Eddie Rynders develops into a top prospect

Every year, scouts identify certain players as “pop-up prospects.” Wisconsin Lutheran High School shortstop Eddie Rynders, previously known primarily within the state, has recently gained significant national attention.

Rynders’ cool, collected approach and unwavering work ethic have propelled him into the spotlight as a top prospect. His potent blend of skill and potential has captivated scouts, transforming him from a determined high school athlete into a potential early-round MLB draft pick. His rise is a testament to years of dedication and relentless improvement.

“I have been a late riser,” Rynders said. “Being a late riser is a cool experience, and it’s also helping me keep my head down and keep the blinders on and keep working like I have been the last three or four years with that mentality I have developed. It’s been a lot recently and has really taken off.”

Wisconsin has become an underrated state for baseball talent, with numerous players generating plenty of draft attention each year. This year, Wisconsin could potentially have three high school players selected in the first seven rounds of the draft – Rynders, Whitefish Bay High School shortstop JD Dix and Verona High School right-hander Jack DeTienne.

According to multiple scouts, Rynders has vaulted his way to potentially being the top prep player in Wisconsin. Scouts are intrigued by Rynders’ development, present skill set and exciting potential.

“The last four years, I have put in a ton of work,” Rynders said. “To see all the work starting to pay off is really cool for me to see. I’m not satisfied and always looking to get better and be the best player I can be.”

Rynders is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound left-handed-hitting shortstop with a well-rounded toolset at the plate. He has simple mechanics with little movement and uses a swing that is built to hit line drives and for power to all fields. He also has an advanced approach with a notable eye for the strike zone. 

Rynders is athletic and has improving speed, which allows him to steal bases and make an impact on the bases. 

In the offseason, as he prepares for the next step in his career, Rynders wants to continue working on his hitting skills, especially as he faces higher-caliber pitching. He has a solid frame and projects to add more strength and power as he matures.  

“My ability to go gap to gap with authority separates me,” Rynders said. “I can catch the ball deep in the zone and drive it the other way with authority. My ability to control the zone is also a strength. I have above-average plate discipline, especially in high school ball when you aren’t getting a lot to hit you have to control yourself and the zone. My swing and how it’s built is going to have some power and upside in the future.”

Defensively, Rynders exhibits athleticism and smooth fielding, with a notable ability to cover significant ground at shortstop. He has improved his arm strength over the last year and believes he will continue to improve in that area to develop above-average arm strength.

Rynders can play multiple positions on the diamond. In addition to playing shortstop, he has played second and third base and would profile well at one of those positions.

Scouts rave about Rynders’ versatility. As Rynders progresses through his baseball career, he hopes to remain at shortstop.

“Shortstop is my passion and where I want to stick in the future,” Rynders said. “I know how to play all the infield positions. This offseason, I think I did a good job of creating a well-rounded ball player. I made massive jumps in the offseason and took average tools and made them above-average tools.”  

This spring, Rynders has exceeded outside expectations to surge up draft boards. He has a legitimate chance to hear his name called in the early rounds and embark on a pro career straight out of high school.

If he decides to attend college instead, Rynders is a Kent State commit. He verbally committed to Kent State as a sophomore in 2021. His relationship with the coaching staff, the program’s strong track record, and his appreciation for the campus and baseball facilities factored into his decision. 

Rynders raves about Kent State coach Jeff Duncan and his ability to build a competitive team and develop players for the pro ranks. Duncan played eight years of pro baseball and has had 22 draft picks, including first-rounder Eric Lauer in 2016 and second-rounder Joe Whitman last year, since he started at Kent State in 2014.

“They have one of the best coaching staffs in the country,” Rynders said. “The atmosphere between the players and coaches is unreal. It just feels different there. They are a family. As a mid-major, they have a chip on their shoulders and have something to prove. They know they can play against the big teams. I love everything about Kent State. I haven’t looked back since committing.”

Want to learn more about Eddie Rynders? We have scouted him in-person at games this spring. Here are our thoughts on Rynders and his skill set.

Read more in-depth stories on top 2024 MLB draft prospects at Baseball Prospect Journal.

Video of Eddie Rynders.

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for nine years. He has interviewed 518 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski IIIhttp://BaseballProspectJournal.com
Dan Zielinski III is the creator of the Baseball Prospect Journal and has covered the MLB draft since 2015. His draft work originally appeared on The3rdManIn.com, a sports website he started in December 2011. He also covered the Milwaukee Brewers as a member of the credentialed media for four years. Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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