Prep Baseball Report

South Milwaukee Rising Stars ID: Takeaways and Statistical Analysis


By: Wisconsin Staff

On April 4, the Prep Baseball Wisconsin staff traveled to Hitters Baseball Facility, to host the annual South Milwaukee Rising Stars. This event featured prospects from the 2028 and 2029 graduating classes and has consistently provided our staff with the names of players to consider inviting to the PBR Junior Future Games where they’ll represent Team Wisconsin at LakePoint Sports in Emerson, GA., at the end of the summer.

Now, at the event's conclusion, our staff will begin to compile some of our takeaways from this event while also hitting on some of the day's stat leaders. Below you'll find which players popped to our scouts, as well as which prospects headlined our respective statistical categories.

TAKEAWAYS

+ RHP/INF Cooper Graham (Mukwonago, 2029) is an athletic two-way who impressed on the mound, with the bat and the glove. On the mound, Graham showcased an athletic delivery up to 80 mph with the fastball and deployed a couple of useful secondary weapons in a curveball and a changeup that he threw for strikes. With the bat, he hit line drives to all fields and registered a max exit velocity of 81.3 mph. He showcased impressive actions in the infield with the glove as well.

+ RHP/INF Benjamin Smet-Cooper (Westosha Central, 2028) is an upside prospect in the state and impressed our staff again at the event. Smet-Cooper had the third highest max exit velocity of the day at 85.2 mph using a balanced and compact swing to hit line drives through both gaps. His actions in the infield continue to stand out as he showcased smooth, fluid feet and hands through the baseball during his defensive work. On the mound, the right-handed hurler threw the hardest fastball at the event at 81.1 mph and landed his curveball, slider and changeup as well.

+ LHP/1B Hunter Shepstone is a projectable two-way prospect who impressed on the mound and with the bat. Shepstone used an efficient swing and leveraged balls out front to register a solid 83.0 mph max exit velocity. On the mound, his fastball was up to 75 mph and he flashed a tight breaking ball to give him a solid two-pitch mix.

+ 1B River Jedlicka (Big Foot, 2028) showed our staff some impressive metrics with the bat. The right-handed hitting first-baseman used a well-sequenced swing to make loud contact throughout his round and registered the top max exit velocity of the event at 88.8 mph. His 83.3 mph average exit velocity was also an event best. Jedlicka is an interesting follow going forward.

+ C/RHP Levi Chilcote (Lakes, IL, 2028) opened some eyes at the event. Chilcote hit with an athletic swing with bat speed and barrelled up multiple balls throughout his round. His 83.5 mph max exit velocity was one of the top marks on the day. Behind the plate, Chilcote turned the ball around quickly and had the best pop time of the day at 2.10 seconds. On the mound, the right-handers four pitch mix of fastball, slider, curveball and changeup were all thrown with touch and feel and his max fastball of 77 mph was in the top-five for the event. Overall, it was a notable day for the athletic Illinois prospect.

+ C/INF Tavin Nass (Franklin, 2028) showcased his ability with the bat using a flat swing to get through the ball and drive it to both gaps. The backstop showcased soft hands and the ability to keep the ball close on blocks during his defensive work. Nass’s metrics weren’t off the page, which is to be expected from a prospect this young, but his athletic and projectable frame will add size and strength and therefore has some ceiling as a prospect in the state.

+ INF/RHP Corey Gast (Whitnall, 2028) has a free and easy swing with loose bat speed through the ball and leveraged it downhill and created backspin on balls through both gaps. On defense, his smooth and fluid actions worked clean through the ball and showed arm strength across the infield at 75 mph. On the mound, the right-hander was up to 74 mph with his fastball, and threw a slider and change up out of the same tunnel. Gast has a projectable frame and is firmly on our staff’s radar going forward.

+ INF Logan Jackson (Mountain Ridge, AZ, 2028) had an impressive day with the bat and the glove. With the bat he showcased a balanced and compact swing and was consistently on the barrel. He showed off quality actions at first base during defensive work and impressed with the ability to turn the 3-6-3 double play. Jackson has an athletic and projectable frame and will continue to take steps as he fills.

+ RHP/OF Tage Jensen (Elkhorn Area, 2028) showcased some loud tools with the bat and on the mound. The right-hander topped out at 78 mph with his fastball and was able to land a sharp curveball and a late fading changeup. With the bat, Jensen had an impressive round and recorded the fifth best max exit velocity of the event at 85.0 mph. The outfielder then displayed serious arm strength as he unleashed a throw at 85 mph which was easily an event best.

