Prep Baseball Report

Wisconsin Class of 2022 Rankings Update

By Andy Sroka & Steve Nielsen
Wisconsin Staff

In September, we unveiled the state’s first edition of the Class of 2022 Rankings. We limited the board to a top-20, but it was clear then – and it’s especially clear now – that this class of sophomores has the chance to be a memorable one. The talent runs deep, and it forced us to double the number of prospects on the rankings after a busy fall full of genuine looks at these 2022s in a couple different settings.

Today, we’re expanding the board to a top-40, and we’ll go through the movement inside the top-10, as well as a handful of prospects who managed to make climbs north up the board in the short amount of time between updates.


Rank Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Michael Lippe WI Whitefish Bay 2022 OF Louisville
2 Gavin Kilen WI Janesville Craig 2022 SS Louisville
3 Will Vierling WI Homestead 2022 C Louisville
4 Mitchell Voit WI Whitefish Bay 2022 RHP/INF Michigan
5 Brendan Strenke WI Turtle Lake 2022 RHP Iowa
6 Keegan Knutson WI Milton 2022 3B South Carolina
7 James Duncan WI Arrowhead 2022 1B/OF  
8 Rory Fox WI Catholic Memorial 2022 INF/RHP
9 Tristan Ellis WI Greendale 2022 SS/2B Purdue
10 Luke Ross WI Waunakee 2022 LHP/1B  

The new top-three are all, already, committed to Louisville and there’s been no real threat to OF
Michael Lippe’s (Whitefish Bay) seat atop the board. It was more of the same this fall for the physically advanced outfielder. Our national crosschecker, Shooter Hunt, summed Lippe up best after catching him in Westfield, Ind., at the PBR Midwest Fall Championships: “Lippe is a physical specimen and uses the basepaths like an SEC running back would. He’s strong, fast, and packs a punch from the right-handed batter’s box, favoring the right-center gap.”

This hard-hit triple into the right-center alley showcases this profile well.

Michael Lippe (9/14/19)

Up a spot on the board, into the No. 2 seat, is SS Gavin Kilen (Janesville Craig; Louisville commit). He missed some time this summer with elbow surgery, but dynamic in Westfield despite shaking off the rust in his return to the diamond. Fluidity is synonymous with Kilen’s game. An action-y defender with a smooth ad loose left-handed bat who makes it look easy. It’ll be an important offseason for him, as he uses it to get back to 100 percent health before the spring and summer arrive, sooner than later.

C Will Vierling (Homestead; Louisville) has developed a worthy reputation as one of the Midwest’s best bats, and in-game production as a middle-of-the-order bat on varsity for the Highlanders, as well as at the highest level on the summer circuit, has launched him up the board three huge spots. His innate plate discipline compounded with his left-handed power potential and barrel feel have him only just scraping his offensive ceiling.

RHP/INF Mitchell Voit (Whitefish Bay) has also made a tremendous climb on the rankings in a short amount of time, and capped the fall by committing to Michigan. We dubbed Voit as a candidate to make a jump in velocity on the mound due to his seriously easy arm strength, and it finally happened in the fall. He hadn’t pitched much in the spring or summer, so Voit’s work in Westfield was very noteworthy. His premium athleticism shows best on the mound, right now, where he makes mid-80s velocity, up to 87 mph at the Fall Championships, look ultra easy. He’s a strong, projectable 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, bursting with tools. While his upside on the mound might keep him there long-term, he’s a twitchy runner and righty bat with natural bat strength and bat speed. There’s already so much to like about Voit’s entire game, ranked at No. 4 in the state, up four spots in total.

