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Wisconsin Class of 2024 Rankings: First Look


By Andy Sroka
Illinois and Wisconsin Assistant Director

It is still extremely early, perhaps even premature, to be forecasting Class of 2024 prospects, especially since many of these rising sophomores haven’t even played a varsity game. Then again, with the recent acceleration of recruiting, high-level 2024 prospects are already making verbal commitments.

Over the course of the last year, we’ve seen an impressive amount of talented 2024 prospects, several of whom should become national prospects.

With that said, we have released our initial 2024 rankings, a modest list of 25 prospects who have stood out among their peers. Certainly this list will change and evolve in time, as we know many players will grow, develop and mature. We also know that we likely haven’t seen many other 2024 prospects that may be deserving of this list.

NATIONAL TOP-500

There were eight Wisconsin sophomores who made it onto the national rankings in this past update, and that includes the state’s top-ranked player and the latest homegrown shortstop to call southeastern Wisconsin home: J.D. Dix (Whitefish Bay), who’s also one of the top uncommitted ‘24s in the Midwest, if not, the country. Prep Baseball Report’s VP of Scouting Shooter Hunt recently wrote this regarding Dix: “... makes a jump to No. 52 in the update thanks to one of the most projectable frames in the class, an accurate heavy barrel from both sides of the plate, but especially the athleticism seen on the dirt.

JD Dix SS / 3B / Whitefish Bay, WI / 2024

From The Hotlist (10/6/21): “Dix recently showcased his switch-hitting skills and strong defensive actions up the middle at the Midwest Premier Underclass tournament at Creekside. Dix has a smooth swing from both sides of the plate with advanced bat speed and barrel control. Defensively, Dix makes tough plays look easy and showcases good lateral range with enough arm strength to remain on the left side of the infield in the future.

(9/25/21)

Nolan Buss RHP / Arrowhead, WI / 2024

Buss debuts on the in-state board as the No. 2-ranked prospect overall and its top-ranked pitcher. He showcased advanced velocity from a tough slot and angle in the early spring and summer, and he’s spent the past few months showing a more consistent feel to pump strikes which allows his swing-and-miss stuff to play up.

From The Hotlist (9/22/21): “Buss has made big strides in syncing up his release point more regularly, which has translated to more strikes this fall, without sacrificing velocity. At the PBR Midwest Fall Championships, Buss sat 84-86 mph and reached back for 87-88 several times early on, on a fastball that really exploded through the strike zone. Facing a quality lineup, Buss earned plenty of ugly swings and misses on the fastball alone. He has long levers attached to a 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame, and Buss is really only just scraping the surface of his massive potential.”

(9/12/21)

INFIELDERS

+ Muskego’s Brock Lulewicz (uncommitted) and Wisconsin Lutheran’s Eddie Rynders (Kent State commit) are two of the class’ best infielders, though for separate reasons. Lulewicz, the No. 3-ranked player in the state, demonstrates on-field IQ constantly, and especially on defense. He’s fit for the left side of the diamond, and moves to his forehand expertly and in control. He’s a spray left-handed hitter inside a projectable 6-foot, 175-pound frame that projects to add a more substantial batted-ball profile as he develops.

Brock Lulewicz (7/20/21)

As for Rynders, he exhibits some of the class’ biggest offensive potential, as a lean and wiry left-handed hitter with a loose swing that’s fluid in and through the zone. As he tacks on muscle to a 6-foot-1, 165-pound frame that can support it, he can mold his bat into one of the Midwest’s best – and his athleticism should keep him playing an above-average defense on the left side of the diamond.

Eddie Rynders (10/2/21)

+ Debuting just outside the top-10 is INF Eddie Peters (La Crosse Aquinas), who starred for the Blugolds in his freshman spring and he maintained that momentum for his club team that just so happened to be one of the best that came through The Rock Complex as part of PBR Tournaments. He musters real bat speed from the right side, especially for a lean athlete who’s only just beginning to grow into his frame. Defensively, his actions fit the left side of the infield comfortably, presently at short, though it might ultimately work best at third long-term – either way, he’ll hit enough to make either position work.

Eddie Peters (7/20/21)

+ Few players in the region bring the kind of physicality that 1B Aren Robinson (Brookfield Central) offers, listed at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds. He progressed especially well over last offseason and transformed his offensive profile into a more rhythmic hitter who works the middle of the diamond, and that stands to benefit him in the long-term, as he matures. We’ve seen flashes of his immense offensive upside in 2021, including this past September at The Rock Complex, where he smashed a ball off the very top of the big fence in left-center.

