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Wisconsin Class of 2023 Rankings: Newcomers


By Andy Sroka & Diego Solares
Wisconsin Scouting Staff

With the summer circuit officially coming to an end and the fall transition beginning, it’s time for our staff to update the state’s player rankings, starting with the 2023 as they begin the start of their junior year – a critical campaign from a recruiting standpoint. 

We expanded the class rankings quite a bit, growing our board from 50 prospects to 80, as we continue to build off the knowledge we’ve collected throughout the calendar year for this group. You can find the full up-to-date rankings list by clicking here. On Wednesday, we shared with you the juniors in the state who are moving up the state’s 2023 board, which you can read here. Today, we’ll be sharing with you the players who are making their first-ever appearances on the state 2023 rankings.

Each of the players discussed below are uncommitted.

2023 NEWCOMERS

MIF Jack Counsell (Whitefish Bay) is our highest ranked ‘Newcomer’ in this recent update, cracking the top-15 in his debut. Counsell is a lean, projectable 5-foot-10, 158-pound athlete, who’s coming off a strong summer offensively. He wound up receiving an invitation to participate on Team Wisconsin at the PBR Future Games where he performed well against top-end competition. His pure bat-to-ball skills are among the class’ best, as he consistently makes line-drive contact with a knack for finding holes throughout the field. Additionally, he’s a sure-handed defender who can confidently hold his own up the middle and he has some speed as well, running a 6.65 at the Future Games. Counsell looks like a reliable middle infielder with on-the-barrel instincts from the batter’s box, raising his floor as a prospect, while still harboring the upside physically to take his game to the next level.

(7/28/2021)

OF/RHP Garrett Kay (Waterford Union) is another impressive performer who jumps into our rankings at No. 21 overall. Built at a lean 5-foot-9, 150 pounds, Kay’s wiry strength allows him to get the most out of his present stature. He boasts tremendous arm strength, topping at 93 mph from the outfield, and he’s bumped his fastball up into the 86-87 mph range, too. Though, ultimately, Kay’s offensive upside might just keep positioned as one of the class’ best outfielders. His smooth left-handed stroke simply works on a level plane through the zone and routinely produces line-drive contact off the barrel, and to all fields. Kay was just one of those names who kept popping up throughout the summer, and there’s plenty of reason to think he can continue to march further up this board in future updates.

(3/14/2021)

RHP Zach Wolfram (Menomonee Falls) helped lead the Phoenix to a WIAA state playoffs appearance in his first season at the varsity level, in a breakout spring. From there, Wolfram continued to shine in travel ball, and he earned himself an invitation to play on Team Wisconsin at the PBR Future Games where he showed his best velocity to date. He’s listed at a large, imposing 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, and he uses his size well enough to generate easy mid-80s velo, up to 88 mph down in Georgia. Wolfram’s go-to secondary pitch is a tight-spinning slider that’s thrown with fastball intent and breaks late off-plane, pairing up well with his heater that’s released from a similar slot. We saw Wolfram toe the rubber a few times this summer and compete valiantly, working deep into his outings while consistently filling up the strike zone while holding velocity. He’s amongst the top uncommitted arms in the ‘23 class that the state has to offer.

(7/28/2021)

Like Wolfram, RHP/INF Chayce Osterhaus (Markesan) used an excellent season competing in the WIAA to generate his own buzz as a prospect. He, too, pitched for Team Wisconsin in August after impressing our staff on a couple of occasions in the spring and summer. He’s a lean 6-foot, 155-pound athlete, capable of pumping his fastball up to 88 mph, sitting 83-87, which is where he sat at LakePoint. His loose, quick arm projects for more velocity down the road, and his natural athleticism suggests there’s more untapped potential here. We’ve seen him deploy a sharp slider in previous looks, although he’s still fully developing feel and consistency for it. Osterhaus is also a left-handed-hitting infielder with advanced actions on the dirt. While raw offensively, his two-way upside is still worth monitoring, as he remains uncommitted as the state’s No. 28-ranked player.

(7/28/2021)

Debuting at the No. 32 spot is OF Nick Argersinger (Westosha Central), who was consistently one of the top performers at multiple PBR Tournaments this summer. A 5-foot-11, 155-pound left/left athlete, we saw Argersinger’s work for Westosha Central translated seamlessly into summer ball, where he showed off a short, easy left-handed stroke that sprays line drives off the barrel and is comfortable working to all fields. He hit at the top of the Falcons’ lineup as a sophomore and also helped lead his travel club to two PBR tournament championships in June and July. His speed can certainly be an asset for him down the road as well, whether it be on offense or as he roams the center field landscape on defense. He’s a safe bet to contribute in multiple facets at the next level.

+ 3B Jake Busson (Hudson) stole the show at our summer visit to Eau Claire for the Western Wisconsin Open. There, he swung a fast, loose right-handed bat that worked efficiently off an uphill plane to generate pull-power potential. He struck a couple of balls over the fence in batting practice, averaging an exit speed of 87.1 mph (max of 92.0), and his best batted ball travelled 358 feet, per TrackMan. While he profiles best as a corner infielder, he took a really clean round of infield defense at this event, with controlled and fluid footwork that helped him gather the ball in rhythm and he’s equipped with the arm strength to handle the hot corner, with throws across reaching an 85 mph high.

