|THIS YEAR’S CROP|
|*****||One for the
|**||Not up to
|*||Nothing to see
For the third time in four years, Wisconsin should have a player selected in the first three rounds, as Wisconsin-Stevens Point righthander Jordan Zimmerman is set to follow in the footsteps of high school pitchers Erik Cordier (second round, Royals, 2004) and Tony Butler (third round, Mariners, 2006).
Carthage, a small college in Kenosha, joined the Pointers to give the state two teams at the Division III College World Series. Two of three best high school prospects can be found on the Tremper High pitching staff, with righty Andrew Paulauskas overtaking lefty Nick Rice in the minds of scouts.
|National Top 200
Zimmerman, rhp, Wisconsin-Stevens
|Other Prospects Of
2. Andrew Paulauskas, rhp, Tremper HS, Kenosha
3. Cullen Sexton, rhp, Stevens Point (Wis.) Area HS
4. Nick Rice, lhp, Tremper HS, Kenosha, Wis.
5. Ryan Kussmaul, rhp, Madison Area Tech (Wis.) JC (CONTROL: Marlins)
6. Matt Mehne, rhp, Wisconsin-Stevens Point
7. Collin Kuhn, of, Beaver Dam (Wis.) HS
8. Cal Stanke, rhp, Wisconsin-Oshosh
9. Jacob Husing, rhp, Carthage (Wis.) College
10. David Casey, 1b, Whitefish Bay (Wis.) HS
|1. Jordan Zimmerman,
rhp (National rank:
Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Class:
Report: Zimmerman jumped up prospect lists last summer,
when he led the Northwoods League in ERA (1.01) and strikeouts (92 in
80 innings) and ranked as the circuit’s top prospect. Scouts haven’t
had an easy time following him this spring, however. Zimmerman broke
his jaw in two places when he was struck by a batted ball while
pitching live batting practice during an offseason workout. He missed
three games and lost 10 pounds, and having wisdom teeth pulled during
the season didn’t help him regain his strength. Bad early-season
weather also made it difficult to keep him on a regular schedule.
Zimmerman’s stuff was improving as the season went on, and he was
consistently working in the low 90s and showing a quality slider as
Wisconsin-Stevens Point entered the NCAA Division III playoffs. He also
throws a changeup with promising action and uses a loopy curveball as a
fourth pitch. Zimmerman regularly touched 93-95 in the Northwoods
League, and scouts expect him to show that velocity more often as he
adds more strength to his 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame. He could go as
high as the second round, but the third round is more
likely. (UPDATE: Zimmerman earned MVP honors at the Division III College World Series, becoming the first player ever to receive that award without his team reaching the title game. He pitched a complete-game one-hitter with 10 strikeouts against Emory (Ga.), and batted .615 with two homers in four games as a DH.)
Tremper Has Pair Of Aces
Tremper High has two
of the state’s three best prep pitching prospects, and they both took
part in a memorable 20-inning game. Lefthander Nick Rice started a contest against Horlick High (Racine) with six shutout innings, and Andrew Paulauskas followed with nine more in a game Tremper eventually won 3-2, with all the scoring coming in the 20th.
was more highly regarded entering the spring, but Paulauskas has passed
him. Though he’s still raw like most Wisconsin high schoolers are,
Paulauskas has a quick arm and a projectable 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame.
He has shown a 90-91 mph fastball late in games, as well as the makings
of a breaking ball. He has committed to Madison Area Tech Junior
Rice is lefthanded and has a bigger body (6-foot-6, 180
pounds), but his velocity has been down this spring. He topped out
around 88 mph after flashing a 91-92 mph fastball in the past, and his
arm speed seems to have decreased. He may not be signable away from
Stevens Point has a talented pitcher on its high school scene as well. Righthander Cullen Sexton
is a 6-foot-4, 180-pound athlete who led his football team to the state
Division 1 semifinals as a quarterback. He sustained a concussion and a
pinched nerve in his shoulder playing football, so he got off to a slow
start this spring. But he’s still projectable and owns an 86-88 mph
fastball that touches 90. He’ll be a tough sign because he’s the top
student in his high school class and has a scholarship from Minnesota.
the top juco prospect in Wisconsin, didn’t sign with the Marlins as a
42nd-round draft-and-follow. He’s another projectable righthander at
6-foot-4 and 185 pounds, and he has a clean arm action and a fastball
that can reach 91 mph. His slider is a work in progress.