Aren Robinson (9/24/21)

+ At No. 10 overall is Illinois State commit Javin Gauthier (De Pere). His brother, J.P., stepped foot on ISU’s campus and has hit the ground running this fall, and Javin has been doing the same as a freshman, now sophomore, in 2021. Gauthier is toning up his physical stature throughout this year and it’s culminated into a strong and dynamic left-handed bat that profiles inside the middle of a lineup. 

HIGH-END ATHLETES

+ A pair of uncommitted two-way athletes are ranked back-to-back at spots Nos. 7 and 8: RHP/INF Noah Wech (Manitowoc Lincoln) and OF/LHP Logan Dunn (Wautoma). Wech is a live-armed prospect who’s presently showing best on the mound, where he’s been up to 86 mph for us with a projectable breaking ball and changeup. Meanwhile, his athleticism translates very well to shortstop, and his right-handed swing projects as well. 

Noah Wech (9/12/21)

Dunn is a dynamic athlete with a fast and twitchy left-handed bat, and an athleticism that bursts from the batter’s box and out in the outfield. He’s also a competitive southpaw on the bump with low-80s velocity and the feel to spin a breaking ball is present.

Logan Dunn (9/18/21)

+ OF Cade Palkowski (Oak Creek) has been spending the fall behind center at quarterback for the Knights, but he’s also one of the state’s best prospects on the diamond. He’s a compact and strong left/left athlete with a top-of-the-order offensive profile that sparks up the lineup behind. His strength and speed have him ranked inside the state’s best already.

Cade Palkowski (7/2/21) 

THE TOP-10 BOARD

RANK NAME STATE SCHOOL CLASS POS. COMMITMENT
1 J.D. Dix WI Whitefish Bay 2024
SS/3B -
2 Nolan Buss WI
Arrowhead 2024 RHP -
3 Brock Lulewicz WI
Muskego 2024
SS/3B -
4 Mike Schoon WI
University School 2024
RHP -
5 Eddie Rynders WI  Wisconsin Lutheran 2024 INF Kent State
6 Aren Robinson WI  Brookfield Central 2024 1B -
7 Noah Wech WI
Manitowoc Lincoln 2024
RHP/INF -
8 Logan Dunn WI Wautoma 2024  OF/LHP -
9 Cade Palkowski WI  Oak Creek 2024
OF -
10 Javin Gauthier WI De Pere 2024 INF Illinois State

MORE FOLLOW SOPHOMORES

+ The No. 4-ranked player in the first edition of these state rankings is RHP Mike Schoon (University School of Milwaukee). We saw Schoon at the Badger State Battle in early July where he demonstrated advanced pitchability traits, and an uptick in velocity this fall has sent him inside the top-five in the state. In late September, we saw Schoon up to 87 mph, sitting in the 82-85 range, with a fastball that played live at the top of the zone while showing the utmost confidence in a tight 70-72 mph curve. His long levers generate long-term projection, and he's flashed a high-end feel to pitch already, to this point.

Mike Schoon (7/20/21)

+ 1B/LHP Jackson Brewer (Homestead) has a simple and smooth left-handed swing that projects as one of the class’ best. He’s a smooth operator on the mound as well, with a clean arm that projects to add velocity as he continues to develop.

+ Lincoln Ascher (Kettle Moraine) has shown early as one of the state’s top catchers, with efficient catch-and-throw actions and a steady, reliable receiver. Additionally, he’s a physical right-handed hitter with a mature approach at the plate, who utilizes both gaps confidently.

+ RHP Ty Rechner (Stevens Point Area) has a huge frame and he’s been up to 85 mph for us already. The separator for him is how efficiently he works from the mound, and his feel to pitch excellently complements his size and stuff, pushing him to No. 15 overall in the class in the first edition of the state’s class rankings.

+ INF Eason Hurd's (Ashwaubenon) natural bat-to-ball skills separated him early on as one of the state's best '24s. He consistently strings together quality at-bats, one after the other, spray hard line-drive contact efficiently to all fields. Barrel feel is generally a reliable indicator of what's to come, and Hurd's skill set has him developing a reputation as one of the state's most dependable right-handed hitters – and he's a reliable defender on the left side of the diamond, too.

Keep an eye out next week as we delve deeper into Wisconsin’s top sophomores. For a full look at the state’s top-25 board, click here.

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