Wildcats Foray Into Upper Midwest

As would be expected, the Arizona Wildcats recruit mostly in their home and surrounding states, fertile ground for baseball talent. Of the 33 players on their roster, 12 hail from Arizona, 17 from California, two from Colorado and one each from Nevada and Oklahoma.

But that may be about to change. Arizona’s recruiting class includes arguably the top prospects from four separate states in the Upper Midwest: Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

The highest-profile recruit won’t pitch in an official game this spring. Nequea Valley HS (Naperville, Ill.) lefthander Ian Krol was suspended for the season following his second violation of the school’s athletic code of conduct. A 6-foot-1, 180-pounder, Krol showed a high-80s sinker and a nifty curveball on the showcase circuit last summer, and if he performs well in workouts for teams, he could be a second- to fourth-round pick.

The other three recruits are more raw and thus more likely to last longer in the draft and make it to Tucson. Eastview HS (Apple Valley, Minn.) righthander Nick Dolsky has a lot of projection in his 6-foot-7, 205-pound frame. He’s capable of pitching in the low 90s, but he has struggled out of the gate with his command and secondary pitches.

Scouts don’t often venture to North Dakota, and flooding has made the trek more difficult than usual this spring. But Dickinson (N.D.) HS shortstop Cole Frenzel will draw some scouts as the weather starts to warm up. First baseman Zac Elgie, who’s now a freshman at Kansas, surpassed Darin Erstad as the state’s highest-drafted high schooler ever when the Athletics made him a 12th-round pick last June. A rival recruiting coordinator said Frenzel is a better prospect than Elgie because he bats lefthanded and has a purer swing. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Frenzel could wind up at third base or catcher.

Like Dolsky, Ladysmith (Wis.) HS righty Joel Effertz is an intriguing work in progress. Six-foot-3 and 225 pounds, he was an all-state kicker and star tight end in football and an honorable mention all-state forward in basketball. He touched 93 mph with the Midwest Blazers scout team last summer.