Prep Baseball Report

Underclass Trials: Quick Hits

By Wisconsin Scouting Staff

The Wisconsin Underclass Trials is one of the most highly attended events in the PBR summer showcase circuit, with over 100 talented players from the Wisconsin 2021, 2022, and 2023 graduating classes in attendance. This year’s event was originally scheduled to take place at The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin, WI., but less-than-ideal weather moved the showcase indoors to Hitters Baseball Academy in Caledonia. 

On top of being one of our most successful showcases of the summer, this event will also help our staff identify potential prospects for the PBR Future Games and the Underclass Games. The Future Games will feature the country’s best 2021 prospects, taking place in Cartersville, Ga., from July 31 to August 3 at the state-of-the-art LakePoint complex. As for the Underclass Games, that event will be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago on July 23 and will bring together some of the best 2022 prospects from Illinois and Wisconsin to participate in a prestigious invite-only showcase. 

Over the coming weeks, we will continue to pump out content from this particular event. Keep an eye out for all sorts of content, including a statistical story, and in-depth positional breakdowns for each player that attended the showcase. For now, here is a look at some of the top performances from the event: 

  • RHP Isaac Engelbrecht (Oak Creek, 2021) was arguably the top pitching prospect at the event, impressing scouts with what he did on the mound. Fresh off a state playoff appearance with Oak Creek, Engelbrecht is a physical right-handed pitcher that is one of the top overall prospects in the 2021 Wisconsin graduating class. Engelbrecht’s fastball sat between 84-85 mph and touched 86 mph. His 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame suggests that there’s more left in the tank as he continues to mature. Engelbrecht also displayed advanced feel for a 12/6 curveball with sharp action.

  • Another pitcher that impressed at the event was Isaiah Cerfus, (Union Grove, 2021) a 6-foot-1 right-hander with a strong and muscular build. He recorded the highest fastball velocity at the event, 87 mph, and sat between 85-86 mph with his heater. Cerfus has a four-pitch mix with feel for a slider that is aggressive and thrown near fastball arm speed. 

  • Southpaw Alex Hayes (Muskego, 2021) is the number two overall pitching prospect for the WI 2021 class and did not disappoint at the event. A physical lefty, Hayes fastball sat between 81-83 mph with life and feel. His quick and loose arm allow him to throw a sharp 11/5 curveball that works as his best secondary offering. He is currently still uncommitted. 

  • Jonathan Kim (Brookfield Academy, 2022) had arguably the best performance from a 2022 prospect at the event. Kim is a solid left/left two-way prospect and started off his showcase on the right foot with a 7.06 60-yard dash, one of the top times at the event. His 88 mph exit velocity was one of the highest at the event, regardless of class, and Kim swings a fast bat that consistently barrels the baseball. On the mound, Kim’s fastball sat between 78-81 mph and touched 83 mph with arm side run. He also featured a 1/7 curveball with sharp action and a firm changeup thrown near fastball arm speed with fading action. 

  • A handful of 2023 prospects attended the Underclass Trials, with Eli Zollar (Ashwaubenon) having one of the best performance of the bunch. The two-way prospect is a strong 6-foot-2 with potentially more room to grow. Zollar has a simple swing and posted an exit velocity of 88 mph off the tee. He impressed particularly on the mound, where his fastball sat between 75-77 mph and reached 79 mph. He also displayed an 11/5 curveball with sharp action and a sinking changeup thrown with near fastball arm speed 

  • Two-way prospect Gradin Taschner (Neenah, 2022) caught the attention of scouts at the event. The son of former major leaguer Jack Taschner showcased a rocket of an arm in the field with an infield velocity of 84 mph with carry on his throws. He swings a quick bat with a short path to the baseball and showed the ability to spray the gaps. On the mound, Taschner’s fastball sat between 78-81 mph and topped out at 82 mph with a long and loose arm action. Taschner is projectible on the mound and is someone you should keep an eye out for in the 2022 class. 

  • Left-handed hitting infielder Max Stocco (Marquette University, 2022) made himself a name to remember due to his performance both offensively and defensively at the event. His soft hands with fluid footwork and a clean exchange make him a well-rounded defensive infielder, while his arm projects to improve. At the plate, Stocco has an advanced approach from  the left side, while swingingg a quick and fluid bat that consistently produces line drives. 

  • One of the top infielders at the event was MIF/RHP Harrison Toone (Brookfield East, 2021) Toone was solid in the field, showcasing a quick and clean exchange that likely plays better at second base as he ages. He swings a quick bat with fluid rhythm throughout his swing and sprayed line drives in the live BP session.

  • Noah Berndt (Winneconne, 2021) was a standout both offensively and defensively behind the plate at the event. His 91 mph exit velocity was one of the highest at the showcase, and with a build frame like his, you’ll likely see that number continue to climb as he gets older. He swings a quick bat from the right side with good balance and some pop in it. Behind the plate, Berndt’s lowest posted pop time was 2.13, one of the best times amongst the catchers who participated at the event. 

  • RHP/INF James Reese (University School of Milwaukee, 2022) is yet another two-way prospect from the 2022 class that caught the attention of scouts at the event. At the plate, Reese swings a quick bat and a projectibile hit tool. On the mound, the right-hander saw his fastball touch 84 mph while consistently sitting between 80-82 mph. He showcased a changeup thrown with fastball arm speed that also had sinking action and plays off his fastball well. 

  • Peyton Seebacher (Muskego, 2021) is a left-handed hitting outfielder with an athletic frame that looked the part both defensively and at the plate. His long and loose arm action produced carry on his throws from the outfield and recorded one of the event’s highest outfield velocities at 85 mph. At the plate, Seebacher swings a fast bat with a simple and short path to the ball that produces line drives. 

  • Outfielder Anthony Gross (Catholic Memorial, 2021) was easily one of the top outfield prospects at the event. He recorded the highest outfield velocity, 87 mph, at the event and displayed natural defensive instincts in the outfield. Gross also swings a fast bat with a gap-to-gap approach and fluid rhythm throughout his swing. He’s an interesting player to follow in the 2021 class.