Wisconsin 2020 Rankings: Newcomers


By Steve Nielsen and Andy Sroka
Wisconsin Staff

On Monday, we updated the class of 2020 Wisconsin rankings and took a detailed look at how the busy summer showcase season impacted the top-10 board. Today, we return to reviewing the 2020 board by examining which prospects are making their state rankings debut. Continue reading on for a list of 18 new names to add to your latest recruiting research, especially considering none of the following have yet to make a commitment to play at the next level.

For a look at the updated 2020 state rankings, CLICK HERE.

When we last updated the 2020 board in April, we turned the list into a top 50. Now, that list has expanded by 20 prospects, up to a top 70, and no prospect debuted at a higher spot than RHP Isaiah Katz (Fall Creek).

The Fall Creek righty earns a spot all the way into the top 40 in his debut on his state class’ big board after a solid performance at the PBR Future Games. There, Katz worked with a low-to-mid 80s fastball that had above-average run, thrown from a ¾ slot. Last spring, as a sophomore, he earned second team all-conference honors locally for his performance as an underclassman during the high school season. His breakout spring translated to even more summer success, earning him a definitive place on the late summer’s 2020 update.

Isaiah Katz (8.2.18)

Neighboring Katz on the 2020 board also making his debut is INF Payton Foltz (Watertown). Foltz just missed our last update to the 2020 class, and since has been steadily trending upward. He’s a projectable lean frame that moves loose both in the field and at the dish. Foltz showed well most recently at the All-State Games with clean defensive actions and a 7.26 60 time, nearly three tenths better than his last time in May. He continues to get stronger and should see his game follow.

Three Stevens Point prospects made strong, late charges to debut within the top 70 on the rankings: LHP Kaleb Schulist, RHP/SS Austin Beyer, and RHP/3B Jamie Praefke. We saw these three just over a week ago, on Aug. 20, and needless to say they made a lasting first impression. Each of the members in this trio have sky-high ceilings and are the future of the SPASH rotation – maybe even the present.

Schulist and Praefke are both 6-foot-5, only just beginning to tap into the upside their long, lean frames grant them. Schulist, a lefty, presented us with feel for a couple different breaking balls in addition to a fastball with run that topped 80 mph at the Eastern Wisconsin Open. Praefke’s frame is more spindly and lanky, but it’s a credit to him how well he moved on the infield and with some athleticism, showing that he’s in control of his long levers. On the mound, he touched 81 mph with clean and easy arm action and a ton of upside still in his tank.

As for Beyer, he touched 82 mph on the mound and it paired perfectly with a sharp slider, at 69-71 mph. His arm also worked loose and easy with little effort, giving Stevens Point at least a third incoming junior to utilize on the pitching staff next spring.

Kaleb Schulist (8.20.18)

Six of the last 10 spots on the updated 2020 board are occupied by debuting pitchers, including RHP Brody Cypert (Waukesha South), RHP/OF Ben Graff (Green Bay Preble), and LHP Reed Hafeman (Hortonville). Cypert has got the durable frame and simple mechanics to get the most out of his arsenal; his fastball has a little run and sits in the 80-83 mph range, too. Graff’s upside comes on the mound where he also flashes a three-pitch mix and a present low-80s fastball. And Hafeman is still harnessing his deceptive delivery but has the stuff to excel if he can put everything together.

Here are some notes on the remainder of the 2020 newcomers:

Christian Brenner C / Burlington, WI / 2020

A left-handed hitting catcher who handles the bat well. He started this past spring for state-bound Burlington as a sophomore.

Charlie Campbell RHP / South Milwaukee , WI / 2020

The younger brother of Elijah Campbell (South Milwaukee, 2016; Bradley); has similar frame and upside, arm works clean and quick.

Jake Gessert RHP/SS / St. Joseph, WI / 2020

A RHP who showed an uptick in velocity on the mound this summer, working 80-83 mph.

Conner Haggerty RHP/3B / Onalaska, WI / 2020

Big-bodied RHP/3B who can run his fastball up to 84 mph with hard four-seam type finish.

Nick Pica 2B/SS / Onalaska, WI / 2020

An athletic middle infielder and multi-sport athlete. Defensively, has soft hands and moves well with shortstop actions. He had a big sophomore season on varsity with Onalaska.

Logan Pye 2b/SS / Wilmot Union, WI / 2020

Another athletic middle infielder who played varsity for a strong Wilmot team as a sophomore. He moves well out of a smaller frame that still has upside.

Donovan Schultz LHP / Kimberly, WI / 2020

A high-ceiling LHP with a projectable frame and arm. He's got feel and angle on a low-80s fastball and has a curveball.

Reyshawn Sprewer OF / Pius XI Catholic, WI / 2020

A left/left outfielder who stood out at the recent Eastern Wisconsin Open with loose, athletic actions across.

Call Verlanic OF / Bay Port, WI / 2020

The Bay Port outfielder is highly athletic and an above-average runner with tools across the board.

Jonah Wronski C / Marquette University, WI / 2020

An agile and strong defensive catcher who works hard and stays active behind the dish. He has a right-handed bat with a gap-to-gap approach that will presently hit for singles and doubles.

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