I'm currently in Florida for my 11 year old's final travel baseball tournament of the season. A dad from another team was commenting on how "park ball" has given way to these specialized travel tournaments because fewer kids are now playing little league, and that in general baseball culture is slowly dying with kids these days. Here in the south I don't know that I see baseball slipping away like that, but it makes me wonder about how things are going in the north (where I used to live) or just in general. What do the rest of you think? Does baseball no longer hold the place it once did among kids in America?
Not much going on in the sports world besides the MLB and NBA draft. Arizona and UCSB are currently scoreless in the 2nd.
JD cracked his elbow tonight banging into the wall in RF. As noted, he's likely out 4-6 weeks.
My thought: pick either Moya or Jacoby Jones. Call one of them up. Plant them in RF for the duration. And enough with Mike Aviles running around in the outfield like a lost billygoat. Having 3 outfielders and 2 utility men on the entire roster is pure stupidity. It's Randy Smith-esque. Espcially with Maybin having issues with his wrist, and Gose being about ready to be sent to AA.
Five Wolverines ended up being selected during the MLB Draft, the most since 2010. Junior LHP Brett Adcock went first, on day two of the draft, in round 4 to the Astros. The other four were all taken today, on day three: junior Carmen Benedetti, drafted as a utility player by the Astros in round 12; senior LHP Evan Hill, by the Tigers in round 24; junior RHP Jackson Lamb, by the Cardinals in round 35; and junior catcher Harrison Wenson, by the Pirates in round 39.
Most likely, Adcock and Benedetti will both sign with the Astros and forgo their senior seasons, and Lamb and Wenson will return. If you have a good baseball program, you should expect to lose some juniors every year to the draft, so this is about as good an outcome as could be expected, especially given that none of Michigan's 2016 signees got drafted.
Since my last update in January, Michigan has picked up three more commits (that I know of): commit #11 for 2017 and two juco transfers for 2016, bringing the total for that class to 10.
Blake Beers (2017): 6-5, 210-lb. RHP/1B, Loyola HS (Los Angeles, CA). Couldn't find a recent scouting report on him, but Perfect Game has his fastball topping out at 91. Video. Out of the 11 commits for 2017, 5 are from California.
Brock Keener (2016): 6-0, 190-lb. C/IF, Alvin CC (TX); Foster HS (Richmond, TX). A switch-hitter, who originally signed with Louisiana-Lafayette but left after the fall 2014 semester because of a coaching change. His NJCAA page shows him batting .348 for Alvin in 2015, with 1 HR, 21 RBI, and 25 runs scored, and .226 in 2016, with 1 HR, 11 RBI, and 15 runs.
Chris Prescott (2016): 6-1, 180-lb. OF, Orange Coast College (CA); Canyon HS (Anaheim Hills, CA). Left-handed hitter out of the same junior college Cody Bruder attended. 2016 stats at Orange Coast: batted .350, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 23 runs, 5 SB.
MLB Draft (June 9-11): Two Michigan juniors are listed in Baseball America's top 500 for the 2016 draft: Brett Adcock (#224) and Carmen Benedetti (#275). They also have Michigan signee Karl Kauffmann (6-2 RHP, Brother Rice HS) at #330.
Kauffmann is also the only Michigan signee in Prep Baseball Report's Draft 100 (at #76), which includes only high school seniors. They had once pegged him as a possible early-round pick, but a less-than-stellar senior season appears to have deflated his draft stock. Two other U-M signees are among their "others to watch" for the draft: Christian Bullock (6-0 1B/LHP/OF, Morgan Park HS, Chicago) and Tommy Henry (6-4 LHP, Portage Northern HS [MI]).
Back in April, D1Baseball listed Michigan junior catcher Harrison Wenson as one of their top 100 college prospects for the 2016 draft. Not sure what they had to say about him specifically as that article is pay-walled.
One thing to note is that since becoming Michigan's coach, Erik Bakich has had several of his signees drafted, but none of them elected to go pro at that time.
The sportscaster who coined the phrase "Bless You, Boys" for the 1984 Tigers has died. After every Tigers win that season, Al Ackerman would end the segment by saying, "Bless you, boys, this is the year." I don't think Detroit's ever had a sportscaster so identified with a single catchphrase.
Bless you, Al. Rest in peace.