"He's a hard worker, and he watched me and Tim (Hardaway Jr.) and Nik (Stauksas) put work in to become (first-round picks), and I'm just happy he's getting better," Burke said. "It's great for the program, too. It shows what type of program the University of Michigan is and the direction it continues to go in."
Adding to an already impressive group of commitments in the 2016 class, Erik Bakich and his staff received more good news today in the form of a pledge from Tommy Henry, a 6-3, 160-lb. left-handed pitcher out of Portage Northern H.S. in Portage, Michigan (located near Kalamazoo). Only about two weeks ago, Prep Baseball Report posted an update on his recruitment, mentioning that in his sophomore season of high school he posted a 7-1 record with a 0.85 ERA in 53 innings pitched, with 72 strikeouts and 18 walks. Here's their scouting report on him:
Already ranked 5th in the 2016 rankings Tommy has a very projectable frame at 6’3 160 pound prospect with plenty of room to fill out and add velocity. Arm works easily and very clean to go along with smooth mechanics. Currently throws 81-83 mph but throws with late life down in the zone. Very projectable player who will only get better as time goes on.
As noted, PBR has Henry ranked #5 in the state of Michigan. He's #40 in their overall rankings, which currently cover ten states. Regarding his recruitment, the PBR article noted that he had visited "Michigan, Western Michigan, Miami (OH), Cincinnati, and Duke University and has been in contact with Michigan State, Wichita State, Indiana State, and Stanford."
Also of note is that Henry is a teammate at Portage Northern of Ben Keizer, another southpaw pitcher who committed to Michigan in February for the 2015 class.
Here's a summary of the 2016 class to date, with PBR rankings indicated. Note that Michigan now has commitments from three of the top six in-state prospects and four of PBR's overall top 50.
- Christian Bullock 6-0 1B/LHP/OF, #44 in IL, #141 overall (Hello post)
- Dominic Clementi 6-2 LHP, #6 in WI, #30 overall (Hello post)
- Tommy Henry 6-3 LHP, #5 in MI, #40 overall
- Karl Kauffmann 6-1 RHP, #1 in MI, #13 overall (Hello post)
- Jack Weisenburger 6-2 RHP, #6 in MI, #41 overall (Hello post)
There's a long way to go, but at this point this is likely the top 2016 class in the Big Ten.
Erik Bakich and his staff are once again tapping into the California juco ranks that this year brought a key player to the team—Jackson Glines, whose stellar Wolverine debut season earned him second-team All–Big Ten honors. Looking to shore up the weak area of this year's team—the offense—the Michigan staff today received a verbal commitment from Cody Bruder, a 6-0, 175-lb. outfielder at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.
This season, Bruder batted .359 (66-for-184), with 4 homers, 8 triples, 31 RBIs, and 36 runs scored. He was named first-team All–Orange Empire Conference and helped lead his team to a state championship.
Academically, Bruder seems like a good fit for Michigan. The OCC student newspaper ran a feature article on him last year, in which they point out his 4.1 GPA as a senior at Santiago High, where he was named student athlete of the year. He's majoring in zoology at OCC and "wants to earn his master’s degree and become a wildlife biologist to help save endangered species through breeding and habitat conservation."
Once again venturing into the fertile recruiting grounds of the Chicago metro area, the Michigan baseball staff has secured its fourth commitment for 2016: Christian Bullock, a 6-0, 173-lb. first basemen/left-handed pitcher/outfielder out of Chicago's Morgan Park H.S. That's the same high school that Rahman Williams, a 2014 Michigan signee, originally attended (he's now at Montverde Academy in Orlando, FL). Other Chicagoland players that Bakich & Co. have brought to Ann Arbor, signed, or gotten commitments from are Keith Lehmann (current freshman), Ryan Nutof (2014), Brian Pall (2014), Charlie Donovan (2015), and Ako Thomas (2015).
Prep Baseball Report doesn't have a very recent scouting report on Bullock, but lacking anything else, here's what they said about him in January 2013:
Lanky build, 5-foot-9, 155-pound two way player. Left handed first baseman, advanced footwork, soft hands, plays athletically, quick exchange. Left handed hitter, open stance, dives at stride, finds the barrel consistently, line drive gap to gap style hitter. Projectable on the mound, deception in delivery, rotational delivery. Arm works cleanly and loosely, long ¾ arm slot. Fastball sits 73-76 mph, shows slight run, control. Curveball works on 11/5 plane, early action, flashed occasional sweeping action. Changeup shows run, consistently down out of the zone, 67-68 mph.
Note that Perfect Game appears to have seen Bullock more recently, and they list him at 6-0, 173 and have his fastball topping out at 78. They also list his "colleges interested" as Louisiana-Lafayette, Michigan, Missouri, and Notre Dame. PBR currently has Bullock ranked #91 in the state of Illinois for the 2016 class.
photo of Bullock from PBR profile page
Here's a summary of the 2016 class to date, with PBR rankings indicated:
Erik Bakich and his staff have picked up their 7th commitment in the 2015 class as Ben Keizer has announced his commitment to Michigan. Keizer is a 6-2, 175-lb. left-handed pitcher out of Portage Northern H.S. in Portage, Michigan. He plays travel ball for Midwest Athletics, the same team as 2016 Michigan commit Jack Weisenburger (see Hello post). Prep Baseball Report reported in November that Keizer was being recruited by Louisville, Ball State, Michigan State, Western Michigan, and Central Michigan.
