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Eastern Wisconsin Open: Quick Hits


By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer, Associate Scout

On Monday, Aug. 19, the PBR Wisconsin team travelled to Sheboygan to host Wildwood Baseball Park in Sheboygan, Wis., home of the Sheboygan A’s, to host the annual Eastern Wisconsin Open showcase. We had a group of around 70 players attend the event and there were plenty of takeaways to highlight in today’s Quick Hits post.

Below, we’re going to provide some instant analysis from Monday’s showcase, shining a light on the prospects who stole the show in Sheboygan. Keep an eye out tomorrow when we further analyze the day by dissecting the measured data recorded at the open event.

For now, check out our Quick Hits.

BRINGING THE HEAT

+ Though we expected to see RHP Logan Schulfer (Stevens Point, 2021; Wisconsin-Milwaukee commit) light up the radar gun on Monday, it was still a treat to watch the No. 5-ranked prospect in the state’s ‘21 class rear back and touch 91 mph in his bullpen. With a defined, durable lower half, Schulfer drives toward home hard and unleashes his super quick arm, sitting 89-90 mph with hard, late arm-side action on his fastball. He’s also able to maintain his electric arm speed with his plus changeup that he spotted very well – and its movement matches his fastball, generating hard arm-side action. The breaking ball is still under construction, but Schulfer’s overall athleticism and arm strength has him as one of the state’s top follows in its incoming junior class.

+ Apart from Schulfer, the day’s biggest winner might just be incoming freshman RHP Devin Mrozek, another Stevens Point-area arm to follow. Every year in Sheboygan, we seem to find another new set of SPASH follows, and Mrozek is among the latest. He’s built at a strong and projectable 5-foot-11, 180 pounds and showed the makings of a three-pitch mix. Mrozek has a quick, loose, and athletic arm and sat 82-84 mph in his session. His curve has real depth off an 11/5 plane with a feel to spin for his age, and he maintains his quick arm speed on his changeup, at 73-76 mph.

+ No 2020 prospect threw it harder than RHP Adam Diedrich (Hilbert; uncommitted), who sat at 83-84 mph in his session. At a long-limbed lanky 6-foot-2, Diedrich utilizes a quick, loose arm with some hard and heavy action. He’s still defining his offspeed, a breaking ball and change; and the changeup specifically he’s shown some feel for.

+ Three incoming, uncommitted juniors were up to 84 mph: RHPs Thomas Hunt (Almond-Bancroft), Nick Nowak (Waukesha South), and Aaron Rice (Brillion). Hunt is a strong, live-armed righty with a low-80s fastball showing some tilt. Nowak sat 81-83 mph and complemented it with a tight, sharp 11/5 curveball that he demonstrated some real feel for. And Rice is a lean and projectable 6-foot-2 with a loose arm that worked downhill at 82-83 mph and flashed some feel for a swing-and-miss changeup.

UP THE MIDDLE

+ Middleton senior INF Brooks Kalscheur (2020) fits a next-level second base profile after a strong showing in Sheboygan on Monday. He peppered the middle of the diamond with low-lying line-drive contact, a simple and level right-handed cut with some barrel feel. But Kalscheur’s value in entrenched with his glove. He’s an athletic defender with the hands and actions to comfortably occupy second base for the long-term.

+ With a profile much like Kalscheur’s, only belonging to the 2021 class instead, Max Bretzmann (New Berlin Eisenhower) showed a similar game in Sheboygan. He swings off a long bat path with some extension through contact, but also like Kalscheur, Bretzmann’s glove is his biggest and best tool. He took arguably the day’s best reps during our infield defense evaluations, a constantly fielding groundballs in rhythm and with athleticism with some surprising arm strength for his 5-foot-8 frame, allowing him to enhance his chances of sticking around at shortstop at the next level.

+ Colin Indermuehle (Grafton, 2021) is just a steady all-around performer, as evidenced across the board on Monday. He has a compact right-handed bat with a quick bat, hand/eye coordination, and a pull-side approach. He also has middle-infield actions with soft hands and the feet to keep contributing defensively around the second base bag.

BACKSTOPS AT EVERY LEVEL

+ Nowak was mentioned earlier for his work on the mound, and he also had one of the top all-around performances from behind the plate and at it. The Waukesha South junior has a smooth right-handed stroke and routinely makes hard on-the-barrel contact on a line. That arm strength that plays on the mound for Nowak works just as well from behind the dish, too. He throws a true ball through the middle of the infield and is clean and quick from the crouch. As of now, he has real two-way upside, so we’ll check back in on Nowak in the spring.

