highlight the Top 10 Stories in Wisconsin High School Baseball during 2016.

We continue the the Top Ten Stories of 2016 with:
#1 - The Year of Gavin Lux

Gavin Lux completed one of the more high profile years in Wisconsin high school baseball history. In the days of social media and instant news, Lux's name was splattered across every experts top this and top that list, while several of MLB's GM's and cross checkers made their way to the Badger State to see the highly touted prospect, finishing his 2016 season with a 20th overall selection by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the MLB Draft. Here's a recap of how it all went down.

2016 Super 60

Lux was long known as a high level defender but struggled with the bat on the summer showcase circuit in 2015. At the Super 60 he showed improved mechanics and even showed off some pullside power giving scouts more to dream on heading into the spring season. 

2016 Super 60 - Arizona State recruit. 6-foot-2, 182-pound frame, athletic, projectable build; has begun to add muscle mass to frame. High-ceiling prospect, left-handed hitting shortstop, one of the top middle infield prospects in the 2016 draft class. Top-level defender, athletic actions, easy, fluid footwork, fields ball in rhythm; plus hands with quick transfer, overall advanced feel for position. Plus arm strength, registered event-best 90 mph across the infield, ability to throw with strength and accuracy from multiple angles and on the move. Offensively, premium left-handed hitting shortstop, line-drive approach, loose, easy hands, present bat speed, level path. Athletic setup, smooth leg lift back, advanced rhythm, active lower half, maintains excellent balance through contact, repeats well. Registered 93 mph exit velocity; ran a 6.86 laser-timed 60.

Spring Season

Lux was a man on a mission during the spring season and it showed in a big way. Lux hit .524 with six home runs, 30 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases.

4/26/16 - Arizona State commit. Currently ranked No. 27 in the PBR Draft 100. Multiple national level scouts on hand to see him on a brutally cold day. Has seen his draft stock rise this year, showing improvement with the bat form the summer. Playing with a chip on his shoulder this spring. 6-foot-2, 182-pound left-handed hitting shortstop with an athletic frame, has continued to fill out physically with room to add more strength. Offensively had a big day at the plate going 2-3 with a home run. Hits from a balanced setup with a leg lift trigger. Short, uphill swing path with fast hands, creating whip. Gets extension thru contact. Jumped on the first pitch of the game for a homerun to leftfield. Second at bat turned around another first pitch fastball for a single to left. In his final plate appearance worked the count to 3-0 and then popped up on the infield, reaching on an error. Well known for his exploits on the defensive side. Turned what should have been a routine single into a close play at first ranging deep into the hole after the third baseman wiffed on a one hopper, jumping and making a strong throw across the diamond.

No. 2 Indian Trail defeats No. 1 Arrowhead

Wed May 18, 2016

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

HARTLAND, WI – No. 1 Arrowhead hosted No. 2 Indian Trail on Wednesday afternoon for a battle of the top teams in the state. The story of the game, and this spring has been the rise of Gavin Lux, and that storyline continued to play out on Wednesday. Indian Trail jumped on Arrowhead for an 11-4 victory.

Gavin LuxLux, an Arizona State commit, has continued to see his draft stock rise this spring. Wednesday was no different with numerous front office executives in attendance to see the 6-foot-2, 182-pound left-handed hitting shortstop. Lux has always been known for his work on the defensive side of the ball, with actions and fluidity that is rarely seen in the north. One of the questions was how his bat was going to play this spring, and he has come thru in a big way. In the top of the fifth Lux came to bat with the bases loaded and drove a pitch over the right center field fence for a grand slam. Working with a 10-4 lead in the top of the seventh Lux came up, this time with no one on, and drove the ball over the fence again for a solo shot. He finished the day 2-4 with two homers and five RBIs.

The game was scoreless through three innings with each team mustering only one hit apiece. In the top of the fourth Indian Trail got on the board first as Ryan Hoerter singled to start the inning and Nick Elsen followed with a double. Griffin Klein drove in Hoerter and Elsen with a two out double to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.

Arrowhead answered in the bottom of the fourth when Jeff Holtz singled to start the inning and after a Nate Brown double put runners at second and third with nobody out. Johnny Duranso grounded out to make it 2-1.

Indian Trail exploded for eight runs in the fifth inning highlighted by the Lux slam and a two run double from Nick Elsen. 

Indian Trail moves to 17-2 on the year and plays again tomorrow against Racine Park. Arrowhead drops to 18-2 and has a big matchup with No. 15 Oconomowoc tomorrow and Friday.

MLB Draft

Only 20 players have been drafted out of high school in the last ten years, with only five singing. Dan Jansen was the last player to be drafted and sign back in 2013. Jansen was a 16th round pick of the Blue Jays out of Appleton West High School. The last high schooler drafted in Wisconsin came in 2014 when Jeren Kendall (Holmen HS) was a high profile draft follow who garnered rumblings of top round action, but his commitment to Vanderbilt proved too strong to warrant a top round pick. Kendall ended up going in the 30th round that year to the Boston Red Sox and is on track to be a high pick out of Vanderbilt in 2017.

A Wisconsin High School has not produced a first rounder since 1979 and 2016 changed all of that. Gavin Lux (Indian Trail HS) became the highest high school draft out of the Badger State since 1979 when the Los Angeles Dodgers called his name in the first round with the 20th overall selection. Lux had been steadily climbing draft boards with his play this spring and his makeup both on and off the field. We’ve heard all the scouting reports on his defensive abilities and the high ceiling on his bat, but he is the epitome of a true grinder and it’s his makeup to play 162 games a year that may be his best tool.

Lux's 20th overall selection by the Los Angeles Dodgers was shortly followed by inking his professional contract for just over $2.3 million dollars. Lux finished up his first pro season hitting .296 with a .375 OBP in 56 games across two Rookie League stops.

2016 News on LUX

Top Ten Stories of 2016