+ INF Max Caldwell (Union Grove, 2029) is an upside prospect who had a nice day at the event. The left-handed hitter showcased a projectable bat with his efficient swing with a line drive approach. Caldwell consistently barrelled up the baseball throughout his round. In the infield, the middle infielder showcased smooth and fluid actions with a quick first step. Caldwell has skill and will begin to impact the baseball consistently once he starts to add more size and strength to his frame.

+ C Benit Schkeryantz Jr (Muskego, 2028) is a projectable frame backstop who displayed quality actions with the bat and behind the plate. The left-handed hitting Schkeryantz Jr. displayed a balanced approach with quality barrel control to get through the baseball to all fields. On defense, the backstop displayed soft hands while catching bullpens and athleticism throwing to second.

+ OF/RHP Brooks Dobberstein (Pewaukee, 2028) was one of the biggest winners on the day with his performance as a two-way talent. On the mound, the right-hander had the third best fastball of the day at 79 mph and displayed the ability to get it through areas of the zone. His top to bottom curveball with 12/6 shape shows true out-pitch potential. The slider and changeup round out his four-pitch mix and show useful pitches in his repertoire. With the bat, Dobbersteien’s max exit velocity of 83.7 mph was one of the best marks of the day as he showcased a swing with balance, quick hands with loose bat speed through the baseball consistently.

+ INF Jake Fuchs (Westosha Central, 2028) is an athletic prospect with a projectable frame who performed well at the South Milwaukee event. Fuchs works with high hands and a narrow set-up into an up-and-down stride, gaining ground toward the pitcher. His swing is well-sequenced with rhythm and feel for the barrel, leading to easy extension through the ball. His defense was smooth with quick feet and soft hands, showing range and clean actions. The arm came out of a ¾ slot with looseness and accuracy.

+ SS/RHP Maddex Welzien (West Bend West, 2028) is a projectable two-way player who showed quality abilities in all facets. The right-hander works out of a stock set-up with a quick stride that creates forward momentum, leading to a compact swing. His well-sequenced swing led to easy pop to both gaps, up to 79 mph off the bat. Defensively, Welzien showed soft hands into a smooth funnel with quality feet and actions. It’s a simple, up-tempo delivery that leads to an athletic drop-and-drive motion and a high-¾ arm slot. Welzien showed three pitches - a fastball at 70-72 mph with life through the zone, a low-60s curveball with tight 1/7 action and a 66-68 mph changeup with some fade and depth. Rounding out his game, the West Bend native’s 7.67 60-yard dash was one of the better times of the day.

+ C/RHP Luke Drummond (Union Grove, 2028) is a long-levered pitcher/catcher who showed a quality hitting ability at the Rising Stars event. Drummond works from an upright set-up with high hands into a balanced, downhill swing with barrel control throughout. He showed the ability to hit line drives to all fields, showing carry by back-spinning the ball. Defensively he showed quick feet and a quick transfer, keeping the ball close on blocks with athletic movements all around. His 2.36 best pop time was among the best at the event. On the mound, it’s a clean arm action out of a high-¾ arm slot with arm speed out front. The fastball was 71-73 mph with big life to the arm side. His breaking ball showed late 1/7 break at 59-61 mph, while his low-60s changeup had heavy fade with some depth.

+ INF Yanni Douros (Shorewood, 2028) is an athletic infielder with feel to hit and quality actions on defense. Douros stays back before working toward the pitcher with a leg kick that allows him to use his lower half well. His aggression combined with quick hands led to the ball jumping off the bat, showing upside pop. In the infield, Douros stayed low and showed soft hands out front, showing accuracy and carry through the target.

+ INF Max Egan (Whitefish Bay, 2028) showed strength and projection at the Rising Stars event, including the second-best exit velocity of the day (85 mph). He works from a simple and repeatable stance, maintaining balance while utilizing a leg kick to gain momentum. Egan uses his lower half well, along with loose hands that lead to line drives to all fields. The infielder showed quick feet and plus range on the dirt, working to a ¾ slot up to 78 mph, tied for the best time of the day. He also put speed on display, recording one of the better 60-yard times at 7.69 seconds.

+ OF/LHP Carmello Ciardo (Union Grove, 2028) is a projectable lefty who showed upside both ways at the South Milwaukee event. Ciardo showed the ability to hit line drives to all fields out of his open stance due to his quick hands and extension through the ball. Ciardo was one of the few players to reach 80 mph on his highest exit velocity. On the mound, Ciardo worked with a high leg-kick and some coil into a drop-and-drive delivery, leading into a short arm action at a low-¾ slot. The fastball showed some jump out of the hand at 70-73 mph, reaching 74 mph. His mid-60s slider had tight lateral break, working mostly in the zone.

