JD Dix is the latest high-end prospect from Wisconsin

Wisconsin has become an underrated source of quality baseball talent in the last eight years. Gavin Lux of Indian Trails High School in Kenosha started the trend of high-end players coming from Wisconsin nearly a decade ago. 

Lux was a first-round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016. He is one of five players from Wisconsin high schools or colleges to go in the first two rounds of the MLB draft since 2016.

This year, Whitefish Bay High School shortstop JD Dix is Wisconsin’s latest high-end draft prospect. Scouts have closely watched Dix’s development over the last four years, and he enters his senior season this spring as the state’s best baseball prospect since Noah Miller in 2021. Scouts project Dix as a potential first-round pick in July’s draft.

Dix has had professional aspirations for as long as he can remember. It became a more realistic option after he started at Hitters Baseball Academy in Caledonia, Wisconsin, as a freshman. Hitters started in 1993 and has become a premier source for developing players for college and pro ball.

“As I mature, it gets a little easier with the nerves,” Dix said. “I think last year, you had the spotlight on you, and it was different and harder. But this is where I want to be. It was just kind of like all those emotions, which was tough. You just have to find the love of the game and why you’re playing the game. You aren’t playing for the people in the stands but for yourself and love for the game.”

Dix is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound switch-hitting shortstop with an exciting toolset. He originally was only a right-handed hitter before his dad encouraged him to try switch-hitting at 8 years old. It wasn’t until he was about 12 years old that he tried hitting from the left side.

Dix is a quality hitter from both sides, but his left-handed swing looks slightly more advanced right now. Over the last two years, he has prioritized taking plenty of reps from both sides of the plate in his training after almost exclusively taking in-game reps from the left side in his freshman year. 

At the plate, Dix uses a slightly crouched stance and smooth swing to make hard contact and drive the ball into the gaps. He displays quality plate discipline and a mature approach. He will continue to add more power to his game as he matures physically. 

Dix is a quality athlete who can make an impact on the bases due to his speed. Scouts also rave about his work ethic and makeup.

“An underrated skill of mine is my speed,” Dix said. “I don’t think people look at me and talk about my speed. Speed is key in my game. It helps me with my range at shortstop. My power will come. I saw that sophomore year when I was healthy and having fun and just swinging it. The contact piece is also a key for me.”

Defensively, Dix is a premium defender with the tools to stick at shortstop. 

Right now, he is recovering from labrum surgery in his right shoulder. The recovery process is going smoothly, as he does an hour of physical therapy daily. He anticipates he will start throwing the baseball in January.

When he is healthy, Dix is athletic, moves well laterally, has a strong arm and covers plenty of ground at shortstop. Besides shortstop, Dix has played first base, second base, third base and left field. Dix believes he can play shortstop long-term despite the competition level for that spot in pro ball.

Dix cites Wisconsin native Noah Miller as an example of an extremely talented high school defender who has proven in his first couple of years of pro ball that he can remain at shortstop. Minor League Baseball named Miller the best defensive shortstop in the minor leagues, awarding him the 2023 Rawlings Gold Glove Award. 

“The one thing I can tell you is that I love shortstop so much to give it up that easy,” Dix said. “I’m doing my fielding work to get as good as I can. You look at Noah Miller, and he’s the best fielder in the minor leagues right now, and it’s like, ‘Why can’t I do that?’ I talk to him a lot and ask him a ton of questions. It helps me.”

Dix has played a vital role on talented Whitefish Bay High School teams in recent years. He was an essential piece in Whitefish Bay capturing its first WIAA state baseball title last year. Dix is eager for his final prep baseball season and hopes to build on last year’s success.

After Dix concludes his senior season, he will decide between starting a pro career or honoring his commitment to Wake Forest. Dix initially committed to Alabama but reopened the recruiting process during the summer due to Alabama’s coaching change. He announced his commitment to Wake Forest in December.

Wake Forest is an elite college baseball program with a proven track record of developing talent for pro ball. Coach Tom Walter has done a tremendous job in his first 14 years at the helm, guiding the Demon Deacons to a 54-12 record and College World Series appearance in 2023.

Wake Forest had 10 players selected in the 2023 draft and has multiple high-profile draft prospects this spring.

Dix’s comfort level with the coaching staff and his respect for their track record of success factored into his decision to commit to Wake Forest.

“When I got there, the team comradery was unbelievable,” Dix said. “That starts with the coaching staff. They are doing some great things over there. They build their players from the ground up. It was a different feel from the other powerhouse schools, which I really liked. I have the utmost respect for the coaches and players who work really hard each and every day.”

Want to learn more about JD Dix? Read my scouting reports on Dix from the live looks I have had of him over the last two years here.

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

Video of JD Dix.

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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  1. I enjoyed watching him live last year. Definitely a talented player. Will be excited to see how this upcoming season goes and how high he will be drafted. Might be a tough choice for him between pro ball or Wake Forest.


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