Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 6 Kimberly

By: Maddox Durst
Staff Writer

The 2024 Wisconsin high school baseball season is quickly approaching and, as usual, excitement is abound throughout the state. Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season and, as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across the Badger State.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in their respective WIAA Division State Championship, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes reality. We hope to familiarize our readers with many of the teams with this initial Preseason Power 25 release which will take us right up to first pitch.

Please keep checking back throughout the season as we will be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across Wisconsin. Each week we will be releasing our Power 25, Players of the Week, Diamond Notes, Scout Blog and much more.

Our 2024 preseason coverage continues today.     

High School: Kimberly Papermakers
Preseason Rank: 6
Head Coach: Ryan McGinnis
WIAA Division: 1
Conference: Fox Valley Association
2023 Record (Finish): 23-5
Key Players Lost: Evan Olson (Wisconsin-Whitewater), Brayden Deering (Upper Iowa), Maxwell Kalk (Ball State), Kale Twombly (McHenry County JC), Brayden Pleau (Bryant & Stratton, WI), Ryan Csida (Saint Mary’s, MN).


Team Strengths: Pitching quality and depth, competitiveness, team speed
No. of Returning Starters: 8
No. of Returning Pitchers: 5

Brady Koester WI 2024 LHP/1B Notre Dame
Alex Vander Loop WI 2024 RHP Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Ayden Tomlinson WI 2024 RHP/INF Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Brady Coons WI 2024 C/INF Concordia (WI)
Bryson Vieth WI 2024 MIF Wisconsin-Platteville (Football)
Tanner Hart WI 2024 OF -
Carson Meddon WI 2024 OF -
Hudson Wagner WI 2024 INF Wisconsin-River Falls
Sawyer Deering WI 2025 RHP/OF Tennessee
Connor Olson WI 2025 INF/RHP -
Ben Johnston WI 2025 UTIL -
Jack Anzelmo WI 2025 INF/RHP -
Ben Kieffer WI 2025 MIF -


+ RHP/OF Sawyer Deering (2025; Tennessee commit) is arguably one of the most electric pitchers in the state of Wisconsin, regardless of class. Deering took off in the spring and over the summer—raising his stock in a large fashion. The right-hander currently ranks at No. 327 in the nation, and No. 4 in the Badger State. Deering represented Team Wisconsin at the 2023 Prep Baseball Future Games back in late July—rushing his fastball up to 91 mph with an effective offspeed arsenal. The Tennessee commit presented an elite ability to spin his breaking ball and garner swings and misses. Between that and his fastball, Deering is able to keep hitters off balance throughout an at bat. Standing at a strong 5-foot-11, 180-pound frame, Deering can flip in a changeup as well to change pace. All three pitches are reliable, as Deering is coming off of a 3-1 overall record in 2023. The junior can also handle the bat, too—adding another dimension to his game for Kimberly. Deering hit .382 last season and returns as one of the Papermakers top hitters. He will assume a key spot in the lineup and man a position in the outfield when he’s not on the mound.

Sawyer Deering (7/27/23)


+ 407: The number of wins head coach Ryan McGinnis enters the 2024 season with in his 18th year at the helm of Kimberly’s program. McGinnis has guided the Papermakers’ program to great success over his nearly two decades of work as a head coach. His overall record of 407-154 is good for a .622 winning percentage in one of the deepest conferences in the state. McGinnis locked in his 400th victory last season against De Pere in the latter half of a Saturday doubleheader. He looks to continue to add on to that impressive total here in 2024.


Kimberly wrapped up their fourth straight conference championship in the 2023 season with a 17-1 record in the Fox Valley Association before losing to a quality De Pere team in the Sectional semifinals.

Now the Papermakers are back in 2024—looking to replace a couple of key arms and bats with a plethora of upperclassmen.

It starts with the two-way play of LHP/1B Brady Koester (2024; Notre Dame), who returns as one of Kimberly’s top hitters. The same could be said about his work on the mound, too. Koester is a dynamic left-hander who presents himself at a long 6-foot-5, 200-pound frame. He has been up to 89 mph in front of our staff, and has a quality mix to keep hitters off of the fastball between his curveball, slider and changeup. Koester is comfortable with all four pitches and can use them in any count. His bat also developed into a power threat over the course of the 2023 season, as he hit .310 for the Papermakers last year. His work from the left side of the plate adds to the depth of this group, in addition to his prowess on the mound.

