West Milwaukee Preseason I.D.: Quick Hits


Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor - Wisconsin/Illinois

The second Preseason I.D. of 2019 concluded on Sunday with the West Milwaukee Preseason I.D. Almost 100 prospects were in attendance, ranging from 2019 to 2022 graduates (CLICK HERE for roster), and the theme of the day seemed to be improved velocity on the mound. The pitching portion was clearly the event winner and saw several of the states already known prospect take a step to the next level.

Here’s a quick look at our first impressions from the event and some names to keep an eye on in the future.

ON THE RISE, ON THE MOUND

Two of the more notable risers of the day go to RHP Chris Byhre (Catholic Memorial) and RHP Drew Stippich (Kettle Moraine).

Byhre has been a ranked prospect since first seeing him touch 87 mph as a freshman. It’s been a while since we’ve seen that high end velocity, but it is clearly back and better than ever. Byhre showcased an electric fastball that touched 92 mph and sat 88-91 mph, making him one of the harder throwing right-handers in Wisconsin’s 2020 class.

Stippich’s velocity bump is even more impressive. His upside caught our attention back in May, enough for us to consider him for the Class of 2021 Rankings, but a move from 78-81 mph to sitting 87-88 mph was beyond our expectations. Stippich is an athletic pitcher, and pounded the zone with his upper 80’s fastball. His curveball is above average, but his changeup is presently better, showcasing hard sinking action at 76-78 mph.

It’s been about 11 months since last seeing 2020 RHP Carson Fluno (Sun Prairie) and its apparent he’s clearly been putting in the work. Fluno now comfortably sat 86-87 mph with firm four seam type finish. His slider is firm and shows downer action, but does not have the same type of feel he showed for a plus potential changeup.

RHP Gavin Hinckley (West Bend West, 2020) added to the heard of arms who showed velocity jumps. Hinckley sat 85-87 at the PBR Future Games back in August, and revved it up a few ticks heading into his junior season. Hinckley sat 87-88 mph, but touched 89 and 90 mph on his last two pitches. More impressively were his secondary offerings, a hard biting slider at 73-75 mph and a heavy changeup at 78-80 mph.

2020 RHP Brody Cypert (Waukesha South) took it to a new level on the mound. Cypert sat comfortably at 83-85 mph, a couple ticks higher from last seeing him. But then reached back for more at the end of his pen hitting 87-88 multiple times.

LHP Alex Hayes (Muskego, 2021) was one of our picks to click as mentioned in our preview story, and the 6-foot, 190-pound southpaw did not disappoint. Hayes has a clean arm action that spits out a heavier 81-83 mph fastball touching 84 mph to go along with a hard sharp curveball at 72-76 mph and an equally firm changeup at 77-79 mph.

RECEIVING THE VELO

Jonah Wronski (Marquette, 2020) again put together one of the better catching performances of the event. Wronski posted 2.11-2.16 pop times, his personal best at a PBR showcase, and again showed his trademark arm strength. He also posted his best 60 yard dash time at 7.23.

C Bryce Miller (Franklin, 2020) was trending up going into the offseason, and he appears to be continuing to head in that direction. He looks strong and durable at 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, ideal for his position. He has advanced arm strength and can get to it with accuracy resulting in 2.00 pop times. His bat shows continued improvements profiling him as a typical offensive catcher with right-handed pop.

2020 OUTFIELDERS SHOWED OFF

One of the brighter revelations of the day goes to 2020 Brayden Gorecki out of Sussex Hamilton. Gorecki showed vast improvements across the board, most notably running a 6.84 60 yard dash and upping his exit velocity to 92 mph from the left side. He’s a well rounded athlete who played outfield and infield positions, but could obviously prove more valuable if he can stick on the infield. Add a short handsy left-handed swing to the equation, and Gorecki posts a highly recruitable profile.

OF/LHP Dylan Nevar (Wisconsin Dells, 2020) is coming off of an impressive sophomore campaign, earning third team WBCA All-State honors to go along with first team All-Conference and South Central Conference Player of the Year. Nevar is clearly gaining momentum as a prospect as well. The left/left two-way player ran a 6.93 in the 60 and flashed hard contact at the dish. His two-way endeavors are definitely to be determined, as he also showed a premium curveball to go along with feel for an 82-84 mph fastball.

