Prep Baseball Report

The Rottino Report: May 5-12

By Vinny Rottino
Wisconsin Scouting Director

'The Rottino Report' is a weekly piece designed to highlight five players who PBR Wisconsin Scouting Director Vinny Rottino saw while attending live gameplay over the last week. After spending 20 years in professional baseball, the former MLB player and MLB scout has keen instincts of the what-it-should-look-like traits among players who have a chance to excel in the game at next level, be it collegiately or in the pros. Rottino also produces a video edition of 'The Rottino Report,' and it'll be published on PBR Now.

Here are the five prospects who earned mentions in this inaugural 'Rottino Report':


Dylan Mass, OF, Franklin, 2022 (Saint Leo)
From May 5 vs. Burlington: Mass is an average-framed, plus athlete – with more strength coming – who demonstrates instinctual abilities on both sides of the ball. In his first at bat, Mass laid down a bunt in which he ran a 3.76 down the line, showing quick to top-end speed ability and quick turnover. The speed will play in center field at the next level and it will be important for him to continue developing jumps, routes and reads off the bat in college. What stood out mostly was his natural swing and the rhythmic flow to how it all works. There is loose bat speed to hit quality fastballs and the ability to see and read offspeed pitches. I'm looking forward to watching this kid develop at Saint Leo next spring.

Ryan Karst, RHP, Brookfield East, 2022 (Illinois-Chicago)
From May 12 vs. Brookfield Central: Allowed just one run in 5.1 innings with eight Ks against a ranked BC lineup; displayed an extremely polished look to the delivery and to the stuff. The first thing that jumps out is the extremely sturdy frame with very good proportions. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, the body is physical and mature, a pro stature. There is still a bit of room in there to add and strength it will continue to tick up. The delivery is clean with an in-line arm stroke and syncs well with the lower half to consistently get through the baseball with ease. He sat comfortably in the 86-87 mph range, and was up to 90 with a good deal of late jump and run to the pitch. He showed ability to land a short slider (79-83 mph) for strikes and flashed a bigger biting slurve with tight downer action. He also has feel for a changeup that will continue to improve at the next level. This was a very impressive look at an arsenal that will continue to improve on an already high floor.

Cade Palkowski, OF/LHP, Oak Creek, 2024 (Uncommitted)
From May 6 vs. Indian Trail: Palkowski started on the mound going the distance in game one, giving up five hits with three Ks en route to the win. He was sitting mostly 83-84 mp, up to 86 on an extremely cold and windy day in Oak Creek, facing a tough and senior-heavy Franklin lineup.  In game two of the series, Palkowski collected three hits with three stolen bases. Physically, he's a compact build, sturdy/strong with athleticism attached; shows ability to play and stick in center with a plus arm and viable speed. Left-handed hitter; strong, quick hands with more lower half strength and a natural feel to hit. Currently uncommitted, this sophomore has a serious chance to make an impact at the Division I level. The more you watch, the more you realize this package really works.

Matthew Mueller, LHP, Brookfield Central, 2022 (Gonzaga)
From May 12 vs Brookfield East: Extremely impressive performance from Matthew Mueller going 7.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 17 K. It was a clutch outing for the Lancers' ace, who K'd those 17 batters in a key crosstown, conference matchup and it elevated Brookfield Central to victory. Mueller is a big man with plenty of room to fill out his 6-foot-5 frame. The Gonzaga commit features a very deceptive fastball, mostly 84-85 mph, though he was up to 89 early. The high 3/4 slot with hide to the delivery creates a ton of deception that hitters have a tough time picking up. The pitch also has some natural cut life when getting it to cross corner. Showed ability to land a bigger breaking ball and flashed feel for a changeup. Mueller has a high ceiling with a chance to throw very hard from the left side as he continues to develop and mature physically.  

Aren Robinson, 1B, Brookfield Central, 2024 (Uncommitted)
From May 12 vs. Brookfield East: The 6-foot-4 kid has a ton of room to fill out physically, and he's a very smooth mover, especially or his size. Shows athletic actions both at the plate, on the bases, and at first base. Was pleasantly surprised by the actions at first, both in-game and in pre-game; will definitely stick at the position. Robinson went 1-for-4 with a walk and walked off the game with a base hit up the middle in the bottom of the 10th. He shows quality bat speed and the proper swing sequence with the ability to sync his upper and lower half. Robinson has a chance to hit for some serious power as he adds muscle to his imposing physique. Currently uncommitted, Robinson is a great kid, teammate, and a hard worker who has a high ceiling with the attitude and ability to reach it.

To learn more about video as he embeds himself into the state scene, watch and/or listen to him on the latest edition of the "Rode Show Podcast."