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Wisconsin Class of 2020 Rankings: Risers


By Steve Nielsen & Andy Sroka
Wisconsin Staff

Just last week, we unveiled our latest update to the state’s Class of 2020 rankings. Today, we’re digging a little deeper into the 2020 class to highlight the prospects this year who have made the biggest gains since our last update. It was a loaded summer – from showcases to tournaments at The Rock Sports Complex – and the circuit provided the PBR Wisconsin staff ample opportunities to see the players below who have really stolen a lot of our attention, and their ranking on the in-state board reflects that.

RISERS

+ We discussed the top-10 prospects in great detail last week, but it’s worth noting a pair of lefties inside that group once more. LHPs Tommy Lamb (Grafton; Oklahoma commit) and Ben Hampton (West De Pere; West Virginia) have both performed at the highest of levels this summer and it’s helped them boost their own stocks as committed prospects. Lamb climbed 10 enormous spots, from No. 15 to No. 5 in our latest update. Hampton hurdled five others to land inside the top-10 because he’s taken his breaking ball to another level and it’s made his entire arsenal that much sharper. In fact, it’s possible these two have the best two breaking balls in this 2020 class.

+ On the edge of the top-10 is Union Grove’s T.J. Manteufel (Bradley). Manteufel was a crucial cog in a Union Grove lineup that churned its way to the Division-2 title game. Most notably, he put up some serious power numbers as a lean 6-foot-1 shortstop, and the increase in pop has helped make his natural barrel feel that much more impactful. He’s a plus-running middle infielder who shows well-above average bat speed and gap-to-gap power; that foot speed will also enhance his slugging percentage at the next level.

+ No prospect has buffed his own outlook than Wisconsin Dells’ left/left OF Dylan Nevar. He’s electrified from the batter’s box and while roaming center field for STiKS Academy during PBR-hosted tournaments like the Badger State Battle and The Rock Championships. In every one of our looks, the lefty has been swatting baseballs with next-level bat speed and is only just beginning to tap into his power upside – which is coming, clearly, after stroking a couple balls over the left-center wall in Franklin. He’s a highly projectable athlete who continues to reach projections, and still has room to go. The ceiling on Nevar continues to rise.

+ LHP Riley Frey (Oshkosh West; Wisconsin-Milwaukee) reached new velocity heights this summer, touching 87 mph in Mauston (video posted previously), outdueling the previously mentioned Hampton in a high-end battle of southpaws in the 2020 class. He took a 20-spot climb up the board with him. 

+ Sun Prairie was a team loaded with high-profile underclassmen, but the 2020 Spencer Bartel (uncommitted) was the Cardinals’ offensive motor. His junior season of spring ball earned him PBR First-Team All-State honors and he was just as effective over the summer for GRB Rays. We’ve seen him handle the bat with authority, show off arm strength fit for right field, and run near-plus times in the 60. He climbed 30 spots to find a home inside the top-20, still without a home for the fall of 2020.

+ Speaking of hot bats, 3B Zach Storbakken (Sussex Hamilton) has a claim to be one of the state’s hottest of the summer. His feel for the barrel is advanced and he’s also a more-than-reliable glove at the hot corner, which helps him comfortably project as a middle-of-the-order right-handed bat at the next level.

+ We’ve already discussed some huge jumpers in this 2020 class, but no one has risen more up the board than Brady Jurgella (Menasha). Jurgella jumps from No. 69 into the top-25 after hitting at a torrid pace this summer. His barrel control is innate, and while he does not yet hit for power, his bat-to-ball skills will earn him hits from foul line to foul line from any count. He has plus speed that could make him an elite defender in center field, but also has the soft hands and light feet to be a high-end defender at shortstop. His collection of versatile tools should entice a school to sculpt him into a premium everyday player, no matter where he plays.

+ RHP Nick Smith (Waunakee) is a top-10-ranked right-hander in the state, yet remains uncommitted. We just got a great look at the Waunakee righty at The Rock less than a couple weeks ago, where he looked dominant. He K’d 10 of the 18 batters he faced with the help of his hard and heavy 86-89 mph fastball, that touched 90 mph very early on. What was more impressive was his slider feel, a swing-and-miss pitch with late 10/4 bite. He’s been pounding the zone with this mix, and it’s working very well, perking up those programs seeking some reinforcements to its 2020 class.

+ Jacyk Uehling (South Milwaukee) was a standout over the summer, culminating in a stellar showing at our Top Prospect - Milwaukee event and he committed to Northern Illinois just a couple of days later. He’s a plus runner with a pesky bat, looking to make just enough contact that will get him to first base, because he can turn singles into doubles with relative ease.

MORE RISERS

Gunnar Doyle OF / Oak Creek, WI / 2020

This Oak Creek outfielder was the steady offensive force on a young Knights team and hit all summer long for Hitters Academy. His robust left-handed bat helped him land a commitment to Madison JC just this week.


Nick Cairo RHP / Kenosha Bradford, WI / 2020

Cairo is hard-throwing right-hander with a prototypical starter’s build and repertoire. He’s showed us some upper-80s velocity this summer and is slowly putting together his skillset, which should make him a real next-level commodity in the near future.


Sabastian Kloss RHP / Whitnall, WI / 2020

We’ve seen Kloss a couple of times this summer and both looks provided us with a glimpse of his ceiling. He’s a mid-80s arm who pitches with moxie and feel. His ability to locate his fastball-curveball combo will make him effective more than just once through the order.


Carter Endisch RHP / Arrowhead, WI / 2020

At 6-foot-2, Endisch’s size is really beginning to help him from the bump. His fastball sits in the mid-80s, and was up to 88 mph once or twice this summer in our looks, featuring some hard arm-side run. He throws his breaking ball with conviction and we’ve seen his changeup work as his best offspeed offering in the past, too.


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