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PBR Wisconsin Preseason First Team All-State


By Andy Sroka & Steve Nielsen
Wisconsin Staff

Today is Tuesday, March 31, and in another world we’d be celebrating the first pitch of the WIAA spring season. Unfortunately, the state’s high school baseball season is on this indefinite pause, but that won’t stop us from spotlighting what was set to be an exciting campaign.

We’ll celebrate the would-be opening day by releasing the PBR Wisconsin Preseason First Team All-State list. We’re going around the diamond and dubbing the state’s best players of this preseason honor – that’s eight position players, four pitchers, and one two-way talent. We'll also be releasing our Second Team list later today, so stay tuned there, but for now here's our First Team squad.

THE FIELD


PITCHERS
 

Ben Hampton LHP / West De Pere, WI / 2020

West De Pere had, arguably, the state’s best one-two punch atop its rotation in 2019 and one half of that combo is back in Hampton. As a junior, the West Virginia commit K’d 103 batters in 57.2 innings while further limiting his opposition offensively that helped him groom an ERA of 1.10. The Phantoms had big plans this spring to reach another state tournament, and Hampton was all set to lead them from the mound.

Luke Fox LHP / Catholic Memorial, WI / 2020

Few athletes, let alone baseball players, have had a prep career in the state of Wisconsin as decorated as Luke Fox. He’s produced some iconic moments on the gridiron, and he quarterbacked the Crusaders to three titles. But Fox is headed to Duke in the fall to pitch, and this spring looked like his best chance to end his phenomenal prep career on one last high note in the sport he’s committed to play for the foreseeable future. Catholic Memorial’s roster, on paper, was among the best and deepest in the state, and Fox was at the top of it – and he looked better than ever over the summer, leading to added optimism about the Crusaders' spring.

Tommy Lamb LHP / Grafton, WI / 2020

The senior Lamb is the third left-hander on this Preseason First Team staff. He’s one of the most polished pitchers in the state, a steady lefty with one of the best breaking balls around, neck and neck with another southpaw on this list, Ben Hampton. For Grafton, Lamb notched 85 punch-outs in 49 innings last year, with a lowly 1.01 ERA. It’ll be tough to top, but the Oklahoma commit might just be capable of building on his excellent 2019 to finish his high school career right.

Bryce Leedle RHP / Markesan , WI / 2021

Markesan’s Leedle was one of, if not the, reasons why the Hornets were Division-3 runners-up in 2019. They’re going to be a D-3 force again in 2020 and their junior ace and shortstop is the reason why. He went 7-0 from the mound last spring with a minuscule 0.46 ERA and he’s taken some demonstrable strides on the mound in the time since. Our staff just saw Leedle at the Madison Preseason I.D., where he sat in the upper-80s, touching 89 mph, with a feel to pitch that should only enhance his dominance in spring ball.

CATCHER

Kaden Kosobucki C / West De Pere, WI / 2021

This junior gives West De Pere the state’s best battery. Kosobucki is a dependable backstop in a prototypical catcher’s build, a compact and strong frame with an easy right-handed bat that helps him find the barrel with enough frequency that helped him hit a tick under .400 for the Phantoms as only a sophomore in 2019. Kosobucki was also one of Team Wisconsin’s catchers at the PBR Future Games last summer, and he capped off the eventful 2019 with a commitment to Northern Illinois. We’re excited and hopeful we’ll get to see what’s in store for Kosobucki and WDP in 2020. 

FIRST BASEMAN

Tyler Tetzke 1B / Appleton West, WI / 2020

The Terrors’ best bat – and arm – is back in 2020 to cap his senior spring. Tetzke is a left-handed-hitting slugger who returns a .489 batting average and four home runs to Appleton West, fully planning on finishing his prep career with a big bang. He’s earned the reputation as one of the best middle-of-the-order enforcers to make his way through the legendary Fox Valley Association, and he can really pitch, too. He was 4-0 last year with a 1.22 ERA and he and senior staffmate Kaden Krueger have West’s sights set on an FVA title, and more, this year. 

