"Jim's a tough guy and you can see his personality is all over this football team," Fitzgerald said.
Michigan had two recruits sign about a month ago, but being in the middle of the season, I hadn't had a ton of time to do the research and otherwise on the guys. But over the last few weeks, a couple of local paper articles brought the two players back into the forefront.
Cole Martin has been a lifelong Wolverine fan, and a pretty solid athlete to boot. At John Glenn, he's caught, pitched, and played short stop.
"When I was 10 years old, we were walking around (Ray Fisher Stadium, Michigan's baseball field) and I told my dad, 'One day you will watch me play on this field,'" said Martin.
Martin plans to major in chemical engineering and go on to medical school to become a surgeon.
Last spring, Martin batted .414 as he led the Bobcats to a 32-8 record, and into the Division 2 regional final, where they lost to Mount Pleasant 4-3. With Berryhill last summer, Martin was named Great Lakes Region Most Valuable Player before the team went on to win the American Legion World Series.
The picture above, by Michael K Photography, was taken 2 years ago, but does hint that Martin is in fact a switch hitting catcher. Martin is probably an immediate redshirt at just 5'11" 160lb, plus he's highly unlikely to take Crank's spot unless his defense is spectacular.
Also worth noting is Cole's involvement in his school's hockey team. Maloney has had some success with former hockey players including current star Ryan LaMarre. Maloney's take:
"Cole Martin is a really good athlete. He's got a good arm and could potentially fill in as a utility player, but he's a catcher with a decent bat. Just the makings of a good all-around athlete, and we want to have as many athletes in our program as possible. We think if you're really athletic you have a chance to find your niche," said Maloney. "He's also a hockey goalie, and I like that toughness. We've had success with guys who have been multi-sport guys, especially hockey players at both Ball State and at Michigan. Cole will fit into that really well."
Pitcher, Royal Oak/University of Detroit Jesuit
Perry is a right hander from the Detroit area who's put up some impressive numbers at a solid program. From MGoBlue and Rich Maloney:
Perry, a prep standout from the University of Detroit Jesuit, led his team in earned run average, innings pitched, wins and strikeouts as a junior last spring. He is a big game pitcher, owning a one-hitter in the 2008 regional semifinal and a two-hit complete game to clinch a 2009 regional championship.
"We think [Perry] is very projectable, has a nice loose arm, the makings of a good breaking pitch and comes from an outstanding school and a good baseball program. We are really excited about his upside and him participating in our program,"
Not bad for a guy they just happened across:
“[A Michigan scout] was there (at the CABA nationals) to see another team, but I said: ‘You ought to stick around and see this kid who will be pitching for us. His name is Jay Perry,'” Meisner recalled.
“It wasn't his best game, but it was a very, very good game and his stuff was electric. From that day on, Michigan had an interest in him and saw him pitch a bunch of times.”
The Michigan coaches liked what they saw in Perry […] So much so they offered the 6-foot-1, 165-pound right-hander a scholarship to pitch for the Wolverines next year.
From that same article, we see we've got a flame thrower:
“One of the U-M coaches told me I don't have any stop in my motion; it's a nice, smooth motion,” Perry said. “It's loose, not herky-jerky. I guess that's the key to longevity and throwing well.”
Perry said he likes to throw hard, adding it was instilled in him at a young age.
“I always thought that puts you a step ahead,” he said. “If you're not hitting the spots perfectly, there's a little less time for hitters to react. I like to throw hard; I think it looks cool.”
That's cool. So too, supposedly, is his change up, giving him two plus pitches. Something tells me we won't see Perry for at least two years as he redshirts and works on creating another plus pitch.
Michigan now has a class with 7 members thus far. I don't think we see much in the way of scholarship additions from this point out, but we could see a couple of preferred walk-ons pop up over the next month and a half. Michigan has signed 4 right handed pitchers, two outfielders, one infielder, and one catcher in this class, addressing their two biggest needs (outfield and pitching).
With Nick Urban graduating and Ryan LaMarre probably leaving, the two outfielders have an outside shot of both starting next year. As we've seen during LaMarre's injury, we're a bit thin on outfielders with Kittle, Krantz, and Stephens all sliding from the infield to the outfield this season. The only current underclassmen on the roster listed as potential outfielders is only Biondi, Mills (a pitcher, but has played a few innings in left this season), and Ben Ballantine, a potential starting pitcher next year.
Michigan should be full at catcher for the time being. Crank and Safara will both be back next year, as well as preferred walk-on John DiLaura who is red shirting this season. That depth is probably why Martin is considered a potential utility player a la Tim Kalczynski in 2008.
If there are any other preferred walk-ons coming, I have to think there might be an outfielder or two, as well as a second baseman. Michigan has 2 more years with Lorenz at third and Dennis at short (I'm not holding my breath on 3 more), and 2-3 years of Stephens and Luther at first. Of course, pitching is always and option as a team can never have enough of it.