Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 9 Muskego


By Diego Solares
Wisconsin Staff

The Wisconsin high school baseball season kicks off on April 27, opening day for regular season action under WIAA regulations. Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2021 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications, leading into a countdown through the official PBR Wisconsin Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Perennially, we’ve submitted a Preseason Questionnaire to high school head coaches across the entire state. Their responses have been flooding in and we’re using the detailed insight they’ve provided in our team-by-team preseason analysis.These preseason previews are also assembled with the help of Joe Waite and his comprehensive Baseball Wisconsin Yearbook, and the 2021 edition will soon be available for purchase here.

Our 2021 preseason coverage continues today.

Team: Muskego
Preseason Rank: No. 9
2019 Record: 15-7
Conference: Classic Eight
WIAA Division: 1
Head Coach: Jacob Paige

TOP PLAYERS

NAME POS CLASS COMMITMENT
Mitchell Crawley RHP 2021 Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Alex Hayes LHP/1B 2021 Madison JC
Alex Jamroziak RHP 2021 -
Corey Plahuta LHP 2021 -
Blake Read LHP 2021 Miami-Ohio
Peyton Seebacher OF 2021 Wabash Valley JC
Ryan Sell LHP 2021 -
Anthony Tomczak C 2021 Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Adam Balcerak OF/RHP 2022 -
Ethan Engelfried RHP 2022 -
Cristiano Ramirez RHP/INF 2022 -
Salvatore Zizzo C/OF 2022 -

OUTLOOK 

Entering his 11th year at the helm of this Muskego program, head coach Jacob Paige has already amassed 191 wins with the Warriors – an impressive feat along that timeframe and across a competitive perennial schedule. This year’s Muskego team has the potential to be one of Coach Paige’s most talented groups in his tenure, too.

The strength of this Muskego team is a deep pitching staff, led by multiple experienced senior starters and a few juniors who are eager to establish themselves as key pieces for the Warriors.

Anchoring this group are senior southpaws LHP Alex Hayes and LHP Blake Read, a couple of the state’s top-ranked ‘21s who also spent time as teammates at the PBR Future Games as members of Team Wisconsin in 2019. Hayes is as steady and reliable as it gets. A sturdy 6-foot-1, 200-pound left-hander who throws a ton of strikes with a high-end pitchability. Hayes will fill up the zone with a mid-80s fastball, can land a tight slider for strikes, and keeps his changeup at knee height. An all-conference honorable mention as a sophomore, Hayes will look to finish out his high school career on a high note as a steady producer on the mound for Muskego – and he can really swing his left-handed bat, too.

Alex Hayes (7/24/20)

Read is back to full strength and ready to roll into this spring as the other half of the Warriors’ stellar one-two punch. He’s an athletic 6-foot-2, 185-pound arm who we’re eager to get another look at this spring, especially because of the impressive arsenal he showed at the PBR Future Games two years ago.

Rounding out this projected starting rotation is another athlete who earned an all-conference honorable mention two years ago: senior RHP Alex Jamroziak. Our last look at Jamroziak came in 2019, when he featured an 87 mph and some feel to spin a mid-70s breaking ball for strikes. Fellow senior RHP Mitchell Crawley has a loose, quick arm, and he was up to 83 mph this time last year, so count him as another weapon at Muskego's disposal.

Two more senior southpaws to note for Muskego, both of whom are uncommitted ranked names inside Wisconsin’s 2021 class: Corey Plahuta and Ryan Sell. Plahuta is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound arm that features a low-80s fastball and he can land an above-average breaking ball for strikes. Sell is cut from a similar mold to Plahuta with an arsenal that features a low-80s fastball and a sweeping breaking pitch that he’ll go to as his main complimentary offering. These two bring much added depth and experience to this Warriors’ pitching staff. 

Dipping down to the 2022 class, here’s two high-follow, uncommitted, two-way prospects in Wisconsin: OF/RHP Adam Balcerak and INF/RHP Cristiano Ramirez. The pair can be considered ‘X-Factors’ for Muskego this spring, as players who can offer the Warriors a little bit of everything, successfully backing up the seniors ahead of them. 

Balcerak is a highly athletic 6-foot, 180-pound prospect who’s on the rise following a productive showing at our first-ever Milwaukee I.D. at the MOSH Center in Franklin. There, he showed an increased fastball velocity, up to 88 mph, and comfortably sitting at 84-87. While the off-speed pitches are still developing, Balcerak’s upside on the mound given his pure athleticism is evident when you watch him throw.

Ramirez has spent a lot of time on the radar, as a live-armed upside athlete, and it’s all starting to come together for him. Built at a wiry 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, Ramirez’s fastball has ticked up into the 83-85 mph range and he’s refined the shape on his breaking ball to generate sharper spin on a downward plane. Ramirez’s changeup has shown quality flashes in the past as well and his entire arsenal plays up because he can throw all three of his pitches for strikes.

Cristiano Ramirez (3/21/21)

They both can impact the game from an offensive standpoint, and their individual athleticism makes them dependable defenders as well. Balcerak’s batted-ball metrics at our Milwaukee I.D. were some of the best we saw all winter, and the sure-handed actions of Ramirez can be an asset up the middle of the infield, or at third base.

Adam Balcerak (3/21/21)

Here’s another follow junior on this roster: RHP Ethan Engelfried. He’s still fully figuring out how to sync up his levers downhill, but the 6-foot-3, 165-pound Engelfried has plenty of upside attached to his frame. He featured an 82-84 mph fastball at last month’s South Milwaukee I.D., and he mixed in a handful of changeups that flashed natural fade to the arm-side. Engelfried adds even more exciting depth to one of – or maybe the – state’s best staff. 

The Warriors’ offense isn’t as potent as their pitching staff, but it’s still a talented unit with a handful of impact names worth a mention. It’s a group led by senior OF Peyton Seebacher (Wabash Valley JC commit), who is a toolsy 6-foot-1, 185-pound left-handed-hitting outfielder who has loud middle-of-the-order upside attached to his swing. Another key senior on this roster is C Anthony Tomczak (Wisconsin-Stevens Point), who’s a strong right-handed-hitting backstop who provides a stable presence on offense for the Warriors, as well as one behind the dish. Tomczak should be plenty capable of handling the depth of arms here, defensively.

Another potential power bat in this lineup is a player who just recently debuted in our state’s updated Class of 2022 rankings: C/OF Salvatore Zizzo. Zizzo boasts a muscular 5-foot-11, 190-pound frame and he showed impact barrel strength during his BP round at the West Milwaukee I.D. He’s a quality defender behind the plate as well with quick catch-and-throw skills and both he and Tomczak combine for a hardy receiving core.

BOTTOM LINE

The sheer number of talented arms on Muskego’s staff will give them a chance to win every time they take the field, even in the rigorous Classic Eight. How the Warriors’ offense holds up throughout the spring will ultimately be the deciding factor for this team, but this Muskego squad has the chance to return to the state title scene – only this time in the spring.

Make sure to follow @PBRWisconsin on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2021 season.

Find more information on the 2021 Warriors below:

+ Team Website
+ Team Schedule

PRESEASON POWER 25 COUNTDOWN