In their ranking of 2014 classes, Collegiate Baseball newspaper puts Michigan's class #30 in the country. No other Big Ten teams appear in their top 40, making this the second-straight year that this newspaper has ranked Michigan's class tops in the conference (last year's class came in at #20). The Wolverines appear poised for a return to the top of the conference on the diamond.
Here's a quote from the mgoblue.com press release on this news:
"Coach (Nick) Schnabel, Coach (Sean) Kenny and our entire staff did another outstanding job putting together one of the nation's elite recruiting classes," head coach Erik Bakich said at the time of the recruiting class announcement. "This group of newcomers is extremely talented on the field as well as in the classroom and we are looking forward to helping them develop to their maximum potential as students, athletes and men."
For more details on the 2014 class, see this thread.
Meanwhile, Michigan's 2015 class is shaping up to be another strong one. I discovered recently that Michigan commit Troy Miller is ranked #275 in the nation by Perfect Game. Miller is a right-handed pitcher from Soquel, California, whose fastball has been clocked as high as 91 mph. If he doesn't end up getting drafted and sign next summer, he could be the highest-ranked player yet of the Bakich era at Michigan. For more info on Miller, see this thread; the most recent full rundown of the 2015 class can be found here.
Michigan baseball issued a release today on their 2014 recruiting class, which includes nine freshman and two junior college transfers. All except one of the juco transfers were reported here previously as commitments via Hello posts. Here's what the release has on Michael McNicholl (EDIT: his last name is misspelled in the press release—s/b two ls):
Michael McNichol - OF - Alta Loma, Calif./Barstow C.C.
Was named to the All-Foothill Conference first team his sophomore season at Barstow Community College in Barstow, Calif. ... Hit .340 for Barstow in 2014 with 29 RBI and 22 stolen bases ... Went to high school at Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. ... Hit .424 and had a .486 on-base percentage as a senior at Los Osos.
In a reply, I'll post a chart with some more info on the nine freshmen, including some rankings data.
The Michigan coaching staff continues to successfully tap into the strong California baseball pipeline, picking up their third West Coast commit in the last couple of weeks. Joining the 2015 class today was Jonathan Engelmann, a 6-4, 195-lb. outfielder from Burlingame H.S. (near San Mateo). Like the previous two California commits, Troy Miller and Will Tribucher (as well another Michigan commit from the Chicago area, Charlie Donovan), Engelmann participated in the prestigious Area Code Games, held last week in Long Beach with about 240 invitees from around the country.
Perfect Game's profile page for Engelmann includes this scouting report on him from June:
Jonathan Engelmann is a 2015 OF/ with a 6-4 200 lb. frame from San Mateo, CA who attends Burlingame HS. Big strong well proportioned athletic build, lots of physical projection. 6.75 runner, outstanding base running instincts and aggression. High level defensive tools, covers ground with his speed, very strong and accurate on line throws, speed for centerfield, arm strength for right field. Right handed hitter, exaggerated inside approach, leaks his front side very early to get his hands through, tends to hit from under the ball, has hand speed and obvious strength but approach is holding him back, has the tools to improve with adjustments. High ceiling athlete if the bat comes around.
They gave him a grade of 9.5 (out of 10), meaning they see him as a potential top 10 round draft pick (possibly going in an early round) and/or as a highest- to elite-level college prospect. Under "colleges interested in" are Arizona State, UC–Santa Barbara, USC, and Washington—an impressive list.
Engelmann would seem to be an important addition to the 2015 class given the decommitment of Nick Plummer earlier this summer, who had been the only outfielder in the class.
Not to be left out of the commit frenzy, the Michigan baseball staff scored again on Thursday, landing another West Coast 2015 prospect: Will Tribucher, a 6-3, 190-lb. left-handed pitcher attending San Clemente H.S. He's the second player from California to commit to the Wolverines in as many weeks, following in the footsteps of Troy Miller (see Hello post), a right-handed pitcher out of Soquel H.S. in Soquel, California. Both Tribucher and Miller were invited to participate in the prestigious Area Code Games, being held this week in Long Beach with about 240 invitees from around the country. A third 2015 commit for U-M, Charlie Donovan, a shortstop from the Chicago area, was also selected to participate.
Unfortunately, there's little scouting info out there on Tribucher. Perhaps something will come up this week based on his play at the Area Code Games. I did find some vidoes, and I'll post one of them in a reply.
The Michigan staff continues to fill out its 2015 class in advance of the early signing period in November, today gaining two more commitments, both right-handed pitchers.
Miller is a 6-3, 205-pound righty out of Soquel H.S. in Soquel, California, located near Santa Cruz. Miller was voted Pitcher of the Year for the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League, after going 6-1 in 11 regular-season appearances with 44 strikeouts and a 2.53 ERA in 51 1/3 innings. He has a four-pitch arsenal: a two- and four-seam fastball, circle change, and curveball. His velocity has increased this summer, with his fastball clocked at 91 mph recently.
Miller was recently selected to compete for the Oakland A's team at the "prestigious and heavily scouted" Area Code Games to be held August 4–9 in Long Beach.
"Being with the top 240 players in the country — it's a real honor," Miller said Wednesday. "I'm excited for where my baseball career, with the help of my coaching, is taking me right now."
That article (from July 23) indicates that Miller had earlier committed to Saint Mary's College but decomitted at the beginning of this summer. It also mentions plans of official visits to Michigan and Baylor and an unofficial visit to UC Santa Barbara, but he changed those plans today with his verbal commitment to Michigan.
I don't have rankings info on Miller—Prep Baseball Report doesn't cover California, and the Perfect Game rankings are paywalled. His credentials above seem quite good, however. It's also encouraging to see the Michigan staff continue to be able to attract players from California, having already brought in Ramsey Romano and Jackson Glines, with juco transfer Cody Bruder joining the team this year.
I haven't been able to dig up much on Karcher, but here's what I've found: Perfect Game has him as a 6-4, 175-pound righty, with a best-recorded fastball of 88 mph. For at least the last two years, he has attended and played baseball at Ponte Vedra H.S. in Ponte Vedra, Florida, located near Jacksonville, helping his team win a state championship in 2013. But he's apparently moving to Saline for his senior year of high school, attending Saline High. It's possible he's originally from Saline, and his family is now returning there.
Again, any rankings are n/a. PBR recently expanded to Florida, but they don't yet have rankings for that state.
Michigan baseball added to its 2015 class today, with the commitment of Jack Bredeson, a 6-6, 235-pound right-handed pitcher out of Arrowhead H.S. in Hartland, Wisconsin. Prep Baseball Report has him ranked #19 in Wisconsin and #222 overall. Here's their scouting report on him from earlier this year:
6-foot-6, 235-pound, strong framed pitcher with a four pitch mix. Has a tall and fall delivery with choppy rhythm, clean lines, and above average effort. Arm works short and quick from over the top. Fastball worked downhill for strikes. Was 83-86 mph with arm side run and heavy finish. Throws a slider with strong shape and bite, 71 mph. Had feel for the changeup, throwing it with fastball arm speed, 75-77 mph with slight sinking action. Curveball was 68-69 mph with 11/5 shape.
He's also the older brother of Ben Bredeson, a Michigan football offensive tackle target in the class of 2016.
Jack Bredeson is also the high school teammate of Dominic Clementi, a left-handed pitcher who committed to Michigan for the 2016 class in January (see Hello post).
EDIT: Perfect Game has Bredeson with a grade of 9, which translates to "potential top 10 round draft pick and/or highest-level college prospect." In their scouting report from February of this year, they call him a "raw arm strength prospect with the potential to improve."
Here's Michigan's 2015 class as it currently stands:
- Nick Azar – 6-3 SS, #37 in MI, unranked overall (Hello post)
- Jack Bredeson – 6-6 RHP, #19 in WI, #222 overall
- Andrew David – 5-10 SS, unranked (Hello post*)
- Charlie Donovan – 5-11 SS, #1 in IL, #6 overall (Hello post)
- Ben Keizer – 6-2 LHP, #9 in MI, #98 overall (Hello post)
- Ako Thomas – 5-7 2B/MIF, #19 in IL, #86 overall (Hello post)
*Hello post is Ace's from the front page. David will be on a football scholarship, but he evidently also plans to play baseball at Michigan.