Mitchell Voit (9/14/19)

In late September, RHP Brendan Strenke (Turtle Lake) announced his verbal commitment to Iowa which ended a phenomenal year for the live-armed right-hander. His meteoric rise took him inside the top-10 of a robust 2022 class and he’s settled into the No. 5 spot overall in this update. We didn’t get a look at Strenke after his appearance at the Underclass Games, where he was 85-87 mph, touching 88, with advanced arm strength and arm speed. He’s an athletic and projectable 6-foot-1, so it’ll be exciting to see what an offseason of work will do for him come the spring, when we’re able to check back in on his progress.

Another prospect on the up and up is 1B/OF James Duncan (Arrowhead), who assumes the title of top-ranked uncommitted player in the state, ranked No. 7 overall, up three spots. He was one of, if not the, biggest “winner” coming away from the Fall Championships in September. We were fortunate to grab a late look at the 6-foot-2, left/left athlete after he spent much of the summer recovering from a leg injury. Duncan came out swinging, displaying impressive plate coverage with a smooth swing that allowed him to barrel all-fields contact. He’s a mature hitter with impressive athleticism that could help him flourish in a corner outfield spot; if not, he’s already an excellent defender at first base. Regardless, Arrowhead’s latest slugger is going to hit enough to thrive wherever he slots in on defense.

James Duncan (9/15/19)

We’d seen LHP/1B Luke Ross (Waunakee) a few times in 2019, but our latest look in a camp setting in the fall was enough to bump him inside the top-10. His quiet and rhythmic left-handed bat allows him to barrel up gap-to-gap contact with relative ease, and he’s harnessing some pull-side power potential, too. Really though, his exceptional polish on the mound for his age is what pulled him up a spot on the 2022 board. In his latest ‘pen, Ross sat 81-82 mph, touching 83, all while pounding the zone with a feel to spot up the corners. He’s also capable of snapping off a couple different breaking balls beneath the zone, which gives Ross a couple swing-and-miss offspeed offerings to rely on.

Luke Ross (7/23/19)


Keep in mind, we’ll be breaking down the prospects who debuted on the rankings this latest update the rest of this week, so we’ll use this section today to discuss the latest news and notes on the prospects who were previously ranked and are moving up the board.

+ Verona High’s baseball program should be flagged as a need-to-know squad that could make some noise this spring, and its switch-hitting prospect, Nick West, should be a focal point. West earned opportunities from both the mound and at the plate as a freshman and he produced a strong spring and summer outside of his work for the Wildcats. West is a true switch-hit bat with an advanced 6-foot, athletic build. At the same camp Ross starred at this fall, West came away as one of the top prospects in attendance for his extra easy barrels, with some left-handed pop. His athleticism allows him to move really well at third base with plenty of arm for the spot, too. On the mound, West has been up to 83 mph with sink complemented by some raw offspeed.

+ Up a spot on the board is RHP Hunter Schmitt (Grafton), now the No. 15-ranked prospect in the state’s sophomore class. He was highly impressive in a short stint at the Fall Championships, where he sat 80-83 mph, touching 84, with finish through the zone. His velocity hasn’t yet ticked up since the spring, where he was 82-84 mph at a March event, but Schmitt’s wiry 5-foot-11 frame with long, loose levers offer a unique upside that make Schmitt a contender to rise even higher when we update our 2022 board next. His fastball feel, under construction breaking ball, and deceptive changeup offer a really intriguing arsenal at his age.

Hunter Schmitt (9/14/19)

+ While OF D.J. Kojis (Whitefish Bay) may have technically “dropped” in this update, it says a lot that Kojis is still the No. 21-ranked prospect while there are three new names ahead of him and a couple immediately following him on the updated board. He was one of the top performers for the Hitters Baseball team that won the 16U title at the Midwest Fall Championships. He moves really well in the outfield and was taking confident and aggressive routes in center, but it’s his simple right-handed bat that’s becoming his calling card. He swings off a short, level plane that helps him create hard line-drive contact. Standing in at a lanky 6-foot-1, there’s some added upside to Kojis’ game that deserves continued attention.

Click HERE for a complete look at the Wisconsin Class of 2022 Rankings.