OF Avery Owusu-Asiedu (Waukesha West, 2020) is a unique prospect. Young for his graduating class, Owusu-Asiedu doesn’t look it. Standing 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, he puts his size to good use at the dish showing off right-handed pop while also running an impressive 7.26 for his size.

AT THE TOPS OF THEIR CLASS

OF Alex Ryan (Lakeside Lutheran, 2020) showed off trademark tools across the board. He’s a high level athlete that should profile in centerfield with an above average arm (87 mph), advanced speed (6.79) and a loose gap to gap approach that keeps his barrel in the zone. Ryan is a natural athlete and top 15 prospect in the state.

Switch hitting outfielder Q Phillips (Brookfield East) is a rare commodity. He’s advanced across the board running a 6.94 in the 60, 85 mph arm from the outfield and posting his best exit velocity from the left side at 91 mph and his state ranking of No. 10 in the 2021 class speaks for itself. Phillips has natural feel for the game and a sincere determination. In fact the sophomore must have been waiting for the facility doors to open, as he was already getting tee work in before our staff arrived for the day.

INFIELDERS TO FOLLOW

3B/RHP Conner Haggerty (Onalaska, 2020) showed off some of the better right handed power on the day. Haggerty posted a 93 mph exit velocity from the tee and put it to work in BP as the ball jumped off his bat at times.

INF Cade Neuber (Slinger, 2021) showed improvements across the board, most notably his infield arm strength, up to 85 mph across the diamond, he shows the ability to potentially play the left side, while the quality of contact off his bat has also improved.

2021 Bobby Ball (Brookfield Central) put his first PBR showcase to good use, showcasing as arguable the top infield prospect in attendance. We had seen Ball at previous workouts as he’s a top 50 ranked player in the state. His arm plays plenty for the left side, and his actions and hands will stick up the middle. His pace of play is what sets him apart on the infield, he plays fast with quick feet, suggesting even his 7.05 60 time plays up.

2022 Aiden Haney (Catholic Memorial) caught our attention with some natural actions on the infield and a compact swing at the plate. Haney likely profiles as a middle of the diamond defender with an above average bat.

In the 2022 class Emiliano Ramos (Arrowhead) showed one of the better bats of the event. His exit velocity of 91 mph was best in his class and showed above average bat strength in BP. His gap to gap approach gets to his above average contact to all fields.

YOUNG GUNS

2022 RHP Carter Tower’s (Oconomowoc) name fits him well, standing 6-foot-4 and just 150-pounds, his ceiling on the mound is extremely high. He’s got a loose live arm out of a high ¾ slot and sat easily at 78-79 mph. Both secondary pitches are firm in comparison and his frame can clearly handle plenty of additional strength which will only add to his fastball velo.

2021 Tyler Hug made some noise with his arm. Another Waukesha West product, Hug has an easy quick arm out of a high waisted 5-foot-10, 150-pound frame. Hug touched 86 mph with his fastball, and it’s easy to see more of that in the tank. Not to mention a plus potential power change up and a 6.99 runner.

OF/RHP Eli Hoyt (Waukesha South) brings a similar profile as Hug, but potentially more prolific with the bat. Hoyt had a locked in round of BP showing loose hands and bat speed. All his tools grade out above average, along with an 87 mph exit velocity, his arm played 85 mph from the outfield and ran a 7.19. Hoyt best attribute may be a plus potential 12/6 curveball that showed bite and depth at 72-73 mph, also sitting 83-84 mph with his fastball.

2021 RHP Jared Hansen (Waukesha West) showed advanced arm strength for his age on the mound. Hansen worked 80-83 mph.

Freshman Braydon Cooper (Catholic Memorial, 2022) posted the top fastball velocity for his class, sitting 81-82 mph. Cooper is 6-foot-1, 160-pounds and room to grow. His arm action has a short draw and works slightly across his body, adding deception to his already lively fastball.

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