The Wisconsin baseball revolution has been under way for quite some time, so how did Wisconsin high-school (and college) players fare in organized baseball this year? Check out the list (and let us know if we missed any). Stats are current heading into Sept. 19.
First, the Major Leaguers
Before we go too far, these are the players who at least saw some time in the big leagues in 2023.
Owen Miller (Ozaukee), Milwaukee Brewers. He's been up and down to Triple-A lately, but Miller has been a regular with the Brewers this year, playing all over the diamond and posting a .674 OPS, with five homers and a career-high 13 stolen bases.
Daulton Varsho (Marshfield), Toronto Blue Jays. Still the only UW-Milwaukee alumnus to reach the big leagues, the left fielder has a .663 OPS this season for the playoff-pushing Blue Jays and should get consideration for a Gold Glove. According to the Fielding Bible, he leads all of baseball in Defensive Runs Saved with 27.
Jarred Kelenic (Waukesha West), Seattle Mariners. The outfielder also is in a playoff chase; he's got a .746 OPS this year and has been enjoying what is essentially a breakout season. He did miss two months with a broken foot after he kicked a cooler.
Danny Jansen (Appleton West), Toronto Blue Jays. The catcher has a .786 OPS this year in 301 plate appearances, with a career-best 17 home runs and 53 RBIs this season. One of the homers was a walk-off to beat the Yankees in the 10th inning. In a Sept. 1 game, Jansen broke his right middle finger on a foul ball, had surgery and is out for the rest of the regular season, but he has apparently found a way to contribute as a bat whisperer.
— MLB (@MLB) September 18, 2023
Alex Call (River Falls), Washington Nationals. The 28-year-old has been Washington's starting center fielder this season, with a strong showing on defense. At the plate, he has a .597 OPS in 123 games.
Alec Marsh (Milwaukee Reagan), Kansas City Royals. Marsh became the first City Conference player to reach the big leagues since Bob Uecker, and he's been given plenty of time to adjust to the big leagues. He's got a 5.67 ERA in 14 outings this year (eight starts), with 71 strikeouts in 60 innings (but also 33 walks).
Ben Rortvedt (Verona), New York Yankees. The backup catcher has struggled in 71 plate appearances this year (.469 OPS), but he does have a spot on the active roster and appeared in the series against Milwaukee earlier in September.
Terrin Vavra (Menomonie), Baltimore Orioles. The utility player has appeared in 27 games this year at the big-league level (.560 OPS) but does have a strong .906 OPS at Triple-A this year in limited work. But he's dealing with a right-shoulder injury that has cost him most of the season.
Taylor Kohlwey (Holmen), San Diego Padres. The UW-La Crosse alumnus made his Major League debut this year and appeared in five games, getting two hits. Most of the year has been spent in Class AAA El Paso, where he has an .826 OPS and plays the outfield.
Connor Prielipp (Tomah), Minnesota Twins. Prielipp, a second-round pick in 2022, is the No. 6 prospect in the organization according to MLB, but he only pitched in just more than six innings this year. It wasn't Tommy John surgery, but he did have a UCL procedure in July. He already underwent Tommy John surgery that cost him all of 2022.
Alan Roden (Middleton), Toronto Blue Jays. The third-round pick in 2022 had a superb 2023, posting an .881 OPS in Double-A in 46 games after an .896 at Advanced Class A. All told, he hit 10 homers and stole 24 bases, with 29 doubles. The outfielder who attended Creighton is regarded as the No. 7 prospect in the organization by MLB.com and has drawn raves for his hit tool.
A.J. Vukovich (East Troy), Arizona Diamondbacks. He spent the entire year at Double-A and hit .263 with an .818 OPS, including 24 homers. His 96 RBIs for the Amarillo Sod Poodles this year marked a franchise record. He's the No. 10 prospect in the organization according to MLB Pipeline.
Max Wagner (Green Bay Preble), Baltimore Orioles. The second-round pick in 2022 spent time at both Advanced Class A and Double A this year, posting a .717 OPS at the latter stop. The third baseman had 13 homers overall this year and 27 stolen bases. He's regarded as the No. 14 prospect in the O's organization.
Noah Miller (Ozaukee), Minnesota Twins. The No. 23 prospect in the organization, and Owen Miller's brother, he spent the year at Class A Cedar Rapids and posted a .649 OPS as the team's shortstop.
George Klassen (Port Washington), Philadelphia Phillies. The No. 24 prospect in the organization according to MLB.com was drafted in the sixth round of the 2023 draft, but he hasn't pitched yet at rookie ball. The pitcher out of the University of Minnesota can throw in the triple digits.
Drake Baldwin (Madison West), Atlanta Braves. The third-round pick in 2022 reached Double-A this year and had a .786 OPS in 53 at-bats, with a home run after hitting 14 at Advanced Class A this year (.851 OPS). The catcher is mentioned as the No. 28 prospect in the organization.
Battling back to the big leagues after injury
Jonathan Stiever (Cedarburg), Chicago White Sox. He only pitched in two games this season and needed surgery to repair his right lat, his second season that was essentially lost to injury. He made big-league appearances in 2020 and 2021, getting action in three games total.