+ 2021 Charlie Bogue (Mount Horeb) took some solid reps from behind home and was among the top infield defenders when he fielded some groundballs during those evaluations. Regardless of where he slots in defensively, he swings an aggressive, compact right-handed bat and displayed an ability to backspin baseballs with hard, low-lying contact. He might fit best long-term at third base, but he has the raw tools to continue growing as a catcher.

+ After putting together the best overall performance as a catcher back at the start of July at our Eau Claire-area showcase, Hunter Petska (Green Bay Preble, 2020) was, again, one of the top overall backstops in Sheboygan. His bat path is long, but he’s constantly able to find the barrel and lifts long and strong contact up the middle. Defensively, he has a long arm action, but it’s quick from the chute and it carries through the diamond. He’s also an adept blocker with consistent actions from the crouch, and averaged the quickest pops to second of anyone on the day, just edging out Nowak.

+ Alec Campbell (Janesville Craig, 2022) is a raw, lanky, and athletic receiver with a right-handed bat to follow. His wiry strength helps him produce hard contact from a short and level plane with the tools to continue polishing his defense from behind the plate.

ON-THE-MARKET POP

+ Circle this name: INF Blake Hall (Random Lake, 2020) he ran the quickest 60 of the day (by far), a 6.76 mark through the thick outfield grass in Sheboygan. He swings a twitchy left-handed bat with advanced bat speed on a short, uphill plane. His quality of contact was also exceptional in BP, as he launched balls neatly into both gaps with consistency. He showed an attractive contact/power profile that has labeled him a 2020 to follow late in the recruiting game.

+ From Port Washington, corner infielder Jacob Modjeski (2021) made it clear that he’s harnessing some of the state’s top pop in his big right-handed bat. He topped the exit velocity leaderboard (97 mph) on Monday and used it well in batting practice. Modjeski swings a short and compact bat off an uphill plane that’s geared for gap-to-gap contact with some over-the-fence juice, too. He isn’t an all-or-nothing hacker, either; he has a strong feel for the barrel, too.

+ Will Mattheis (Laconia, 2021) swings a strong left-handed bat with some natural lift on contact. He redirected baseballs in BP up through the middle of the field and has some natural bat strength.

+ Jakob King (Sussex Hamilton, 2020) swings a right-handed bat with next-level pull-side pop. It’s a quiet, strong bat path with a natural feel for the barrel, which will help him generate extra-base-type contact in-game.

+ At 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, Gavin Roanhouse (Waterford, 2021) takes aggressive hacks in the right-handed box and his frame helps create some leverage and power potential. He swings a fluid, smooth bat and showed an innate feel to backspin baseballs into the gaps in BP on Monday.

+ Tyler Zarnstoff (Mukwonago, 2020) has big 6-foot-3 frame that makes him a big target over at first base and works well in the left-handed batter’s box, too. He has a smooth and level swing and he takes strong hacks, though the contact right now is geared more toward line drives rather than lofted fly balls into the gaps. Still, his barrel feel separates him from his peers.

EYE ON THESE ARMS

+ From Muskego, 2022 RHP Adam Balcerak emerged as a follow prospect in the state’s budding ‘22 class. He has a lean, athletic frame with good projection and a raw, malleable arsenal. Presently, he’s sitting in the upper-70s, up to 80 mph a couple times on Monday, with the makings of a swing-and-miss curveball with serious potential. Balcerak also exhibited an early feel for his changeup, granting him some semblance of a three-pitch mix as a sophomore.

+ Riley Bauman (2021) was one of the most clutch bats at the WIAA state tournament in June and he was integral to the Tigers taking home the Division-3 title. He has twitchy actions in his 5-foot-11 frame and it plays really well on the mound. The ball jumps out of his hand, sitting 77-81 mph on Monday and he also showcased feel for a tight curveball.

+ Sussex Hamilton also enjoyed a deep run at the state tournament this spring and A.J. Hamilton (2021) can help the Chargers ignite another state tourney run in 2020. He has a clean and easy arm with upside, up to 81 mph in Sheboygan with some feel to spin a couple different breaking balls.

+ De Pere’s Wyatt Fischer (2021) is a high-waisted 6-foot left-hander and is among the top follows coming out of Sheboygan. He was up to 81 mph with a live fastball that jumped from his hand and backed it up with some solid offspeed with potential to complete a three-pitch mix in the not-too-distant future. Fischer’s loose arm, long limbs, and present look and stuff gives him a high ceiling to dream on moving forward.

+ 2023 RHP Logan Frank (Oshkosh North) is still sharpening his offspeed offerings, but the ease and jump in which he’s able to run in fastballs in the upper-70s, touching 80 mph once, is something to follow.

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