+ INF Erik Novak (Union Grove, 2028) is a long-levered infielder with feel to hit and power to come. He works into his backside well at the plate, staying balanced working into a toe-tap stride. Novak works downhill with control for the barrel, getting good extension leading to line drives to all fields. Novak reached 74 mph off the bat. The Union Grove native showed soft hands with a consistent gather while gaining momentum toward first base, leading to an accurate arm that reached 70 mph, one of the better marks of the event.

+ INF/C Jackson Bline (Central, 2028) is a sturdy athlete with additional strength to come. He has a balanced set-up at the plate with a toe tap he uses while keeping his weight back. The swing works, leading to line drives as he maintains athleticism throughout the swing. Defensively he showed an accurate arm and clean actions - soft blocking behind the plate and soft hands in the infield. Bline has a strong baseball background and should continue to advance as he matures physically.

+ LHP/OF Camden Jeske (Oak Creek, 2028) showed upside both ways at the event, recording one of the better marks in both exit velocity (81 mph) and pitching velocity (74 mph). The fastball showed life through the zone, sitting 71-73 mph. His slider showed late lateral break with slight depth, having the ability to land it for a strike at 62-63 mph. The delivery is a simple and repeatable drop-and-drive delivery with a quick, low-¾ arm. The Oak Creek native works from an open, upright set-up with a leg kick that works into a downhill path with whip; he showed plus gap-to-gap power. A well-rounded athlete, Jeske also ran a 7.70 yard dash, one of the better times of the day.

+ OF Matthew Nolan (Greendale, 2029) is a left-handed outfielder with athleticism and projectability. It’s a balanced set-up at the plate with an up-and-down stride that allows him to maximize his lower half as he gains ground toward the pitcher. The swing is short and quick, flat through the ball with feel for the barrel, working to all fields with a max exit velocity of 76 mph. The outfielder was aggressive and worked through the ball with fluid actions, leading to a ¾ arm slot with carry and accuracy at 68 mph.

+ C/INF/OF Jake Barth (Oak Creek, 2029) is an athletic, sturdy utility player with present strength and room to add. Barth works with an up-and-down stride and leg kick to get into a solid hitting position from his open stance, showing good balance throughout. His hands have quickness in his swing leading to the ball jumping off his barrel out front. Behind the dish, Barth showed athleticism in his blocking and throws down to second. From the outfield it’s a quick arm with athletic and aggressive actions.

+ INF Casey Helgren (South Milwaukee, 2029) is a left-handed hitting infielder with a wiry frame that should allow room for him to develop as he matures physically. It’s an upright, open set-up with high hands at the plate, a repeatable stance. The bat is whippy out front and through the ball, allowing him to hit the ball to all fields. In the field, Helgren stays low with a smooth funnel into the midline of the body, showing athleticism and range. It’s a quick, accurate arm across the diamond up to 68 mph.

+ INF/RHP Carmine Caruso (Union Grove, 2029) is an athletic and projectable prospect who impressed with his performance at the event. Caruso showcased quick hands through the baseball with a short and flat path through the baseball with the ability to spray the ball to all fields. His exit velocity metrics will continue to improve as he adds strength as he was one of the youngest players in attendance. In the infield Caruso showed quality actions through the baseball with soft hands. He also has a solid two-pitch mix on the mound with his fastball and curveball combination that he was able to get through areas of the zone.

+ RHP Troy Hibbard IV (Badger, 2028) is a long-levered righty with projection with a quick, compact arm. It’s a methodical and controlled delivery with a short rocker step into a medium leg kick and drop-and-drive delivery. The fastball came out the hand clean at 73-75 mph, up to 76 mph with life through the zone. His low-60s curveball showed 1/7 shape with depth, while his slider had tighter movement laterally, thrown mostly in the zone. He also flashed a changeup with depth at 67-69 mph with fastball arm speed. Hibbard is an interesting follow who has the makings of a quality right-hander as he fills out.

+ LHP Max Weidenbaum (New Berlin Eisenhower, 2028) is a quick-armed lefty with projectability. The New Berlin native works with a rocker step into a high leg kick with a drop-and-drive delivery. It’s athletic with arm-speed out front coming from a ¾ arm slot. Weidenbaum had feel for his fastball, a pitch at 66-68 with some sink and arm-side fade. He showed two breaking balls - a curveball with 11/5 shape and depth at and a slider with tight, lateral movement that plays well off the fastball.

