Prep Baseball Report

Wisconsin Class of 2023 Rankings: Newcomers

By Wisconsin Staff

On Friday, in preparation for the national 2023 rankings update that is on its way, the PBR Wisconsin staff unveiled a small end-of-year update to the state’s junior rankings. There was some movement within the top-10 and we added over 15 new names to the Wisconsin board. Monday, we continued to share the latest on the juniors in the state who were making moves up the board, and today, we’re spending time highlighting the players who are making their rankings debuts inside this update, none of whom are committed.

For the reports on some of the players new to the 2023 rankings, read on below.


+ The highest ranked newcomer in this update is RHP Grant Schultz (Menomonee Falls), who jumped into the No. 27 spot in his debut. We saw him in an up-close showcase setting for the first time this fall at October’s Southern Wisconsin Open and the 6-foot-2, 165-pound right-hander came away as one of the day’s biggest winners. Here’s a quick report on Schultz from that day: “The lanky 6-foot-2, 165-pound right-hander displayed a quality four-pitch mix in his pen, starting with a lively fastball that sat at 84-86 mph, touching 87 multiple times. Schultz featured two distinct breaking balls, both of which spun at a 2,350-plus rpm average, and he effectively killed spin on a mid-70s changeup thrown from a slightly lower arm slot than his fastball.”

+ Tall, strong 6-foot-3, 185-pound southpaw Ben Berkhof (Hudson) busted out of the summer and onto our radar at the Western Wisconsin Open where he was up to 85 mph with a fastball that projects very well behind some excellent peripherals. In October, at his travel team’s scout day event hosted by PBR Minnesota, Berkhof reared back for an additional three ticks, reaching an 88 mph high that day. While his offspeed feel and action is presently raw, the Hudson left-hander has an especially high ceiling given his size and the ease in which he’s able to reach the upper-80s as just a junior.

Ben Berkhof (10/13/21)

+ From Sun Prairie, C Jaiden Jung burst onto the scene following an attention-grabbing performance at the perennial Badger State Battle tournament in Mauston in July, capped by a clutch, come-from-behind home run in his team’s semifinal. Jung is a strong right-handed-hitting backstop on the short list of ‘23 catchers in Wisconsin who also own juice in their bat. Jung’s quick out of the crouch as we witnessed both in-game and at his club team’s fall showcase, and he runs well for his position while swinging with enough pop to project to become a threat offensively at the collegiate level, still uncommitted.

+ RHP Logan Frank (Oshkosh North) has long been on the radar as one of the most physical arms in the state’s 2023 class, and he’s continued to throw a hard-running mid-80s fastball with improved offspeed. He delivers the ball with funk, and it adds to his effectiveness, and he offers some more projection as he continues to develop and grow into his imposing 6-foot-2, 225-pound stature.

+ Twice this year, OF Charlie Jackson (Waukesha West) was among the top performers at a PBR-hosted showcase, and it made a lasting impression. Jackson has a 6-foot-3, 200-pound, strong, athletic build that he uses well to run low-7.00 times in the 60-yard dash. At the plate, he’s a left-handed hitter who’s capable of connecting for substantial contact on repeat in a BP setting, working off a natural uphill plane that creates power potential organically. At his travel team’s scout day hosted in late August, Jackson worked the middle of the field in batting practice, flashing above-average bat strength by recording a max batted distance of 338 feet, near the 359 high measured at the Underclass Trials earlier in the summer.

Charlie Jackson (8/29/21)

+ RHP Elijah Niemiec (St. Thomas More) became an instant follow after tossing an impressive ‘pen at this fall’s Southern Wisconsin Open, showcasing a four-pitch mix from an upside 6-foot-4, 200-pound build. Niemiec did well to attack the zone with 83-85 mph stuff that featured over 14 inches of horizontal break on average, released from way down the mound, coupled with notable spin rates measured at 2,335 rpm on average. His slurve-type breaking ball flashed sharp action behind 2,500 rpm spin, and he also utilized a firm slider with more horizontal break. Niemiec has a changeup that projects as well stemming from a similar release that tunnels well.

+ OF Jack Anderson (Menomonee Falls) used a productive all-around summer and fall to vault himself onto our board, now slotted at 86th overall. Adding strength onto a more proportionally strong 5-foot-11, 185-pound frame enhanced the impact of Anderson’s left-handed barrel, allowing him to drive the ball further into the gaps from a swing geared for elevating the baseball. He’ll continue to be an interesting follow after another off-season under his belt. 

+ At the Eastern Wisconsin Open, MIF Brett Sommer (Hortonville) came away with one of the day’s top performances. He’s a well-proportioned athlete with quality actions on both sides of the ball. On defense, he has clean footwork while utilizing a pat-and-go funneling style, and he demonstrates the ability to change defensive eye levels well. He possesses the excellent instincts for setting up hops and ball security to help him project as a reliable defender. In the box, he provides a stock athletic square stance with aggressive loading and decent pop.

Brett Sommer (8/16/21)

+ OF/RHP Luke Schuler (Kenosha St. Joseph) spent the spring helping his high school capture a WIAA state title and he used the fall to start to steal looks on the gridiron as a physical tight end. He’s a 6-foot-4, 200-pound athlete right-handed bat speed and strength, coupled with the upside to groom his arsenal from the rubber over a diligent offseason.

+ Consider RHP Samuel Wronski (Marquette University) a breakout candidate to note over this offseason, as a sleeper 6-foot-2, 165-pound right-hander with a clean, loose delivery attached to a starter’s profile. Wronski utilizes a simple drop-and-drive action and he delivers it from a high ¾ slot. He runs his fastball in the mid-80s combined with a well-calibrated scope on his rifle.

+ Another winner from October’s Southern Wisconsin Open, 1B Eli Pantzlaff (Waukesha West) was responsible for one of the most complete rounds of BP of the day. He swings a rhythmic right-handed bat that struck balls out front fluidly, maintaining balance throughout, from impact through finish. Pantzlaff hit the furthest ball (354 feet) of the event, and his max exit speed reached 98.5 mph.

For a complete look at the state’s updated Class of 2023 rankings, click here.