Wisconsin Class of 2022 Rankings: Risers


By Andy Sroka
Illinois and Wisconsin Assistant Director

Last week, we updated the state’s Class of 2022 Rankings, detailing the changes and most recent reports on the top-10 juniors in Wisconsin. This was the most well-represented class across our winter showcase circuit, which made for a busy update with movement up and down the board – and we’ll touch on the most noteworthy movement within the 2022 class today.

TOP OF THE CLASS

+ We actually detailed the most substantial movers in Friday’s top-10 update, as RHP/INF Theo Zeidler (Bay Port; uncommitted) and OF Cuyler Zukowski (Madison La Follete; Creighton commit) each parlayed excellent preseason performances into spots at Nos. 7 and 10 overall in the state, respectively. It’s the first time both players have been ranked among the top-10 in the class. Zeidler moved up 29 huge spots after throwing a ‘pen in the Fox Cities where he sat 89-90 mph, touching 91, with a three-pitch mix. Zukowski’s upside offensive profile and twitchy strength have him ranked among the top outfielders in the state’s ‘22 class.

+ LHP/OF Christian Oppor (Columbus; uncommitted) only just missed out on the top-10 himself, now up to No. 11 overall on the state’s junior rankings. Oppor’s simply one of the most athletic players in the state. He ran a 6.79 in mid-March with premium bat and hand speed that generated exit speed measured at 95-plus mph. With that being said, Oppor’s athleticism might play even better from the mound. He’s been hard at work molding his elite tools into more pitchability, and the results are clear. In Madison, Oppor sat 88-91 mph – reaching a 92.3 high in front of TrackMan – from a loose, quick arm action out of a ¾ slot. The fastball features arm-side action and some carry, and he reaches that velo without much effort. He throws a short breaking ball at 71-73 mph that’s made some progress in between looks, and the changeup is thrown mostly at arm speed with late fade. There’s a lot to work with here, and Oppor’s now among the most talented uncommitted players in the region.

Christian Oppor (3/14/21)

+ INF Kyle Schupmann’s (Luther Prep) recently committed to Cincinnati, a culmination of being one of the biggest winners in the state over the past six months or so. He attends Luther Prep in Watertown, though is an Illinois native, thus he was invited to attend the PBR Illinois Preseason All-State event where he impressed our shared staffs, and he was bumped up a spot on the ‘22 board as a result.

+ RHP Brayden Marks (Elkhorn Area; Bradley) was among the most substantial Risers in the state’s ‘22 update, after an impressive bullpen thrown at the Milwaukee I.D., in which he reached a 90 mph high while also demonstrating an aptitude for big spin rates – all from a 6-foot-5, 220-pound stature. He exited the preseason as one of the top uncommitted arms in the state, until he recently committed to Bradley.

His report from that event: “Marks has genuine feel for four pitches, showcasing the ability to spot each at times, while the fastball and breaking balls feature high spin. He really gets down the mound, working on line, to produce an upper-80s fastball that sat 88-89 mph exclusively, reaching 90 max with natural arm-side run. The separators for Marks are his two breaking balls, a slider and curve, that each work a little differently and both break sharply with advanced spin rates, measured at an average of 2,305 and 2,441 rpm on average, respectively. The curve is 12/6 with tight/short action under the zone, while he demonstrates greater confidence in the slider, at more of an 11/5 shape that he was landing for strikes with frequency, still with biting action. He also utilizes a quality changeup, thrown at arm speed, that looks like a viable fourth pitch to round out a mix that should make Marks a high-follow…

+ LHP Matthew Mueller (Brookfield Central), who recently committed to Gonzaga, possesses both an upside physique (6-foot-5, 190 pounds) and arsenal. Mueller’s imposing downhill fastball sat 87-88 mph in Madison last month and he utilizes a slider with swing-and-miss traits, too. He’s now among the top-30 players in the state’s junior class.

UNCOMMITTED PITCHING

+ We’ve long been fans of the competitiveness RHP Luke Klekamp (Oak Creek; uncommitted) brings to the mound, but he used the offseason to up his stuff. He filled the zone with three pitches – fastball, curve, and change – and the biggest takeaway from his early March performance was his uptick in velocity, as he was sitting 89-90 mph then. He gets down the mound efficiently and doesn’t require much effort to reach that 90 mph threshold, even despite the 5 mph climb over the short period of time. Klekamp’s now one of the top uncommitted prospects in Wisconsin’s junior class.

Luke Klekamp (3/7/21)

+ Still uncommitted, RHP Thomas Harper (Wauwatosa East) left an outstanding impression following his performance at the West MKE I.D. back in mid-February. There, Harper sat exclusively in the upper-80s, reaching a 90 mph max with some belief that there’s more in the tank, as he’s a lanky/thin 6-foot-4, 195 pounds. The velocity was impressive, but Harper also demonstrated the control over an effective three-pitch arsenal. He pounded the bottom of the zone with his running, high-spin fastball, and complemented it with a tight slider, 73-76 mph, and he spotted a fading changeup well. Harper’s trending up, now ranked No. 26 overall in the state and among the top uncommitted arms on the board.

Thomas Harper (2/21/21)

+ From Notre Dame Academy, RHP Caden Capomaccio (uncommitted) has consistently shown athleticism and arm strength, and it’s coming together now, as he sat 90-91 mph at the Madison I.D., and his control of the zone was an intriguing development. Capomaccio also has an out-pitch changeup to lean on, though his slider presents some swing-and-miss upside as well.