MIDDLE INFIELDERS

Noah Miller SS / Ozaukee, WI / 2021

The top prospect in the state’s junior class, and increasingly one of the top prep names to know in the Midwest for the 2021 draft, Noah Miller, is back for Ozaukee. Miller hit .500 for the Warriors as a sophomore switch-hitter, and he’s added some significant strength in the time since he last suited up for Ozaukee that should help him operate as even more of a run-producer in 2020. He tallied 11 extra-base hits in 62 sophomore at-bats, but it’s reasonable to think Miller makes a greater impact offensively this spring, all while playing the smoothest shortstop in the state.

TJ Manteufel SS / Union Grove, WI / 2020

Manteufel, who’s Bradley-bound this fall, shouldered much of the offensive workload for a Union Grove squad that finished runners-up in the state’s D-2 race. He hit .398 as a junior and slugged .819 with the help of eight doubles, three triples, and seven homers. Manteufel is a quick-twitch athlete and that applies to every facet of his game on the diamond, and we’re eager to see how he can wrap up what’s been a memorable career for one of the state’s best athletes. The Broncos looked set to be among the top D-2 programs this spring, again, and Manteufel is obviously an enormous reason why. 

THIRD BASEMAN

Max Wagner 3B / Green Bay Preble, WI / 2020

Wagner is entering his final spring of prep ball as one of the most dominant players in state history. He’s helped Preble earn a share of the Fox River Classic title all three of his springs there, as well as a perennial spot in the state tourney, and he was certainly poised to – finally – help lift the Hornets to a D-1 championship. As a junior, Wagner hit .507 with eight doubles, three triples, and five homers all while operating as another one half of the state’s most electric duos at the head of the rotation, alongside Ryan Stefiuk. On the mound, he was 8-2 as a junior with an ERA under 0.70. It has the potential to be a storybook ending to a storybook prep career. 

OUTFIELDERS 

Dylan Nevar OF / Wisconsin Dells, WI / 2020

Nevar has been the key to the Chiefs’ success, as both the team’s ace and top slugger – another name on this list to embrace and thrive in multiple critical roles for his team. He’s harnessed a special left-handed bat, one we saw on display for ourselves last summer, especially. He’s a lean 6-foot-1 athlete with quick, loose hands that help him leverage some surprising pop, which helped him hit .486 as a junior. Nevar also brings a loose, quick arm that helped him earn the credit of eight Dells wins in 2019, with a 1.28 ERA. He’s one of the top seniors in the state, simply put.

Gunnar Doyle OF / Oak Creek, WI / 2020

Oak Creek was primed to be a force coming out of the Milwaukee area, and Doyle was equipped to handle the bulk of the middle-of-the-order responsibilities, all while leading the squad as one of its few impact seniors. He pieced together an historic junior campaign, pacing the Knights through their program’s first-ever spring season. Doyle hit .462 last season with six doubles, a triple, and three homers, and is critically important to Oak Creek in 2020, as they hope to embark on another trip up north to the state tournament. 

Liam Stumpf OF / Mineral Point, WI / 2021

Stumpf and the aforementioned Kosobucki were teammates at the summer’s PBR Future Games where they represented our state, and the Mineral Point two-way standout was one of that team’s brightest spots. Before that, he heaved the Pointers to state in an authentic heavyweight D-4 bout between two undefeated teams. While Mineral Point suffered their first loss of the year that day, Stumpf and much of last year’s squad is back for another go. He was one of the few sophomores to earn a spot on our First Team All-State list at the end of last spring season, but it was a well-earned honor considering he slugged 1.066 courtesy of 12 home runs, 11 doubles, and three more triples. He also struck out 56 batters in 38 innings, used more often in relief. He and the Pointers are up in the D-3 ranks this season, but still look like state title contenders, maybe even favorites. 

UTILITY

Owen Washburn 2B / RHP / Webster, WI / 2021

Washburn was a part of the historic Webster squad that downed Stumpf and Mineral Point in the state D-4 title game, and the two made amends as PBR Future Games teammates last summer. There, he broke out completely on a national level and he’s since committed to South Carolina. Still just a junior, it’ll be interesting to see how far Washburn can hoist Webster on their trek to back-to-back D-4 titles, all while maintaining this undefeated streak. He’s one of the state’s best (and genuine) two-way prospects, as an up-the-middle defender who rakes from the left side. Washburn hit .549 and launched seven homers as a sophomore and he’s fully equipped to inherit the ace role from his brother, Jack, who’s a freshman at Oregon State. 

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