Michael Lippe consistently ranked among the top players in the 2022 prep class during his underclassman years at Whitefish Bay (Wis.) High School. But Lippe didn’t perform up to those expectations on the showcase circuit last summer, especially offensively against premium pitching.
The mixed results caused Lippe to make changes in the offseason. The prep outfielder made swing adjustments to simplify his mechanics and improve his consistency.
He regularly hit and worked out with Boston Red Sox prospect Alex Binelas, an Oak Creek native, in the offseason. He also spoke with Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Gavin Lux, a Kenosha native, who gave Lippe advice on hitting and ways he could improve his game.
“Last year, during the beginning of the summer, I didn’t have the year I wanted,” Lippe said. “I finished it off strong, but I wasn’t happy where I was with my swing. I knew I needed to make a lot of improvements to be ready for the next level.”
After last summer’s performance, Lippe hopes to regain his status as a top 2022 prep player this spring. To do that, he needs to prove to talent evaluators that he can thrive at a high level offensively.
Lippe is an underrated 2022 MLB draft prospect. He has the skills and potential scouts seek and could quickly move up draft boards this spring if he shows growth at the plate.
“I’ve just enjoyed it and let it happen,” said Lippe on the draft attention. “I just trust in myself and trust that whatever happens, happens. I’m going to know what the right decision is when the time comes. It pushes me to get more noticed by pro scouts and people. It keeps me motivated and working towards my ultimate goal, which is the major leagues.”
Lippe is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound outfielder who is an explosive athlete with a balanced toolset and proven ability to impact all aspects of the game.
Defensively, Lippe profiles well in right field. He is smooth in the outfield due to his athleticism, strong run times and above-average arm strength. He usually throws the ball on a line to the intended base, with his throws touching the high-90s from the outfield.
The right-handed hitter believes his swing adjustments will allow him to square up the baseball at a higher percentage. He uses a wide stance and a left leg kick as a timing mechanism to drive the ball to all parts of the field. He has advanced bat speed and offers notable power potential.
“The one thing I want to show scouts is that I am fully back from everything and that I am that guy that everyone needs to stop overlooking,” Lippe said. “I need to prove that I can be super consistent with my hitting, limit my strikeouts and create more opportunities on the base pads by putting the ball in play more.”
Besides his status as a draft prospect, Lippe is a University of Louisville commit. Lippe was on the radar of college coaches at a young age, as Louisville started recruiting him in the summer leading up to his freshman year in 2018.
But before Lippe decides between attending Louisville or starting a pro career this summer, he will suit up for Whitefish Bay High School this spring.
Last year, Lippe played for the Hitters Spring League after the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association pushed back the high school baseball season later into the spring. Lippe is eager to play for his high school team this year, especially since they have the talent to capture a state championship.
Whitefish Bay boasts a roster that features a senior class of Lippe, Michigan commit Mitch Voit and Milwaukee commit D.J. Kojis. They also have Division I prospects Jack Counsell and JD Dix on their roster.
“We have the best team in the state, I think,” Lippe said. “(Us seniors) all wanted to play high school baseball this year because we have a good chance at winning state this year. We thought it would be really memorable to play together and hopefully accomplish that goal of being state champs.”
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Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for seven years. He has interviewed 356 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.