State Report: Wisconsin

***** One for the books
**** Banner year
*** Solid, not spectacular
** Not up to par
* Nothing to see here
Outfielder Charlie Markson entered 2009 as the state's top prospect before lefthander Kevin James, his teammate at Milwaukee's Whitefish Bay High, passed him. James is the only potential significant draft pick in Wisconsin, as most of the best high schoolers are destined for college and Wisconsin-Whitewater righthander Jason Hooper is the only collegian drawing interest.




1. Kevin James, lhp, Whitefish Bay HS, Milwaukee
2. Joel Effertz, rhp, Ladysmith HS
3. Charlie Markson, of, Whitefish Bay HS, Milwaukee
4. Adam Walker, 3b/c, Milwaukee Lutheran HS
5. Jason Hooper, rhp, Wisconsin-Whitewater
6. Nick Rice, lhp, Madison Area Tech JC
7. Tim Suminski, lhp, Parkway Christian HS, Oak Creek


James Is Badger State's Lone Standout

There's no doubt that lefthander Kevin James is Wisconsin's best prospect, but it's unclear whether he'll get drafted high enough to bypass a Boston College scholarship. He's a projectable 6-foot-4, 187-pounder who drew attention by consistently hitting 90-91 mph while pitching against suspended Illinois high school lefty Ian Krol in a Wisconsin scout league in the spring. James' curveball and command still need a lot of work, and scouts can't figure out why he doesn't dominate weak high school competition. James went 0-8 as a junior, and while he won his first start as a senior, he still issued six walks in five innings.

James has surpassed Whitefish Bay teammate Charlie Markson, Wisconsin's top-rated prospect coming into the season. A good athlete who played point guard to James' forward on the Whitefish Bay basketball team, Markson is a 6-foot-2, 180-pounder with good speed, gap power and a strong arm. His bat will need time to develop. He has signed with Notre Dame, and Fighting Irish head coach Dave Schrage has compared him to his team's current star, projected first-rounder A.J. Pollock.

Scouts realized that righthander Joel Effertz was a work in progress, but they still hoped to see more out of him. He's an athletic 6-foot-3, 225 pounder who was an all-state kicker and star tight end in football and an honorable mention all-state forward in basketball. His fastball touched 93 mph and had heavy sink when he pitched with the Midwest Blazers scout team last summer, but his conditioning and velocity have been disappointing this spring. His arm action also worries scouts. He hasn't performed well enough to earn a bonus that would divert him from attending Arizona.

The state's top college prospect is more of a senior sign for the 2010 draft. Righthander Jason Hooper has a big body (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) and a fastball that touches 90 mph, but he's too raw for pro ball at this point. He spent his freshman season at Jacksonville before transferring to Wisconsin-Whitewater.