Wisconsin Mailbag: Top Questions of the Week



By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director – Wisconsin/Illinois

The Mailbag is a feature which allows readers to ask our scouting directors any questions they wish about high school baseball in their state. Whether it’s about possible state title contenders, top prospects, recruiting, etc. your questions will get put into our “Mailbag” via the ask.fm app and our scouts will answer your questions through Twitter (@PBRWisconsin) and Facebook.

This week's top questions center around conference predictions, top players and state rankings.

To submit a question about Wisconsin high school baseball to the PBR scouting staff simply follow the link HERE. Also if you have a burning question about the national landscape of high school baseball or draft specific questions you can send them to National Supervisor Nathan Rode HERE.

Top Questions of The Week

Little Ten predictions?‎ 

Gotta give the nod to Oconomowoc. Look for Milwaukee Lutheran to me the most improved team, there's a lot of young talent there.

Will you do rankings for each division?

No. Our team rankings will include all four divisions in our Power 25 team rankings.

Who's the 3 best LHP in the class of 2014?

Take a look at the updated rankings HERE>> http://www.prepbaseballreport.com/rankings/WI/Wisconsin-Class-of-2014-5261389407-4367208519

Do you think a 5'8" 135 2B that throws 75 across the diamond and hits solid would get recruited by college teams? If so what division?

Well that's a vague description of a player. There's a lot more that goes into college recruiting then a player's height, weight and arm strength across the diamond.

Best freshman you have seen from Wisconsin at your Preseason I.D.?

Tough to say. We've seen some good ones so far. Hopefully we will have our 2017 rankings out in a couple weeks.

When will the state 2016 rankings be out?

I'm shooting for early next week. That's a tough one, a lot of really good players in that class.

Who are some players to watch in the Classic 8 conference this year?

I'm zeroed in on the spring season right now but I can tell you that Arrowhead definitely has the most talented baseball players walking their halls, problem is most of them opt out of playing high school baseball for their travel program. Tough to give you a good answer on this one until I know more what the roster will look like.

Who are some guys to watch in the FVA this year?

I think the obvious buzz in the FVA this season will be the draft stock of Kimberly's Scott Schreiber. Much like last year and Appleton West's Dan Jansen, scouts should be making the trip north to see Schreiber this spring.

If there was a team to beat Lake Country Lutheran who do you think it would be?

I'm not going to lie to you, I don't get out and see much D4 baseball. I saw LCL last year at state and have seen several of their players, they will be tough to beat, they can give several D1 schools a run for their money. Shane Coker at Athens is probably one of the more impactful prospects in all of D4 baseball. Went 6-0 on the mound last year and has big juice in his bat so you could probably throw them in the mix to make a run.

Predicted state champion in D4?

Check out the Preseason Top 25! Gotta be LCL only lost 2 starters off of last year's runner up. Also have some interesting sophomores coming up to varsity this year.

Who are some players to watch from the Big 8 this year? And who is your sleeper player in this conference?

That's a great conference with many interesting prospects. Probably the most highly touted right now is Verona Area C Ben Rortvedt who is getting attention from several major schools and is one of the top catching prospects in the Midwest. I wouldn't cal them sleepers but two players that I would look to break out this season would be two LHP's Kanyon Fellers (Sun Prairie, 2015) and Keaton Knueppel (Verona Area, 2016). Knueppel has recently jumped up to 83 mph and Fellers could have the best breaking ball in his class.

Who are the top 2015 catchers?

We just recently released the updated 2015 rankings in Wisconsin and you can see them HERE>> http://www.prepbaseballreport.com/rankings/WI/Wisconsin-Class-of-2015-1920754863-9836724501

Pete Schuler is still the top ranked player in the state obviously making him the top catcher in the class.

Thoughts on Janesville Craig?

Craig is good and should be improved from last year. Marro could be the X-Factor on the mound as we have seen him up to 85 with a live arm. Couple that with Faust returning and them should win a lot of games.

When will the 2017 rankings get realeased officially?

We will have to finish up the 2016's first but it will probably be within the next three weeks.

Why is running a 60 yard dash so important in baseball? I think it is overrated and that the home to first is more important.

The 60 time carries value because at the next level the game is not played one base at a time. 60 yards is equivalent to two bases and the ability to score from second and go first to third on a base hit is extremely important at the next level. While getting down the line is important your ability to advance two bases effects the game more than your ability to get out of the box and down the line. Either way they are both commonly used for grading out a player's foot speed.

Who do you think wins the Division 2 Spring State title?

Well looking at our Preseason Top 25 that we just released today I would have to say Jefferson. They bring back a boat load of experience all over the field, especially on the mound. http://www.prepbaseballreport.com/wisconsin/2014SpringPreseasonRankings

There seems to be a lot of upper 90's exit velocity going on lately is everyone using wood bats or metal? The evaluation should be done with one or the other for everyone. Otherwise it is like comparing apples to oranges. What are your thoughts? Who are the top 5 2016 outfielders in the region?

Most of the time at our showcases players use metal bats. The only exception to this is at the Super 60 Pro Showcase where we ask all the player to use wood. Our 2016 overall rankings will be updated soon but in the meantime you can check out the overall rankings HERE>>http://www.prepbaseballreport.com/rankings/PBR/PBR-2014-Combined-Ranking-7960231854-6743905821

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