Brady Koester (7/2/23)

RHP Alex Vander Loop (2024; Wisconsin-Milwaukee) is another arm who continues to elevate his stock as a prospect to watch out for in his senior season. Vander Loop can take over games on the mound—going a flawless 5-0 with a 2.26 ERA in 2023 as a junior. His fastball ranges in the mid-to-upper-80s (T88 mph). He complements his best pitch with a sharp slider—thrown with an average of 2,423 RPM. Vander Loop was successful at the Top Prospect Games earlier in the summer, and then took full advantage of live action. The right-hander twirled numerous quality outings—maintaining a momentum he had created early on that spring.

Alex Vander Loop (7/22/23)

RHP/INF Ayden Tomlinson (2024; Wisconsin-Eau Claire) enjoyed a strong summer both in the field and on the mound. He rounds out an elite starting pitching group for the Papermakers—presenting experience and a collective competitive mentality.

As for the offense, INF/RHP Connor Olson (2025) is an on-the-rise prospect who has gained some traction over the offseason—bringing a strong arm and quality bat to the Papermakers’ offense. Olson stands at a projectable 6-foot-1, 183-pound frame, and demonstrated athletic actions on the infield—reaching 86 mph from shortstop position. With the bat, Olson sprayed line drives on a consistent basis throughout his BP session. The junior got up on the mound as well, and sat in the mid-80s. During his ‘pen, Olson proved comfortable with going to a slider and changeup as well. While his bat will be key in Kimberly’s lineup, Olson has a shot to earn some innings in relief or spot starts on the varsity stage.

Connor Olson (2/24/24)

C/INF Brady Coons (2024; Concordia (WI)) will assume the catcher position for the Papermakers in 2024. Behind the dish, Coons’ features pop times between 2.07-2.26 seconds as our staff witnessed at the Eastern Wisconsin Open. At the plate, Coons has a quick left-handed swing that provided some power to the pull-side. Coons hit .275 for Kimberly in 2023, and will look to improve that number as he takes on a larger role in the lineup for the Papermakers.

On the infield, MIF Bryson Vieth (2024; Wisconsin-Platteville (football)) and INF Hudson Wagner (2024; Wisconsin-River Falls) are two prospects who will solidify the defense for Kimberly—joining Olson and Koester on the diamond. Vieth and Wagner hit .302 and .265, respectively, during the 2023 season—gaining valuable experience as juniors.

OF’s Tanner Hart (2024) and Carson Meddon (2024) are a pair of role players who will once again take on the outfield positions for the Papermakers in 2024. As juniors, both players hit .250 and will need to continue to produce to improve the depth of this group.

UTL Ben Johnston (2025) is a rising left-handed hitter who also showed well at the Eastern Wisconsin Open this past August. Johnston adds another left-handed bat to Kimberly’s lineup, and will be a key newcomer to the varsity group this season. Johnston has reached 84 mph from the outfield in the past, and has the ability to contribute this season for the Papermakers.

Ben Johnston (8/21/23)

As is the case most seasons, more juniors will be making their way to McGinnis’ varsity squad and be key role players. That includes INF/RHP Jack Anzelmo (2025), who stood out at the Green Bay Preseason ID from a two-way perspective. His versatility and smooth actions in all portions of the game project well for the 2024 season as an uncommitted junior. He will be joined by MIF Ben Kieffer (2025) as well, a 6.85-second 60-yard dash runner.

Jack Anzelmo (2/24/24)


+ The Papermakers have an experienced group that presents a quality mix of talent and role players who can execute on a consistent basis. While they will need to replace some offensive production that was lost with the 2023 class, their prowess as a pitching staff can take them a long way in the regular season and beyond. Kimberly jumps right into conference play to begin their season by hosting Appleton West on Apr. 2 in a Fox Valley Association battle.

Find more information on the 2024 Kimberly program below: