Wisconsin Class of 2020 Rankings: Newcomers


By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer, Associate Scout

Yesterday, Wednesday, we unveiled our updated look at the state’s 2020 board. While there wasn’t much to change on the top half of the board, we expanded the rankings by 25 prospects and we added notes on the biggest debuts and those prospects who leveraged their strong fall performances into boosts on the rankings.

Today, we’re diving deeper into the performances of those 25 debutants. We covered the four most significant in yesterday’s update – Josh Cottrill (Pewaukee; Valparaiso commit), Jackson Falkner (Mondovi; uncommitted), Jake Brill (Northwestern; uncommitted), and Parker Jones (Verona Area; uncommitted) – but there’s much more to divulge today.

POSITION PLAYERS

Hunter Petska C / Green Bay Preble, WI / 2020

NO. 81

A durable backstop with strength in his lower half who is an advanced defender with a loose right-handed bat. We've seen him a few times through the summer and fall and each time and at each event he's come away as the top backstop in attendance. Petska can help Preble big-time this spring, too, after they graduated a couple regulars in the lineup. 


Luke Renard 2B / SS / Wrightstown, WI / 2020

NO. 82

Renard, who recently committed to Judson University in Illinois, has the tools to keep excelling on the diamond. He's a sub-7.00 runner and has a little more pop than you might expect out of his 5-foot-9 frame. Fluid throughout, Renard is also a strong athlete who will fit right in at the next level.


Blake Hall 3B / 1B / OF / Random Lake, WI / 2020

NO. 87

Hall popped up in a huge way late this summer and fall and it all culminated in a commitment to MSOE. Hall's has a chance to make a huge impact long-term in the collegiate ranks – he swings left-handed with twitch and strength and could assume a middle-of-the-order role in the not-too-distant future. He's a little raw defensively, but his sub-6.80 foot speed means his future isn't necessarily tied to first base.


Ben Nelson OF / Oconomowoc, WI / 2020

NO. 88

It had been over a year since we had seen Nelson up until he visited us at our Senior Games event back in September. There, he finished near the top of a lot of leaderboards: he ran a 6.75, was 84 mph from the outfield, and was 87 mph off the tee. He's a lanky 6-foot-3 with a smooth bat that finds the barrel, so there's some real upside here.


Jack Carlson C / Neenah, WI / 2020

NO. 93

Carlson committed to Benedictine (IL) this fall after what had been a really productive year for the Neenah backstop. He has all the necessary actions behind the plate, he can block, receive, catch and throw. Meanwhile, his right-handed bat is simple and geared toward consistent line-drive contact.


Justin Baehler C / Mineral Point, WI / 2020

NO. 98

Baehler is another example of a stand-out from our September Senior Games showcase. There, he produced one of the day's best BPs and struck just about every ball in the round with real authority. The bat has sincere power potential and he also has some actions behind the plate that could keep him there long-term.


Xavier Schreiber OF / McFarland, WI / 2020

NO. 100

We had seen Schreiber a couple times in 2019, in the state baseball playoffs as well as the Badger State Battle for his travel team, but October was the first time we saw Schreiber at a PBR event. He's a quick-twitch athlete with a broad, strong 6-foot-2 frame. Fast bat speed helps produce aggressive bat strength from the left side. Schreiber can run, too, and it works in the outfield. He's one of the more intriguing uncommitted athletes on the 2020 board.

PITCHERS

Domenic Adair RHP / OF / Sauk Prairie, WI / 2020

NO. 102

He was 81-82 mph in March, but has been up more regularly into the 83-84 mph range since. Small stature, athleticism with some live actions. Quick arm with arm-side run, some offspeed feel. He also offers some two-way upside as a fleet-footed defender with a short right-handed cut.


Owen Weber RHP / Appleton North, WI / 2020

NO. 108

One of the top arms at our fall Senior Games event, where he was up to 83 mph multiple times that featured some carry through the zone. His feel to spin a breaking ball is coming along and he looks as if he could earn a high-leverage reliever role at the next level.


Joe DuCharme RHP / Verona Area, WI / 2020

NO. 109

Ducharme is an athletic, undersized right-hander who can really fill up the strike zone with his three-pitch mix. He can spot up his fastball well, which has been up to 82 mph in front of our staff, and he has feel for his curve and change.


Steven Kleyheeg RHP / Franklin, WI / 2020

NO. 112

Kleyheeg is a big 6-foot-2 righty with a downhill fastball that carries in the zone at 79-82 mph. He has confidence is a curveball that he's shown a feel to spin and, once he gains greater control of it, it can help him utilize a solid two-pitch mix, with an upside frame.


Ben Spiers RHP / Waukesha North, WI / 2020

NO. 116

Spiers is a thin 6-foot-2 prospect with projectable levers that help his loose right-handed arm produce an 80-82 mph fastball, complemented by a sinking changeup and a slider that there's some raw feel for. We didn't get the chance to see Spiers in the summer or fall, so it'll be interesting to see how he's progressed since.


Jared Vogel LHP / Jefferson, WI / 2020

NO. 118

A massive, raw 6-foot-7 athlete with some two-way appeal. Long, loose, and clean arm action from the mound that sits in the high-70s, but given his ease of operation it’s easy to forecast more.


Brandon Peace RHP / Nicolet, WI / 2020

NO. 124

A thin athlete who works quick and throws strikes. His 77-80 mph fastball features some jump, especially with his ability to paint the corners. Peace's curveball has tight 11/5 spin and he throws his changeup at arm speed.


Quinn Berglin RHP / Pewaukee, WI / 2020

NO. 125

Berglin is a physical prospect with strong legs. On the mound, he throws from a 3/4 slot that helps him generate hard arm-side run and sink with a heavy feel. He plays it off a sweeping slider and a straight change. He just committed to Lawrence University this fall, too.


MORE NEWCOMERS

  • Braxton Claypool, SS, Greendale: While we haven’t seen Claypool at a PBR showcase, we have seen Claypool perform at our PBR at The Rock tourney, where his athleticism really worked at shortstop.

  • Luke Rooney, SS/RHP, Regis: A lean two-way athlete who does a little bit of everything. He can run, switch-hits, and moves well up the middle on defense. He also has a loose arm on the mound that was up to 81 mph back in March.

  • Gunnar Hansen, C, Superior: Another do-it-all lean athlete, Hansen generates above-average strength off the barrel with some bat speed and he’s especially quick out of the crouch.

  • Andrew Schroeder, INF/RHP, Wausaukee: A recent Marian (WI) commit has an athletic, strong 5-foot-10 build who defends well and sits 78-80 mph on the mound.

  • Reese Fetherston, INF, Jefferson: A lanky 6-foot-3 with actions in a frame that projects. A right-handed bat with barrel feel.

  • Xavier Deal, OF, Port Washington: An athletic runner with a patient right-handed approach in the box. Moves well defensively with above-average arm strength.

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