State Report: Wisconsin

A few intriguing guys, but it's no hotbed

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***** One for the books
**** Banner year
*** Solid, not spectacular
** Not up to par
* Nothing to see here
Rating compares this year's group to what a state typically produces, not to other states
Wisconsin isn't a hotbed for draft prospects, having produced just one pick in the first 20 rounds in the last three years: Whitefish Bay High lefthander Kevin James, a Rays ninth-rounder in 2009. Wisconsin-Stevens Point outfielder Cody Koback has uncommon athleticism for a Badger State prospect and could go in the teens this June. He'll try to become the first big league position player to sign out of the state since Andy Thompson in 1994.




1. Cody Koback, of, Wisconsin-Stevens Point
2. Joel Effertz, rhp, Madison JC
3. Doug DeKoning, of, Wisconsin-Milwaukee
4. Brendon Hayden, rhp/3b, Wilmot Union HS
5. Chad Pierce, rhp, Wisconsin-Milwaukee
6. Jeff Donovan, 1b, Wisconsin-Whitewater
7. Sam Mahar, lhp, Tremper HS, Kenosha


Rare Athleticism, With The Usual Arms

Cody Koback is more toolsy than the typical Wisconsin position prospect. The 6-foot, 185-pounder has well above-average speed, though he's still learning to make the most of it on the bases and in center field. He makes consistent contact and has gap power from the right side of the plate, and his arm is solid. After an elbow injury limited him to nine games in 2010, he rebounded to bat .424/.516/.701 this spring. He proved himself against better competition last summer in the Northwoods League, where he hit .305 with wood bats.

Joel Effertz was the state's No. 2-ranked prospect as a Ladysmith High senior in 2009, when the Dodgers drafted him in the 37th round. He spent a redshirt year at Arizona before transferring back home to Madison JC. He struck out 18 in a regional championship game against Kankakee (Ill.) CC, putting the Wolfpack in the Division II Junior College World Series. A 6-foot-3, 235-pound righthander, Effertz had his fastball velocity fluctuate this spring but sat at 91-92 mph at his best. He locates his fastball and improved his curveball, but he'll need to watch his weight.

Outfielder Doug DeKoning slumped in 2010, batting .300 with three homers and costing him a chance to get drafted. He should get an opportunity as a senior sign after hitting .362 with eight longballs this spring. A 6-foot-2, 185-pounder, he has a smooth lefthanded stroke with gap power and solid speed and arm strength.

Wisconsin's best high school prospect is Brendon Hayden, but he's mostly projection at this point and seems destined to attend Virginia Tech. Scouts are mixed over whether the 6-foot-5, 215-pounder has a brighter future as a righthander or as a third baseman. The majority prefer him on the mound, where he touches 90 mph with his fastball and usually sits at 85-88. His curveball lacks power as well. He has the body to create leverage for power, but he needs to get stronger.