Michigan baseball received, to my knowledge, their second commitment from the freshman class of 2011-12 in Fairfield, OH centerfielder Will Drake. Drake picked Michigan over Cincinnati and UNC-Asheville.
Drake, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound speedy center fielder, verbally committed to the University of Michigan on Monday, June 28, a day after he visited the campus […]
“When I got to Michigan it was a no-brainer for me,” Drake said. “They’re the fourth winningest program in college baseball history. I was surrounded by great coaches and a great facility. I really loved it up there.”
Drake called Michigan coach Rich Maloney on Monday and accepted a 50 percent scholarship offer. […]
Drake was a first-team, All-Greater Miami Conference selection as a junior after hitting .379 with a home run and 23 RBIs. He also had 13 stolen bases.
Drake is another speed outfielder, and may be looking to take over for current Michigan centerfielder Patrick Biondi if Biondi is a 3-and-done, a reasonable assumption based on his freshman year.
Drake is the second commitment in this class that I've seen, and he's also the second outfielder of the class with Zach Fish. Michigan is VERY light in outfielders right now, with only Biondi being a true outfielder returning from last year's team. The remaining two outfield slots next year are up for grabs between Kevin Krantz (former short stop), Garrett Stephens (former first baseman and likely DH/1B next season), Tyler Mills (pitcher), and two true freshmen in Adam Robinson and Michael O'Neill.
Drake will add immediate depth his freshman year, but at this point, I'm not sure he'll be a contributor until at least his red shirt freshman season. His overall numbers appear behind Zach Fish, but Drake still has time to grow and develop.
(HT: TomVH for the tip)
Baseball season doesn't end with the College World Series. For most players, it continues all summer long. It's here, and the weight room in the fall, that players make their big jumps for next year. So with that in mind, we'll keep an eye on some Michigan players over the course of the summer.
With games starting over the last week, here's an overview of the destinations of Michigan players.
- Wareham Gatemen (Cape Cod) - Derek Dennis and Anthony Toth
- Butler Blue Sox (Prospect) - Ben Ballantine and Matt Broder
- Quincy Gems (Prospect) - John Lorenz
- Richmond RiverRats (Prospect) - Kevin Krantz and Garrett Stephens
- Anchorage Bucs (Alaska) - Coley Crank
- Lake Erie Monarchs (Great Lakes)- Travis Smith
- Lima Locos (Great Lakes) – Logan McAnallen, Cam Luther, and Tyler Mills
- Alexandria Beetles (Northwoods) - Patrick Biondi, Kevin Vangheluwe and Kolby Wood
- Winchester Royals (Valley League) - Kyle Clark
- Michigan Rams (AAABA) - Brandon Sinnery (really?), John DiLaura, and Sam Cleary (incoming freshman)
Not a lot of super interesting notes here. The one that really stands out is Brandon Sinnery pitching for the Rams. Nothing against the Rams, but Brandon seems like he'd be a bigger pick up for ANY other league. The Rams have been home to many of our freshmen who haven't seen playing time, not a guy who is poised to be Michigan's #2. This is a pretty large step down for Sinnery from his stint last summer with the Winchester Royals of the Valley League.
Lima, Alexandria, and Richmond continue to have multiple Wolverines. Coley Crank and John Lorenz both are sticking it out with their clubs from last year. Travis Smith moved from the Texas Collegiate League to the Great Lakes, and hopefully it serves him better. Last summer with the Brazos Valley Bombers was forgettable.
In the marquee division, Michigan sends two to the Cape, both with Wareham (Ryan LaMarre's club last season). Toth and Dennis appear to be working on their double play combos as regular players. Neither has hit very well, both around .285, but sometimes it takes time to get used to the wood bats.
Looking over the returning roster, a few guys I couldn't find.
- Ricky Samuel (P, So)
- Matt Gerbe (P, Sr)
- Bobby Brosnahan (P, Rs So) – Once was listed on Lima Locos roster, no longer.
- Michael Kershner (P, Rs Fr)
- Zach Johnson (C, Rs Fr)
- Ben Paskus (2B, Rs Fr)
Gerbe was in the Valley League last season, but he doesn't appear on any active roster I've been able to find. Brosnahan is also a strange one to be missing. He was with Lima last year. It could be that they're in summer school and will join a team later. As for now, it's unknown.
The other players on that list have yet to make an appearance in a game. Ricky Samuel is supposed to be a major part of the bullpen next season, so I'm somewhat surprised he's not on a roster somewhere.
I'll probably post an update on how seasons are going closer to the start of school, or if I hear about players joining teams late.
Argh, the only place to watch the early games today is on ESPN3 or ESPNU. If I had ESPNU, it'd be great. ESPN3 can't hold up in HD with the current location's internet.
In the early game Clemson beat Arizona State. I'm convince neither will win it all. The ACC hasn't won a CWS since the 50's. The #1 overall seed hardly ever wins this thing. I think that puts Oklahoma in the driver's seat for the second bracket. They'll face Clemson tomorrow. Arizona State will face South Carolina tomorrow.
Right now is an all Florida elimination game. The Gators are playing the Seminoles right now, and the loser goes home. Not sure who I favor after their first games. I might guess the Seminoles, but I don't think there's a favorite. Florida's loss seemed more of a fluky type thing as they had tremendous jitter like errors. Florida State just had a hard luck game facing the best pitcher in the CWS.
Late game is big time. TCU faces UCLA. UCLA has their ace in Garrit Cole going. TCU has yet another guy with 13 or 14 wins and an ERA in the low 3's. Should be a great game.
For those that may casually follow the College World Series, you may have noticed a lack of coverage today. For one, there was a 4 hour rain delay before the games got started. Then, after 5 innings into game one, there was another. Rain and lightning got so bad that there might be 200 people in the stands out of the 23,000+ that started the game. It looks like Olympic Stadium in Montreal before the move it's so empty.
Anyway, Oklahoma (BOOO!) is up 4-2 on South Carolina (SEC BOOO!) in the 8th right now, and the late game isn't going to happen. They plan to have a triple header tomorrow, with Clemson and Arizona State (tonight's no longer late game) going at 10am local, 11am ET.
After that game, then the Day 3 games will get underway. Florida State and Florida are in an elimination game while TCU and UCLA have the night cap in the winner's bracket.
Also worth noting, this kid for Oklahoma has a rocking mullet. I'll try and get pictures later. It's out of control, and it's also the source of his tremendous hitting tonight.
The College World Series kicks off in about 30 minutes with two games on today's schedule:
1 p.m. (Central), TCU vs. Florida State
6 p.m. (Central), Florida vs. UCLA
While no game is a bad game, the first one definitely has my attention. TCU is starting a true freshman, but don't let that fool you. The kid was drafted as a first rounder out of high school but passed up the money to play for the Horned Frogs. Purke is the real deal. Just be prepared to hear way too many times about his cockeyed hat and fist pumping. Florida State is as hot as they come. They feel as if they were sleighted by the NCAA committee for not getting to host a regional as a #1 seed. They instead were shipped to UCONN. The Seminoles are one of the strongest overall teams in the bracket.
Game two is also really good. I think I favor Florida who has the best pitching and defense in the tournament. UCLA is still somewhat young, but they did come out of the toughest bracket, beating LSU, UC Irvine, and a super regional against Cal State Fullerton.
Should be good games in what is the last CWS Opening day in Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium.