Wisconsin Class of 2024 Rankings: Update


By Wisconsin Staff

Every year, the fall circuit features more and more must-see events that host the top prospects in the region, creating some post-summer movement on the rankings just before the offseason. We’re unveiling Wisconsin’s updated Class of 2024 rankings today, and while there’s no movement inside the top-10, there was some tinkering elsewhere – and we also added 25 names to the board, creating a top-100 overall as we coast into the winter months.

In this piece, we’ll outline the players who’ve since committed at the top of the class in between these summer and fall updates, and we’ll highlight some of the prospects who should garner plenty of attention in the new year.

 Friday, we’ll also break down more of the new names and faces debuting on this list. For now, here are highlights from these past fall months.

FALL COMMITMENTS

We’ve seen a handful of the state’s top prospects come off the market since our most recent update, and each of these players represented Team Wisconsin at the PBR Future Games: 

+ Still ranked No. 3 overall, RHP Nolan Buss (Arrowhead) recently committed to Kansas State to continue his baseball career at the next level. When viewing the stuff that Buss features, it’s easy to see why playing in a Power 5 conference will be the appropriate fit for this young prospect. Buss deploys a fastball we’ve seen up to 91 mph in game from a low-effort delivery with a whippy arm that unleashes velocity from a funky slot. He also showcases a sharp, sweeping breaking ball and confidence in a straight changeup. Buss has a high ceiling and will continue to develop his repertoire and we are excited to see him perform this spring and at Kansas State in a couple of years.

Nolan Buss (9/24/22)

+ Wichita State picked up two of Wisconsin’s best prospects in INF Brock Lulewicz (Muskego) and RHP Nate Langbehn (DC Everest). In Lulewicz, the Shockers are getting a competitive left-handed bat who can flat-out hit. We viewed Lulewicz barrel up multiple balls against pitchers featuring high-end stuff at the Future Games this summer. The quality of at-bats for him was impressive as well, with the ability to lay off nasty out-pitch breaking balls below the zone and fouling off close pitches to extend at-bats. He is athletic with the ability to play all over the diamond. 

Langbehn is a big, physical right-hander listed at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds with more room to add size and strength to his frame. He drives his fastball downhill from a high ¾ delivery with velocity up to 89 mph. He has a hard-biting spike curveball that he can land for strikes and get chases below the zone for an out-pitch. Additionally, he throws a changeup to round out a starting pitcher’s repertoire. The Wichita State Shockers are adding a couple of impactful players in Lulewicz and Langbehn to their program. 

+ North Carolina got a verbal commitment from one of our state’s top athletes and most exciting players: OF Cade Palkowski (Oak Creek). Palkowski is a compact-framed athlete who stands 5-foot-11, 190 pounds with twitch and strength. He is a multi-tooled, high ceiling player who can hit, hit for power, run, throw and defend. He has a compact swing who can impact the ball to both gaps with his strong quick hands, and he’s a quick-twitch runner who gets underway quickly and cuts the bases well. Palkowski’s speed helps him in the outfield to go along with solid routes and jumps to be able to track balls down deep into both gaps, though he probably projects best as a quality corner defender where his arm is a weapon, as he’s been clocked at 91 mph with accuracy to his target. We are excited for Palkowski’s opportunity to represent Wisconsin out east for this competitive ACC program.

+ A couple of left-handers, Tannis Lange (Waukesha South), who committed to Ohio State, and Easton Bobb (Chippewa Falls), a St. Thomas (MN) recruit, each came off the board in the last couple of months. Lange thoroughly impressed at the Future Games this summer showcasing a fastball at 88 mph from a repeatable and athletic delivery. His frame and overall athleticism indicates that he will add more velocity in the future. Lange also spun a hard-biting curveball and frequently landed a changeup. Lange is a competitor who will continue to develop as a future Buckeyes southpaw.

Bobb also impressed at the Future Games this summer with an easy, repeatable delivery from a ¾ slot. His fastball velocity topped out at 85 mph but it displays big arm-side run to the pitch and the ability to command it to spots. He also spins a big breaking ball and has feel for a change. Bobb has a starting pitcher’s profile and it’s easy to see why the Tommies pursued the pitching prospect, and he’s reportedly been gaining velocity ahead of schedule.

+ The University of Iowa nabbed an upside player, RHP Kyle Alivo (St. Thomas More), who was one of the biggest overall winners of the Future Games. Alivo opened eyes at LakePoint with a dynamic, athletic, uptempo delivery through the baseball. He topped out at 87 mph with an elite spin rate of 2,543 rpm. Alivo also snapped off multiple hard-breaking sliders with similarly impressive spin rates, and he threw a late-fading changeup with depth that also looked like a future out-pitch. Alivo’s long-levered frame will provide more room for size, strength and his competitiveness make it easy to see why the Hawkeyes were keen on bringing Alivo into their ‘24 recruiting class.

+ Shortly following the Future Games, 3B/OF Eason Hurd (Ashwaubenon) announced his commitment to Creighton. Hurd is an interesting prospect out of Ashwaubenon with an innate knack for the barrel, something we have seen a plethora of times throughout this past year. While down at LakePoint, Hurd registered a max exit velocity of 94.5 mph during his BP round and live in game he smacked multiple balls 90-plus mph to earn Dick’s Sporting Goods MVP during game two of the weekend. We have long known of Hurd’s natural ability to hit, but this year he started to hit for more power, and if he continues to add strength to his frame, we could start to see him become a real power threat in the Badger State, and that’s on top of everything else he brings to the diamond.

+ OF Roman Sienza (Mukwonago) is arguably one of the states best pure athletes, regardless of class. Sienza is another rising junior who took the trip down to LakePoint to represent Team Wisconsin and also made his commitment to Butler just recently. Down in Georgia, Sienza turned some heads during the workout day where he ran a 6.83 in the 60-yard dash and a roughly 36-inch vertical jump, which was the fourth best of all prospects there. His athleticism aids him in many facets of the game and if his bat keeps trending in the right direction, he could keep climbing up our rankings.

TOP UNCOMMITTED

NAME
POSITION
SCHOOL
STATE RANKING
Jackson Brewer 1B/LHP Homestead
6
R.J. Thomae OF Hartford Union
12
Trent Cornell OF/UTL Altoona
16
Aren Robinson 1B Brookfield Central
17
Noah Marschke LHP Stevens Point
19
Payten Jibben OF/RHP Oak Creek
20


MORE FALL NOTES

JD Dix SS / Whitefish Bay, WI / 2024

Wisconsin's latest homegrown star shortstop, JD Dix, remains the top overall player in the state’s junior class. He has a chance to be one of the best to come through the state in quite some time – and that’s all while factoring in the run on athletes Wisconsin has produced over the last decade or so especially. Dix is one of the nation’s top-ranked ‘24s, and he only reiterated that fact this fall. Frankly, he has a chance to be one of the first prep players to hear his name called at 2024’s MLB Draft, if he remains on the trajectory he’s created for himself.

Noah Wech SS / RHP / Manitowoc Lincoln, WI / 2024

Noah Wech, the No. 2-ranked player in the state, has one of the liveliest arms in the Midwest, and he was impressive across multiple national-type stages in the fall, reaching low-90s velocity with relative ease. His quick arm leaves a high slot to create a steep angle to and through the zone, making it a particularly tough offering to square up. Wech’s also shown the feel to mix in a tight breaking ball, and sharpening it up over the offseason will help him gain traction nationally, as he’s already started to earn that level of attention, given his late summer commitment to Oklahoma State. While the arm is elite, he’s also a premier athlete and shortstop prospect, so we’ll continue to monitor his status as a two-way prospect until further notice.


+ MIF Eddie Rynders (Wisconsin Lutheran; Kent State) used this past fall to reassert himself as one of the state’s top position players. His simple, pretty left-handed swing often results in all-fields liners that generate a high ceiling picture. Rynders’ smooth skill-set started to look more and more complete in our pair of looks at Rock tournaments in July and September, so we’re particularly interested in seeing how an offseason of development enhances an already intriguing profile.

Eddie Rynders (9/23/22)

+ OF R.J. Thomae (Hartford Union) simply dominated this summer and fall, and he’s our top-ranked uncommitted outfielder as a result, up to No. 12 overall in the state. He led his talented travel ball team in hitting, extra-base hits and home runs, and he wasn’t hotter anywhere else than The Rock. He has a short, quick and simple swing that he repeats very well, allowing his barrel to stay in the zone for a very long time and it can redirect all kinds of pitches to all fields. Thomae’s athleticism is on display on the bases and in the outfield, where he makes rangy plays to both gaps. He is a high-level performer who has outstanding instincts for all aspects of the game, and he was arguably the top hitter we saw at our events in 2022.

RJ Thomae (9/25/22)

+ OF/RHP Payten Jibben (Oak Creek) moves up in the rankings due to the impressive two way performance this summer and fall. Jibben is a physical athlete listed at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, that should support useful strength. He performed well at the plate with a short, compact swing that produced multiple line-drives all over the diamond at PBR Tournaments. His athleticism really shows well in the outfield getting solid reads, an impressive quick first step, and appropriate routes to the ball which allows him to run down balls to the gaps. On the mound, he might event possess an even more clear ceiling. Jibben has a loose rhythmic delivery with the ability to drive the ball down hill to spots. His fastball velocity range was 85-87 mph in the fall, and he throws a devastating changeup, one of the best we saw all year, that regularly confuses hitters – and he can spin a breaking ball, too.

