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Wisconsin Class of 2023 Rankings Update


By Andy Sroka
Illinois and Wisconsin Assistant Director

Almost exactly a month from now, the PBR Wisconsin winter showcase circuit begins, on Feb. 14 in Kenosha. Ahead of the winter season’s start date, we’re tidying up the state’s rankings following any notable fall and winter updates. There weren’t many changes to make, so consider this a small update that allowed us to clean up our rankings and reorganize our watchlists ahead of the 2021 season.

We updated the Class of 2022 Rankings on Wednesday, which you can find here.

CLASS OF 2023 NOTES

+ We have a new top-ranked pitcher inside this 2023 class: RHP Jonah Conradt (Hortonville; uncommitted). Conradt was firmly on the radar this past summer, demonstrating a live arm with the feel to snap off a biting breaking ball, and his velocity took a substantial step forward in the fall. That tick up prompted us to slot Conradt into the No. 3 spot on the updated board, where he makes a loud debut. Here’s more on the Hortonville right-hander:

Jonah Conradt RHP / Hortonville, WI / 2023

Conradt has been Wisconsin's biggest winner of the fall – and that's regardless of age or class. The lean, wiry 6-foot-1, 155-pound righty ventured to LakePoint with his travel club for a fall tournament where he exhibited a meaningful jump in velocity and stuff. There, Conradt was up to 87 mph while showing the ability to land a hammer breaking ball that was spinning at nearly 2,700 rpm. He'd impressed with his live arm earlier in the summer, though he took a considerable step forward in a short period of time since. Conradt's progress was evident again at the final showcase on the 2020 calendar, where he touched 88 while generating premium arm speed that he maintains well on his big, sharp 11/5 curveball that projects like an authentic swing-and-miss offering.

10/17/20

+ Inside this update, we also have nine other debuting players, allowing us to touch up our sophomore rankings ahead of a critical year for these 2023 prospects. We’ll provide some insight on the group below:

Chris Calico INF / West Salem, WI / 2023

Calico made our ‘2023 Watchlist’ back in October, and now that we’ve expanded our rankings, he’s on the board. Here’s what we had to say about him back then: Listed at 5-foot-9, 150 pounds, Calico’s athleticism works especially well up the middle of the infield on defense, and it’s where he first stood out, back in January at the Kenosha Preseason I.D. His quick hands and easy actions look fit to keep him on either side of the second base bag, and he only got noticeably stronger as the year progressed. His right-handed swing is rhythmic and fluid, and he recorded above-average bat speed metrics at the Underclass Games in July. Calico also averaged a tick under 90 mph exit velocity during his round of batting practice at that event, establishing that his added strength is transitioning well inside the batter’s box.

 
7/21/20

Tyler Butina 1B / RHP/ Jefferson, WI / 2023

A 6-foot-1, 215-pound underclassman who also showed potential two-way abilities at the Southern Wisconsin Open: Firstly, Butina’s powerful left-handed bat has placed him high up the 2023 radar. Per TrackMan, Butina averaged nearly 90 mph of exit velocity while topping 97.4 during BP – and he slugged the farthest ball of the day, at 368 feet. Once he got on the mound, Butina topped 83 mph in his bullpen, with tilt. His physicality and left-handedness, offensively, have crafted a seriously intriguing profile to watch moving forward.

 
10/17/20

Ethan Brown 3B / RHP / Waukesha West, WI / 2023

Brown’s productive summer culminated in a standout performance at the fall’s Southern Wisconsin Open, where he turned in one of the day’s best showings. His budding strength helps him connect on consistent, impactful contact from the right side, and he produced one of event’s louder rounds of batting practice. In front of our TrackMan unit, Brown averaged an exit speed of nearly 85 mph with a 92.9 mph high. He looks like a future third baseman, with plenty of arm for the position, and increasingly smooth actions with room for growth. In addition, he was up to 84 mph from the mound at that same event, mixing in an upside slider and change. Brown warrants more attention in 2021.

 
10/17/20

Aiden Schenk 1B / OF / Janesville Craig, WI / 2023

From Janesville Craig, Schenk made a sound first impression in front of our staff back at last March’s South MKE I.D. There, his left-handed bat squared up hard-hit contact on repeat and he showcased the same abilities in the summer at our exclusive Underclass Games event in the Chicagoland area. It’s a rhythmic, timely swing that he repeats well, allowing him to effectively spray line-drives around all fields – and there’s some pull-side power projection in here, too. Schenk projects well, defensively, at first base with the ability to provide value at the position. There’s no doubt, however, that it’s his bat that can keep him highly ranked among the state’s best 2023s. 

 
7/21/20

Owen Bond OF / Kettle Moraine, WI / 2023

Bond landed on our ‘2023 Watchlist’ as well following one of the day’s best rounds of batting practice at the Eastern Wisconsin Open. The 6-foot-3, 170-pound left-handed hitter slugged four baseballs over 320 feet to his pull side, and he topped 96.1 mph in live batting practice on a line-drive to shallow right. His power potential and barrel feel have him breaking out as a follow inside the state’s 2023 class.

 
8/17/20

Thomas Burns RHP / Hortonville , WI / 2023

Listed at an upside 6-foot-1, 165 pounds, Burns’ physical projection matches his live, present stuff. Another Hortonville arm to debut in this update, Burns reached an 84 mph high earlier this summer at The Rock with feel for a breaking ball. The fastball flashes swing-and-miss qualities on its own, with jump from the hand and carry through the zone. His size creates some additional projectability, forecasting some velocity to gain down the road. He’s one of the class’ rising arms to know ahead of the winter showcase circuit, which is right around the corner. 

 
6/19/20

Keenan Mork RHP / River Falls, WI / 2023

Representing River Falls, Mork makes his rankings debut following a strong summer for his Minnesota-based travel club. Mork’s is Braden’s brother, who wound up as a top-15-ranked player in the state’s 2019 class, built similarly lanky with inherent arm strength. Keenan was up to 83 mph at an August showcase hosted by PBR Minnesota with breaking ball feel, and he’s demonstrated swing-and-miss abilities with his stuff and feel to locate to this point already, so we’ll keep an even closer watch on him in 2021.

8/22/20

Jake Schaffner SS / 2B Janesville Craig, WI / 2023

In a high-waisted, athletic frame, Schaffner emerged as a follow in the summer and it ultimately led to his debut on this list. A left-handed hitter who has demonstrated consistent barrel feel, Schaffner routinely syncs up line-drive contact with relative ease, working the middle of the field on repeat. Defensively, his feet work athletically, and he has the room to grow into a sound middle infielder, which could further boost his prospect status. His athleticism and barrel feel have him rising entering the season ahead. 

 
7/21/20

Garrett Hietpas 3B / SS / Appleton North , WI / 2023

Hietpas was very productive across multiple live looks throughout 2020, and he also brings to the diamond a heads-up awareness on defense and a competitive, infectious energy. His a versatile athlete with a projectable right-handed swing and he demonstrates barrel feel awareness. At a lean 5-foot-10, Hietpas has the stature to add effective muscle that should positively influence his batted-ball profile. Defensively, he projects well around the infield, with a natural feel for the game at third base – but we've seen him operate fluidly around shortstop, too.

7/21/20

CLICK HERE to view the Wisconsin Class of 2023 Rankings.

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