Prep Baseball Report

Wisconsin 2016 Rankings Updated

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor – Wisconsin/Illinois

The 2016 class is now heading into their senior year of high school and for us at the Prep Baseball Report it is exciting to see how far these prospects have come. When PBR started in Wisconsin in the fall of 2012, these rising seniors were just starting their freshman year, so essentially this is the first class that we have tracked from start to finish. Much has changed in the rankings since then, many have risen, some have fallen but all in all this class has been touted as one of the better Wisconsin has seen, and its living up to the billing.

For the first time in almost a year, there will be a new No. 1 at the top of the 2016 rankings. C Ben Rortvedt (Verona Area) leads the pack for the first time as he has been off to a torrid summer. Rorvedt has been impressive all over the summer circuit and continues to improve his draft stock. His left-handed bat has done nothing but square up baseballs all summer and shows off a cannon of an arm behind the plate. Rortvedt caught the eye of the scouting community earlier this summer when he stood out at the Tournament of Stars and then made USA Baseball’s 18u Trials Roster.

Behind Rortvedt is the crop of usual suspects as we’ve seen Gavin Lux (Indian Trail), Nathan Brown (Arrowhead), Jack Eagan (Wautoma), Justin Lavey (Tremper) and Alec Marsh (Milwaukee Reagan) continue to pace the top end of a highly touted Wisconsin 2016 class.

RHP Ryan Schmitt (Arrowhead) and OF Joe Acker (Marquette University) jumped into the top ten after lights out performances at the PBR ProCase in June. Schmitt showcased a plus curveball that rivals any of the top prospects in our coverage area along with a 90 mph fastball which we’ve heard reports on a few ticks higher this summer. Schmitt put himself back on the open market earlier this year and should be one of the more coveted arms in the Midwest with his swing and miss stuff and bulldog mentality on the mound.

Acker put up the most impressive stat line at the PBR ProCase, running the 60 at 6.78, throwing 95 mph from the outfield while going 2-for-3 in game play and launching a ball onto the left field picnic area in BP. With a rare tool set as Acker’s it’s hard to believe his college plans are still open, but undoubtedly courting several suitors.

Rank Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Ben Rortvedt WI Verona Area 2016 C Arkansas
2 Gavin Lux WI Indian Trail 2016 SS Arizona State
3 Nathan Brown WI Arrowhead 2016 RHP Florida
4 Jack Eagan WI Wautoma 2016 LHP Indiana
5 Justin Lavey WI Tremper 2016 3B Louisville
6 Alec Marsh WI Reagan College Prep 2016 RHP Arizona State
7 Ryan Schmitt WI Arrowhead 2016 RHP
8 Joe Acker WI Marquette University 2016 OF
9 Cyrillo Watson WI South Milwaukee 2016 OF Illinois
10 Adam LaRock WI Eau Claire North 2016 SS Iowa

Other big risers to the rankings include RHP Brett Smerz (Pius XI) who recently cleared from UCL repair sat 88-89 at the Top Prospect Showcase. RHP Jacob DeLabio (Tremper) who recently committed to Northern Illinois had an impressive spring/summer as we’ve seen his fastball jump to 89 mph as well. C Steven Jacobson (Kimberly) jumped over 20 spots as he was a big part of the Papermakers success down the stretch.

Seven prospects will see their names in the rankings for the first time, the highest of those six is LHP Josh Gonzales (Appleton North). Gonzales is a big bodied southpaw who’s been 81-83 mph with a heavy fastball.

CLICK HERE for complete Wisconsin 2016 Rankings.

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