+ RHP/INF Samuel Flores-Ortiz (Oak Creek, 2028) is an interesting two-way prospect and opened some eyes at the event. The right-handed hitting Flores-Ortiz showcased what he can do with the bat during the hitting portion of the event and registered a max exit velocity of 82.4 mph. He hit with a balanced approach and a repeatable swing and got the barrel to the baseball consistently throughout his round. On the mound, the right-hander displayed an athletic delivery and pounded the zone with his fastball/curveball combination.

STAT STORY

FASTBALL VELOCITY (MAX)

Rank Name State School Class Pos Velocity (max)
1 Benjamin Smet-Cooper WI Westosha Central 2028 3B 81.1 mph
2 Cooper Graham WI Mukwonago 2029 RHP 80.2 mph
3 Brooks Dobberstein WI Pewaukee 2028 RHP 78.7 mph
4 Tage Jensen WI Elkhorn 2028 RHP 77.7 mph
5 Levi Chilcote IL Lakes 2028 C 76.7 mph

FASTBALL SPIN RATE (AVG.)

Rank Name State School Class Pos Spin Rate (avg)
1 Levi Chilcote IL Lakes 2028 C 2302 rpm
2 Carmello Ciardo WI Union Grove 2028 OF 2053 rpm
3 Maddex Welzien WI West Bend West 2028 SS 2015 rpm
4 Hunter Shepstone WI Waterford 2029 LHP 1984 rpm
5 Tage Jensen WI Elkhorn 2028 RHP 1954 rpm

60-YARD DASH

Rank Name State School Class Pos 60-yard
1 Liam Regner WI The Prairie School 2028 OF 7.08
2 Levi Ketterhagen WI Badger 2028 OF 7.41
3 Braden Lueck WI Union Grove 2028 OF 7.49
4 Jake Barth WI Oak Creek 2029 C 7.53
5 Yanni Douros WI Shorewood 2028 SS 7.66
^ Corey Gast WI Whitnall 2028 SS 7.66

EXIT VELOCITY (MAX)

Rank Name State School Class Pos Exit Velocity (max)
1 River Jedlicka WI Big Foot 2028 1B 88.8 mph
2 Yanni Douros WI Shorewood 2028 SS 86.2 mph
3 Max Egan WI Whitefish Bay High 2028 SS 85.5 mph
4 Benjamin Smet-Cooper WI Westosha Central 2028 3B 85.2 mph
5 Tage Jensen WI Elkhorn 2028 RHP 85.0 mph
6 Braden Lueck WI Union Grove 2028 OF 84.2 mph
7 Levi Ketterhagen WI Badger 2028 OF 83.9 mph
8 Brooks Dobberstein WI Pewaukee 2028 RHP 83.7 mph
9 Levi Chilcote IL Lakes 2028 C 83.5 mph
10 Liam Regner WI The Prairie School 2028 OF 83.1 mph

TOP INFIELD VELOCITY

Rank Name State School Class Pos INF Velo
1 Benjamin Smet-Cooper WI Westosha Central 2028 3B 78
^ Max Egan WI Whitefish Bay High 2028 SS 78
^ Cooper Graham WI Mukwonago 2029 RHP 78
2 Hunter Shepstone WI Waterford 2029 LHP 77
3 Corey Gast WI Whitnall 2028 SS 75
4 Jake Fuchs WI Westosha Central 2028 SS 72
5 Maddex Welzien WI West Bend West 2028 SS 71
^ Yanni Douros WI Shorewood 2028 SS 71

TOP OUTFIELD VELOCITY

Rank Name State School Class Pos OF Velo
1 Tage Jensen WI Elkhorn 2028 RHP 85
2 Brooks Dobberstein WI Pewaukee 2028 RHP 79
3 Troy Hibbard IV WI Badger 2028 RHP 78

TOP CATCHER VELOCITY

Rank Name State School Class Pos C Velo
1 Levi Chilcote IL Lakes 2028 C 72
2 Benit Schkeryantz Jr WI Muskego 2028 C 67
^ Tavin Nass WI Franklin 2028 C 67
3 Luke Drummond WI Union Grove 2028 C 66

TOP POP TIMES

Rank Name State School Class Pos Pop Time
1 Levi Chilcote IL Lakes 2028 C 2.10-2.26
2 Jake Barth WI Oak Creek 2029 C 2.34-2.52
3 Benit Schkeryantz Jr WI Muskego 2028 C 2.36-2.41

+ CLICK HERE for a look at the complete statistics from the event.

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