Wisconsin well-represented in PBR Labor Day Challenge



Labor Day Challenge SLIDE2

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director – Wisconsin and Illinois

Wisconsin will be well-represented in the inaugural Prep Baseball Report Labor Day Challenge this weekend at Illinois State University. Two Wisconsin powerhouses, the Hitters and GRB Rays, are loaded with Class of 2015 talent, and they will square off against some of the Midwest’s top programs. All the action of the Labor Day Challenge will be streamed live at www.highschoolcub.com on the Prep Baseball Report’s channel.

A quick look at the Hitters and GRB Rays:

Hitters

The Hitters is one of the longest standing high-level travel programs in Wisconsin. Over the years they have turned out numerous college prospects as well as major league draft picks. One of the Hitters’ top prospects is OF Doran Turchin (Oak Creek), who is ranked No. 3 in Wisconsin’s 2015 class. Turchin is a dynamic athlete who possesses a strong arm and advanced bat and foot speed.

Despite the name, the Hitters bring a deep pitching staff that includes the top LHP in Wisconsin’s 2015 class, Nickolas Lackney (Whitefish Bay). Along with Lackney comes top-ranked pitchers RHP Dustin Landers (Kaukauna), RHP Mitchel Makarewicz (Oak Creek), LHP Joseph Kaszubowski (Whitefish Bay) and LHP Julian Alverio (Racine Case). Also of interest is recently converted catcher Alex Marro, who has reportedly been sitting in the mid 80’s in one of his first times on the mound. Marro clearly has the arm strength, as we’ve seen him at 80 mph out of the crouch.

SS Owen Miller (Ozaukee) and C Jack Kinzer (Port Washington, 2016) are two other position players to keep an eye on. Miller is one of the more reliable and versatile infielders in the state, as shown by his performance at the Midwest Future Games. Kinzer is a 2016 graduate who has an advanced feel for the game behind the dish while flashing occasional pop in his bat.

GRB Rays

The Rays is a relative newcomer to the high level travel baseball world and have made their presence felt across the circuit. The Rays boast one of the best collection of 2015 prospects in the Midwest. Five of the top six ranked players in Wisconsin’s Class of 2015 hail from the GRB program, including No.1 Pete Schuler (Kenosha St. Joseph, C), No. 2 Bryant Jordan (Home School, RHP), No. 4 Alex Henwood (Appleton North, SS), No. 5 Brendan Meissner (West De Pere, RHP) and No. 6 Jack Bredeson (Arrowhead, RHP). All of whom will be representing GRB at the Labor Day Challenge. GRB also holds the distinction of the first 2015 commitment in Wisconsin with Brendan Meissner, who verbally committed to Illinois shortly after his Midwest Future Game performance.

Schuler is one of the more highly touted left-handed hitting catchers in the Midwest. The Rays also boast several other left-handed bats, including Henwood, Rudy Rott (La Crosse Aquinas, C) and Cade Bunnell (Stoughton, MIF). Rott may be one of the purest left-handed hitters in Wisconsin while Bunnell takes some of the toughest at-bats around.

Their staff is led by Bryant Jordan and Brendan Meissner. Jordan has the strongest arm in Wisconsin’s 2015 class with a quick and athletic arm action. Jordan was one the seven pitchers that touched the 90 mph mark at the Midwest Future Games in early August. Also keep an eye on 2016 graduate RHP Travis Berg (Eau Claire Memorial), who looked sharp at the 2016 Top Prospect Games, working quickly on the mound while controlling the zone with three pitches.

In addition to the games being streamed live, we will have scout blogs throughout all the action at the Prep Baseball Report Labor Day Challenge.

CLICK HERE to view the complete schedule of games.