+ Throughout the summer circuit and into the fall, RHP Grayson Flugaur (Franklin) just flat-out dominated in front of our staff. During September’s PBR at The Rock Fall Championships, Flugaur kept up his stretch of dominance as he tallied seven strikeouts across his five dominant innings. As for his repertoire, Flugaur features a fastball with ride and life that make it a tough pitch to barrel up as he earns a ton of swings and misses on this pitch alone. He also has two different breaking balls, the first being a more traditional curveball with 11/5 break, and the second being a tightly spun slider. To round out his four-pitch arsenal, Flugaur also maintains arm speed on his changeup with late sink that only adds to his above-average repertoire. His pitchability and competitiveness round out one of the top uncommitted profiles in the state’s class. 

+ RHP Craig Kabat (Bay Port) is one of the highest ‘Risers’ in the class, now ranked No. 27 overall. He was dynamite in a couple looks this fall, where he showcased increased velocity that only made him that much tougher to hit and it didn’t result in fewer strikes either. Kabat is a strong, compact 5-foot-10, 180-pound righty who reached new highs of 88 mph with some late life in the strike zone, and it adds to his well-above-average secondaries, too. The first of which is a tight, downer-type breaking ball that is thrown with intent, and the second being a true changeup that plays well off of his fastball. After another full offseason of work in front of him, our staff is excited to see what this uncommitted prospect can accomplish. 

+ RHP Braycen Burg (Hartford Union) is making his debut on the state’s Class of 2024 rankings at No. 31 overall after a stellar outing at our fall tournament hosted at The Rock Complex. There, he recorded four no-hit innings while attacking the zone with 82-85 mph velocity that really carried through the zone, and he regularly deploys a few other offspeed pitches that he manipulates adeptly for a player his age. He has a cut-slider type pitch that has sharp lateral action, as well as a biting downer breaking ball and a deceptive changeup. Burg’s a must-know name breaking out now, headed into a big offseason.

ARROW-UP FOLLOWS

+ RHP/UTL Marshall Loch (Union Grove) is an intriguing two-way prospect in this 2024 class and after a quality fall, and he continues to look like a need-to-know name in this class. Built at an upside 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, Loch possesses a quick arm that has been up to 84 mph in our looks and is complemented by an aggressive slider that flashes sharp swing-and-miss potential. With that being said, he’s made huge gains at the plate, with a fast right-handed bat that’s connected for some of the loudest contact we saw all year. Although we haven’t seen Loch in a showcase setting in some time now he still has produced max EVs in the mid-90s in the past, and our live looks since only suggest he’s capable of making use of that strength in-game.

+ C/UTL Jonah Roloff (Kettle Moraine) is a savvy left-handed-hitting catching prospect in Wisconsin’s junior class and across the summer and fall, he consistently showed well in front of our staff. Listed at an athletic 5-foot-10, 155-pounds, Roloff’s advanced defensive capabilities point to him sticking behind the plate in the long run as he has created lows of 1.93 pop times in front of our staff before. Roloff is actually somewhat new to the position, which is even more impressive, and he’s also looked like a natural at second base and in the outfield in front of us. Offensively, his hit tool is also something that sets him apart from his peers, as he consistently drives the ball hard to the entire field. Overall, Roloff has really made a name for himself inside this class after a productive 2022 campaign and he is a name to keep a close eye on as continue his high school career.

Jonah Roloff (10/22/22)

+ MIF Tate Schmidt (Waunakee) is a high-waisted 5-foot-10, 150 pounds, and a growth spurt in 2022 has helped signal a bright future as a late-bloomer type to be made aware of. He roams around the middle of the infield with advanced defensive actions, and we’re excited to see what an offseason does to enhance his profile on both sides of the ball. Given his talent with the glove, Schmidt’s left-handed bat makes him that much more intriguing of a prospect. It’s a loose, easy swing that sprays the ball effectively to all fields, and we’ll be on the lookout for the strides he makes in early 2023, given how far he’s come over the last calendar year or so.

+ INF C.J. Trask (Oak Creek) had a strong performance during the summer circuit that continued during the fall. Listed at 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, Trask is an athletic prospect that is light on his feet that has many tools to his game. First of which is his defense capabilities that project at any infield position, with a strong arm up to 87 across the diamond and the ability to play with control and slow down the game. On offense, Trask has repeatedly shown the ability to hit across multiple looks with simple, solid bat-to-ball skills. His eye-catching performances from spring through the fall have helped him rise inside this update.

+ C/OF Peyton Ryback (Nathan Hale) is an athletic catching prospect with a feel for the position. Listed at 5-foot-10 170 pounds, Ryback has many tools that make him a unique prospect. The loudest being his all around defensive capabilities, with a quick transfer and a strong arm has created lows of 1.93 on his pop times. Has also shown the ability to be a quality receiver and a blocker across multiple looks this summer. Offensively, his hit tool was put on display multiple times in front of our staff across the summer circuit and into the fall, swinging a violent bat that helps him to drive the ball to all fields for extra-base hits.

+ Click here to view the complete Wisconsin Class of 2024 Rankings.


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