Caden Capomaccio (3/14/21)

+ RHP Carson Klaus (Adams Friendship; uncommitted) has used the Madison I.D. in back-to-back years to up his prospect stock. On this most recent occasion, Klaus increased strength in a 5-foot-11 frame, and he used it to sit 86-88 mph with heavy action, sink. He also spins an impressive breaking ball and can land a fading change for strikes to produce a follow mix that has him ranked among the top uncommitted pitchers in Wisconsin.

Carson Klaus (3/14/21)

+ We saw LHP Willard Peterson (Evansville; uncommitted) twice this winter, and he showed advanced pitchability inside a unique profile on both occasions: His report from the Milwaukee I.D. (3/21): “A durable/powerful 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, Peterson has an eccentric mix, as he cuts both his fastball and changeup, spotting both well in and around the zone. He added a tick to his fastball high in between looks, reaching an 88 mph max on Sunday. Peterson also showcased what was, very possibly, the best breaking ball in attendance – a 2/8 curve that averages a spin rate of 2,650 rpm, with sharp action and the feel to land it for strikes. Peterson’s profile is unique enough to be a tough at-bat on its own, and his pitch metrics only add to his upside, as he’s still uncommitted.

Willard Peterson (3/21/21)

+ RHP Joey Schneider (West Bend West; uncommitted) is an arm strength prospect and an imposing at-bat, listed at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds. He sat 86-88 mph at our West MKE event, touching 89.7, with an aggressive, short, breaking ball and firm sinking change. Schneider’s a power arm to monitor in the state’s junior class.

+ RHP Ryan Roehl (West Best West; uncommitted) is an athletic 6-foot, 170-pound righty who’s taken an uptick in velocity to move up the board. His report from the Milwaukee I.D.: “... showed off a quick and athletic arm on Sunday, sitting 87-88 mph, touching 89, while showing flashes of arm-side run. A 12/6 curveball showed depth at 72-74 mph with a sinking changeup.

+ LHP Michael Carpenter (Arrowhead; uncommitted) is an athletic 6-foot-1, 165 pounds in possession of one of the class’ top breaking balls. His quick, athletic arm sits 83-84 mph and he backs it up with a sharp knuckle curve, 72-74 mph, measured at spin rates over 2,500 rpm.

UNCOMMITTED POSITION PLAYERS

+ OF/INF N.J. Elias (Verona Area; uncommitted) is one of the most athletic and tooled-up prospects who’s still on the market in Wisconsin’s 2022 class. Elias’ performance at the Madison I.D. was among the most statistically impressive of any in attendance. He averaged an exit speed over 92 mph, with a 97.6 max, from the right-handed batter’s box, after starting his day with a 6.75 in the 60. Elias was then up to 91 mph across the infield, and 97 to home from the outfield. His foot speed allows him to roam around center field with advanced actions, especially, and he looks capable of becoming a long-term fit at that premium position.

N.J. Elias (3/14/21)

+ OF Dylan Mass (Franklin) is a similarly tools-y uncommitted junior in the state. At the South MKE I.D., Mass ran a 6.70 and then took one of the day’s most memorable rounds of batting practice. He swings a simple, loose left-handed bat with barrel control that sprays balls into both gaps. And he ranges around the outfield athletically, with arm strength that topped 91 mph to home at that event.

Dylan Mass (3/7/21)

+ OF Carson Hansen (Pewaukee) is built at a broad, strong 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, and his athleticism within that frame is among his greatest attributes. He ran a 7.02 in March and then took a loud round of batting practice from the left side, demonstrating high bat and hand speed marks. His stature and athleticism – as well as his left/left profile – make for an upside uncommitted follow in Wisconsin.

+ OF Caleb Guden (Medford) is one of the class’ best switch-hitters, underscored by his well-rounded performance at the Madison I.D. There, Guden ran a 7.15 and then took smooth, timely rounds of BP from both batter’s boxes, all while ranging around well during outfield defense. We’ve seen his athleticism work well around shortstop in the past, too.

+ OF/RHP Adam Balcerak (Muskego) is another one of the state’s most interesting athletes, and his tools jump off the page. At the Milwaukee I.D., Balcerak ran a 6.82 and produced high-end bat and hand speed scores, per Blast Motion, that generated twitchy strength. That bat strength impacts the baseball at premium rates, as he recorded several of the day’s best batted balls – one measured at 382 feet travelled that left the bat at 98.1 mph. Balcerak also ranges around the outfield with easy athleticism with an arm that touched 92 mph to home. Naturally, it plays on the mound where he was up to 87 mph here with an above-average slider.

Adam Balcerak (3/21/21)

+ C/1B Alec Campbell (Milton; uncommitted) impressed a couple times this winter; his report from 2/14: “… he long-levered 6-foot-2 backstop added some muscle to his stature over the offseason which he directly applied to his offensive profile. His short right-handed stroke produced an average exit speed of 91.1 mph, which was the day’s highest. Campbell favors the left-center gap with controlled, repeatable swings through contact in a balanced finish. His path and approach are simple while staying on top of the baseball with minimal effort, creating top-end exit velocities.

+ INF Max Stocco (Marquette University; uncommitted) debuted on the last edition of the ‘22 rankings but he’s up to No. 60 overall now. He swings a rhythmic left-handed bat that’s consistently on-time, maintaining his balance throughout his two-hand extension and finish. He has notable strength in his 5-foot-8 stature, and he moves around the middle infield with above-average overall actions.

+ INF Carson Fluguar (Franklin; uncommitted) is another one of the state’s winter winners, after an impressive performance at the Fox Cities I.D., where he showed off his offseason gains, including a noticeable muscle gain that translated directly into his right-handed swing. His athleticism led to a 6.68 time in the 60 as well, which was followed by a 96.7 mph max exit speed, in addition to noteworthy bat speed scores.

Stay tuned for more notes on this ‘22 class, as we break down the players who made their debut inside this update on Friday.

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