Kyle Cody (McDonell Central), Texas Rangers. Having battled injuries throughout his career, Cody was able to rack up 74 innings at Triple-A this year, posting a 5.47 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. He's appeared in 15 big-league games with the Rangers in 2020 and 2021.
Caleb Boushley (Hortonville), Milwaukee Brewers. Pitching at Nashville, Boushley has a 5.29 ERA in 28 games (26 starts), with a 1.39 WHIP.
Theo Denlinger (Cuba City), Boston Red Sox. He's injured now but made it to Triple-A this year, where he posted a 6.89 ERA in 11 outings. Before that, he went 2-4 with a 4.70 ERA in 24 relief appearances at Double-A this season.
Brandon Komar (Elkhorn), St. Louis Cardinals. He had a brief visit to Triple-A this year but did most of his work at Double-A, starting 21 games and finishing with a 4.62 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 123 innings.
Dalton Roach (Eau Claire Memorial), St. Louis Cardinals. Posted a 3.86 ERA at Triple-A this year with a 1-4 record in 36 appearances and a quality 1.25 WHIP. He was once bitten by a bear while hunting in Wisconsin.
Austin Schulfer (Stevens Point Area Senior High), Minnesota Twins. The right-hander from Plover (who attended UW-Milwaukee) has a 6-3 record and 4.00 ERA this year for Triple-A St. Paul, though a high 1.67 WHIP in 54 innings.
Trevor Schwecke (Marshfield), Toronto Blue Jays. The UW-Milwaukee alumnus played 16 games at Triple-A and posted a .265 average with a .700 OPS. The shortstop had a .280 average and .820 OPS at Double-A this year in 71 games.
Eric Torres (Sussex Hamilton), Los Angeles Angels. Struggled in Triple-A this year after posting a 5.14 ERA in a brief stretch at Double-A.
Ty Weber (Menomonee Falls), San Francisco Giants. Made a strong showing at Triple-A over two appearances (one earned run in five innings) after struggling at Advanced Class A this year over 15 games.
Lake Bachar (UW-Whitewater), San Diego Padres. The Illinois native spent his second season at Double-A and shined with a 5-1 record and 2.69 ERA in 60 innings.
Alec Binelas (Oak Creek), Boston Red Sox. The former Brewers farm hand posted a .755 OPS this year in Double-A, with 16 homers and 13 stolen bases.
Jack Blomgren (Milton), Colorado Rockies. The shortstop has been injured but did get 65 at-bats at Double-A this year, where he posted a .799 OPS.
AJ Blubaugh (UW-Milwaukee), Houston Astros. The Ohio native has pitched in only four games at Double-A this year but posted a 1.26 ERA in those appearances over 14 innings, with 19 strikeouts and a 0.84 WHIP.
Nathan Burns (West Bend West), Los Angeles Angels. Struggled in a small Double-A sample after posting a 1.54 ERA over 19 games at Advanced Class A, with a .165 opponent batting average.
Cade Bunnell (Stoughton), Atlanta Braves. The second baseman spent the year at Double-A, hitting .209 with a .681 OPS.
Jacob DeLabio (Kenosha Tremper), Houston Astros. The Carthage alumnus didn't pitch all that much in 2023 but was electric when he did. He had a 1.40 ERA in 21 appearances at Double-A out of the bullpen, with 28 strikeouts in nearly 26 innings (although also 20 walks). That was after five scoreless appearances at Single A. He's currently on the injured list.
Matt Osterberg (Coleman), Philadelphia Phillies. The lefty pitched at both Advanced Class A and Double-A this year, with a 1-1 record and 3.26 ERA in six starts at the latter stop. He's currently on the "development list," which is functionally an injury list or list where players whose workload is being reduced.
Others to know
Griffin Doersching, Greendale (San Diego Padres). The first baseman mashed 15 homers this year between two stops and had a .906 OPS in 51 at-bats at Advanced Class A.
Riley Frey (Oshkosh West), Atlanta Braves. The pitcher out of UW-Milwaukee reached Class A and went 1-1 there over five starts (6.50 ERA), with a 1.50 WHIP in 18 innings.
Tanner Kohlhepp (Eau Claire Memorial), Detroit Tigers. In his first season of pro ball, the 24-year-old had a 3.42 ERA in 20 appearances (four starts), with a 1.56 WHIP at Class A.
Christian Oppor (Columbus), Chicago White Sox. In five appearances at rookie ball this year, he allowed one earned run in 7 2/3 innings. The 19-year-old was drafted in the fifth round in 2023.
Avery Owusu-Asiedu (Waukesha West), Philadelphia Phillies. The ninth-round pick in the 2023 draft posted a .675 OPS in 46 at-bats at the rookie ball level while playing center field.
Dylan Questad (Waterford), Minnesota Twins. After getting taken in the fifth round of the 2023 draft, he hasn't appeared in pro baseball this year.
Jake Sommers (Hortonville), Colorado Rockies. He's on the 60-day injured list and pitched only sparingly at rookie ball this year. The 26-year-old UW-Milwaukee alumnus pitched in 2021 at Advanced Class A.
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsinite baseball players in the majors and minors in 2023