McCabe in the Freep has a nice, lengthy article on 2013 Michigan baseball signee Hector Gutierrez: Detroit Western's Hector Gutierrez hopes to encourage more kids to pursue college baseball dreams. There are a lot of firsts in the article:
Gutierrez is the first PSL athlete to receive a baseball scholarship to U-M since Detroit Northwestern’s Kourtney Thompson signed a letter of intent in 1985.
The biggest factor is that PSL baseball is the polar opposite of PSL basketball. College basketball coaches flock to Detroit to ogle the talent. College baseball coaches? Not so much.
“I know how it is in basketball, but in baseball they say a lot of inner-city kids don’t have it anymore,” Gutierrez said. “But it’s starting to come around now.”
That’s thanks to coach Juan Sanchez and his cousin, Mike, who have turned Western into a program that can compete with the top teams in the state.
Nice reaction from his parents:
Making Gutierrez’s commitment and eventual signing of a letter of intent so spectacular was the reaction of his parents.
“You just committed!” his parents screamed. “You’re going to college!”
Gutierrez, an honor student with a 3.5 grade-point average, was always headed to college, even if he had never played baseball.
Baseball just made college more affordable for the family.
“I started thinking about college when I was a freshman,” he said. “I thought baseball would help me get into college. I’m going to be the first to go to college, so I want to make them proud.”
Gutierrez will be the first member on either side of his family to go to college. He also will be the first male in his immediate family to finish high school.
And great quotes from both Hector Sr. and Jr.:
“For me, this has always been my dream — my kid going to college and Division I and it’s Michigan!” Hector Sr. said as tears welled in his eyes. “I don’t want him to follow in my footsteps. I want him to be bigger than what I am. I tell him not to be a laborer, own a company.”
Right now Hector Jr. is happy to be living his father’s dream, one he hopes others from Detroit will be able to experience.
“I know there haven’t been many Detroit guys going to college to play baseball,” he said. “Nobody was prepared to go to college. I don’t think it was in their heads to go to college.
“Maybe it will be now.”
It's worth noting that Gutierrez has generated some draft buzz, which isn't mentioned in the article. Prep Baseball Report's Draft Blog has included posts on him, along with two other Michigan signees, Jackson Lamb and Johnny Slater. St. Louis Sports Scouting also posted an item on Gutierrez in March that says this:
I do like Gutierrez as a possible late round draft pick, but will that be enough to lure him from his full ride….I will check back on this after June’s draft!
It sure seems like from the Freep article that Gutierrez would have to go much higher than a late round to consider forgoing college, so hopefully he does make it to Ann Arbor. He sounds like the epitome of a Wolverine student-athlete.