Wisconsin 2017 Rankings: Updated and Expanded

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor – Wisconsin/Illinois

Wisconsin’s 2017 class saw a big upgrade this time around, expanding our rankings from 30 to 75 of the top prospects around the state. We have seen a lot of sophomores over the winter and several made huge strides leading to massive shakeups in our rankings.

A new No. 1 emerged this spring as LHP Augie Mihlbauer (Mukwonago), who was already a highly touted prospect in the class at No. 4, moved to the forefront as his velocity jumped from 81-83 mp to a lively 87-88 mph touching 89 mph. His ¾ slot and easy arm action coupled with a lanky frame always made him a projectable arm to follow, but now he has put himself into a whole new category.

After Mihlbauer the next five stay relatively unchanged. Fellow LHP Ben Dragani (Catholic Memorial) stays at the No. 2 spot after exhibiting a plus slider this preseason at 78-79 mph with late action.

The last four are all new to the top ten, two of which are new to the rankings all together. SS Alex Rodriguez (Cudahy) and RHP Nathan Burns (West Bend West) are seeing their names in the rankings for the first time. Rodriguez is a highly athletic middle infielder with soft hands, good feet and quick hands at the dish. Burns is a right handed arm who can draw similar comparisons to a young Nathan Brown (Arrowhead, 2016, Florida) at that age. He has advanced feel of three pitches with good action in the hitting zone and a projectable make up to go with it.

LHP Troy Hickey (Wilmot Union) and Zach Clayton (Oconomowoc) both moved up significantly into the top ten. Hickey showcased a lively fastball this winter up to 85 mph, making him one of three southpaws in the top ten. Clayton, on the other hand is possibly the most athletic prospect in the top ten. At 6-foot-2, 200-pound he is a physical specimen that stands out from his peers. Clayton has a big arm and a loud bat. His position is still to be determined and will most likely physically outgrow the shortstop position, he probably fits best in an outfield spot. He is athletically gifted enough to make the adjustments to any of the three outfield spots, his top end footspeed (currently 7.03) will probably determine whether he sticks in centerfield.

Over the next week we will highlight several of the risers and newcomers to the rankings, but for now take our own look at the updated 2017 Player Rankings.

Top Ten 2017 Player Rankings

Rank Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Austin Mihlbauer WI Mukwonago 2017 LHP
2 Ben Dragani WI Catholic Memorial 2017 LHP
3 Anthony Schlass WI West Bend West 2017 SS Oklahoma
4 Jacob Lindemann WI Burlington 2017 RHP
5 Jamie DeWitt WI Waukesha South 2017 C
6 Mitchell Buban WI Tremper 2017 SS
7 Alex Rodriguez WI Cudahy 2017 SS
8 Nathan Burns WI West Bend West 2017 RHP
9 Troy Hickey WI Wilmot Union 2017 OF
10 Zach Clayton WI Oconomowoc 2017 SS

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