LHP Riley Peterson (Verona Area) popped up at The Rock Complex this summer behind a little bit of buzz, and he greatly impressed our scouts in attendance. There, Peterson worked his fastball up to 84 mph, sitting at 80-83, from a loose, fast arm. We flip in a mid-60s curveball often throughout his start, a pitch with present depth that was also spotted down in the zone; it projects as he continues to mature and develop, should he be able to throw it more aggressively without sacrificing his feel to locate it. Peterson already looks like a follow southpaw in the state, and he can enhance his prospect status by adding strength to his lean stature.

MORE TOP-50 DEBUTS

Five right-handed arms occupy spots inside the top-50 of the state's 2023 rankings: 

RHP Arik Egerbrecht (Arrowhead) is a lean 6-foot, 155-pound prospect with a quick arm who we’ve seen up to 83 mph in the past, with the aptitude to spin a sharp, tight breaking ball to pair – and there’s more velocity to come with this athletic right-hander.

+ From Milwaukee King, RHP/INF Leo Berger has a high ceiling on the mound, as the tall and lanky right-hander appears to just be tapping into his raw ability. He pumped in a low-effort 86 mph high with his fastball at both LakePoint and The Rock this summer from a short, tight window while flashing a sweeping curveball that aided him in missing bats. 

+ RHP Noah Musolf (Franklin) owns a unique, data-friendly three-pitch mix on the mound. The 6-foot, 155-pound Musolf sits in the low-80s with his fastball, touching 84 mph, and averaged nearly 19 inches of horizontal movement at our Milwaukee Preseason I.D. He kills spin on a low-70s fading changeup thrown at fastball arm speed and can land a short-wrinkle breaking ball for strikes, too.

(3/21/2021)

+ RHP Roman Trapani (Eau Claire Memorial) slots in at No. 48 overall on this recent update. A sturdy 5-foot-11, 205-pound athlete with noticeable strength in the lower half, Trapani was up to 86 mph at PBR's Creekside Complex this summer in Kansas City, while showing advanced feel for a changeup, as well as the ability to spin an effective slider. It's a three-pitch mix worth keeping a close watch over, as he's the type of player who could really break out after another offseason of hard work.

+ Built at a lanky and projectable 6-foot-3, 165-pounds, RHP Tyler Lusic (Waterford Union) offers a relatively high ceiling on the mound. He was up to 85 mph at March's Madison Preseason I.D., and he averaged nearly 18 inches of Induced Vertical Break on his heater, allowing it to play up with more natural carry through the zone. Though he’s still fully developing his secondary pitches, Lusic does offer plenty of upside should it all click. He's one we're eager to see again soon, either this fall or in early 2022.

(3/21/2021)

MORE NAMES TO KNOW

+ OF Owen Sullivan (Oak Creek) was nearly an everyday contributor for the Knights this spring in his first varsity season and he owns an impressive athletic skill-set for someone his age. A muscular 5-foot-10, 175-pound athlete, Sullivan is a 6.96 runner in the 60-yard dash that also topped at 88 mph from the outfield at our Milwaukee Preseason I.D. 

+ INF Keli Grennier (Menomonee Falls) is another sophomore that played a key role in leading the Phoenix to the D-1 state playoffs. He’s a strong 5-foot-10, 165-pound athlete with above-average foot speed and some juice inside his right-handed barrel.

+ RHP Scotty Schulz (Westosha Central) carries high projectability as a 6-foot-4, 165-pound right-hander. He has a quick arm and unorthodox arm action that make for a tough at-bat, compounded by his low- to mid-80s velo and sweeping slider, 72-73 mph. 

+ INF Brady Davidson (St. Joseph Catholic) has consistently hit each time we’ve seen him play, whether it be during the WIAA season when he helped lead Kenosha St. Joe’s to the D2 WIAA state title, or at PBR tournaments. He profiles as a run-producing left-handed hitter at the next level with a natural knack for the barrel.

+ RHP Brayden Deering (Kimberly) owns a projectable three-pitch mix from a clean, loose arm and low-effort operation downhill. Deering fills up the zone with a low-80s fastball that's topped at 83 mph, and both his curveball and changeup project as quality future offerings.

+ 1B/RHP E.J. Kuster (Greendale) makes his way onto the state’s 2023 rankings by showcasing the ability to connect for contact often enough to make use of his inherent size and strength – listed at a broad-shouldered 6-foot-3, 190 pounds. His right-handed bat has middle-of-the-order upside, and he also sits at a heavy 82-84 mph that comes out particularly easily.

+ We saw INF/RHP T.J. Hauser (Appleton East) playing up a level at this year’s Badger State Battle and the 6-foot, 160-pound incoming junior fit right in with the older crowd. He swings a loose left-handed bat with advanced raw pop for someone his age. Hauser was also up to 83 mph on the mound this winter with the feel to land his breaking ball for strikes.

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