Summer Preseason I.D.: Quick Hits
May 15, 2018
On Saturday, we had the opportunity to see the players gearing up for the WIAA summer baseball season, and they had a lot to show us. The event featured around 50 attendees and we got our first-hand look at some of the progress this sophomore class has made. But it wasn’t only the 2020 class that jumped out, there were plenty of high-end juniors who delivered with great performances on both the mound and in the batter’s box.
The freshmen didn’t disappoint, either. Drew Stippich (Kettle Moraine) further established himself as one to watch develop moving forward. He made a lot of hard contact in the box and looked sharp on the mound, recording one of day’s hardest fastball velos for the 2021 class. We also got the chance to see Luke Nowak (Menomonee Falls) for the first time. The left-handed prospect recorded the day’s fastest 60 time and was sharp on the mound, too.
Circling back to this impressive sophomore class, three prospects highly ranked within their class made it out, including RHP Gavin Hinckley (West Bend West). Hinckley’s bullpen session showcased a jump in velocity and some enhanced secondary offerings. Joining him on the mound was Mitch Alba (Franklin) who also looked advanced for his age on both the mound and at the plate.
It was a loaded event, especially for this time of the year, and we haven’t even mentioned the junior class that includes Brookfield East’s two quality arms.
Keep an eye out for a statistical analysis as well as positional breakdowns from the Waukesha-area event in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s a quick look at some of the day’s most notable performers.
2020S ON THE RISE
+ Zach Storbakken (Sussex Hamilton, 2020) was one of the best bats in attendance. He is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound infielder who likely projects at third base with above average pop in his bat, continuing to prove he’s a top 20 prospect in the state. RHP Gavin Hinckley (West Bend West, 2020) showed an uptick in velo, just two months ago we saw him at 84-85 mph with good feel. Hinckley came out and sat 85-87 with his fastball and showed continued improvement of his secondary stuff.
+ OF/RHP Mitch Alba (Franklin, 2020), the younger brother of Max Alba (Franklin, 2018; North Carolina) has big shoes to follow in in his own house and Mitch looks well on his way to doing so. Mitch has a similarly projectable frame, but is more adept with the bat than his older brother was. He shows a knack for the barrel and made hard contact with a short, explosive stroke. Mitch also ran a 7.12, threw it 87 mph from the outfield, and posted an 85 mph exit velocity from the tee.
+ INF Payton Foltz (Watertown) and C Jonah Wronski (Marquette) are a pair of juniors to follow on the verge of cracking the rankings. Foltz has an upside frame with loose hands that played well on the infield and with the bat while Wronski moved well behind the plate showing above-average defensive actions.
+ We may already know the name Riley LeTourneau (Brookfield East, 2019), but we haven’t seen the junior righty since the PBR Future Games last summer and he’s made a serious jump. LeTourneau touched 89 mph sitting 87-88 mph with a hard, heavy fastball out of his 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame.
+ RHP Bailey Banaszynski, a Brookfield East teammate of LeTourneau, the junior topped at 86 mph flashing late arm-side run and a changeup with plus feel for his age.
+ LHP Tyler Drezek (West Allis Central, 2019) made a huge jump since last seeing him in the fall. We saw Drezek at the Eastern Wisconsin Open in August at 77-79 mph, fast forward to May and the southpaw is now an 84-85 mph guy with good action to his fastball
+ Jacoby Endreas (Sheboygan Falls, 2019) is a physical right-handed hitter who has been on our radar after catching a glimpse of him last fall. Endreas has a simple, quiet approach that unloads on the baseball with easy pop to both gaps. His bat is a strong follow and will likely profile at a corner infield spot.
+ Kyle Ristow (Wisconsin Lutheran, 2019) has an intriguing frame at 6-foot-3, 160-pounds and ran a 6.94 in the 60. He has a loose, whippy barrel through the zone that created an 86 mph exit velocity from the tee.
+ Cade Neuber (Slinger, 2021) improved off of his fall performance and showed loose defensive actions and an above-average arm for age.
+ Zach Peterson (Oak Creek, 2021), another freshman infielder with above-average actions, profiles well in the middle of the infield. His arm played well at 81 mph across the diamond and also topped at 81 mph on the mound.
+ Drew Stippich (Kettle Moraine) is a freshman to follow. His bat played well making hard contact in BP, an 87 mph exit velo and topped at 81 mph on the mound.
+ LHP Luke Nowak (Menomonee Falls, 2021) has some intriguing tools, the L/L two-way player ran an event best 6.87 and was up to 79 on the mound.