PBR ran this scouting report on Keizer in a rundown of an August 2013 event at which they considered him the top pitching prospect:
6-foot-2, 175-pound lanky pitcher. On the mound he has a tall and fall style delivery with rhythm and an athletic finish. Throws with a loose, quick arm, from a high ¾ slot, with easy effort. Throws his fastball on a downhill plane, with occasional cut, sitting 83-85 mph, touching 86 mph one time. Has solid feel for his curveball that he throws with arm speed similar to the fastball. It has an 11/5 shape, occasionally flashing a true 12/6 shape, and comes in at 61-64 mph. His changeup has occasional sinking action and is 71-73 mph. His loose arm and easy effort, combined with his lanky frame give him solid projectability. Keizer is one of the top Class of 2015 graduates in the state of Michigan and is a high follow in the Midwest.
Rankings-wise, PBR has Keizer #12 in the state of Michigan for the 2015 class and #97 overall in their ten-state coverage area.
photo of Keizer from PBR profile page
Below are the PBR overall rankings for Michigan's seven 2015 commits. Plummer and Goslin are PBR's #2 and #3 players from the state of Michigan in the 2015 class, so Michigan now has commitments from 3 of the top 12 in-state prospects for that class.
- 14. Charlie Donovan 5-10 SS (Hello post)
- 20. Nick Plummer 5-10 OF (Hello post)
- 43. Collin Goslin 6-3 LHP (Hello post)
- 67. Ako Thomas 5-8 2B (Hello post)
- 97. Ben Keizer 6-2 LHP
- 228. Andrew David 5-10 SS (Hello post*)
- 235. Nick Azar 6-3 SS (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.
The five top 100 PBR commitments for Michigan is the most of any Big Ten school. Ohio State is second with four commits, but their highest ranked is #25, with the other three at #54, #73, and #92. Purdue is the only other Big Ten school with a commit in the top 25—they have the #11 recruit, but they have only one other top 100 recruit (#27).
The commits-occurring-in-pairs tradition migrates to the diamond as Erik Bakich & Co. pick up another verbal pledge today, two days after that of Dominic Clementi. Committing today was Jack Weisenburger, who I mentioned in Clementi's Hello thread as a Michigan target. Weisenburger is a 6-2, 190-pound right-handed pitcher/outfielder out of Rockford H.S. in Rockford, Michigan. The Wolverines third commitment for 2016, Weisenburger is ranked #6 in Michigan and #40 overall by Prep Baseball Report.
PBR ran this eval on him in the fall of 2013:
Weisenberger proved why he is one of the most talented players in the Class of 2016. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound RHP/OF has more room to grow and is by no means filled out. Ran 7.29 and was 88mph from the outfield. Ball has good carry and life. Advanced plus arm for his age. At the plate has simple no load approach but lighting quick hands. Had consistent contact. Had a impressive 92mph exit velocity. On the mound he has big potential as well. 84-86mph. Fastballs were consistently down at the knees. Slider was 70-72mph and short in nature. Well above average feel for the change at his age. Smooth arm action and quick arm. Will be one of the most highly sought after recruits in Michigan.
To repeat what I said in the Clementi thread, I've been told Weiserburger has a family tie to Michigan, although I haven't been able to confirm exactly what. The obvious guess is that he's related to—perhaps a grandson of—LongLiveBo confirms that Weisenburger is indeed a grandson of the legendary Jack Weisenburger who played both baseball and football at Michigan in the 1940s and was the starting fullback for the 1947 Mad Magicians team. He was the MVP of the 1948 Rose Bowl. He was also the captain of the 1948 baseball team. Seth published a terrific profile of/interview with Weisenburger last August.
Weisenburger played baseball at U-M under long-time head coach Ray Fisher. So the younger Jack Weisenburger will play in the stadium named for his grandfather's coach at Michigan.
One other note, according to the U-M baseball record book, it appears that the younger Jack's father was a member of Michigan's baseball team in 1976.
Michigan now has commits from the #6 (Karl Kauffmann—Hello post), #40 (Weisenburger), and #49 (Clementi) prospects in PBR's 2016 rankings for their ten-state coverage area.
photo from PBR
In for a unofficial visit today on Michigan baseball's first day of practice for the 2014 season, Dominic Clementi has given a verbal commitment to the Maize and Blue, becoming the second player to pledge to the 2016 class. He's a 6-1, 170-lb. outfielder out of Arrowhead H.S. in Hartland, Wisconsin (in the western suburbs of Milwaukee). He reportedly had also considered Illinois and Iowa.
Prep Baseball Report, which has Clementi ranked #6 in the state of Wisconsin for the 2016 class and #49 overall in their 10-state coverage area, posted this scouting report following the Class of 2016 Top Prospect Games in July 2013:
Athletic build, lanky frame, 6-foot-1, 170-pounds, projectable frame. Offensively hits from a slightly open stance, short stride. Active lower half, solid balance. Advanced bat speed, creates bat lag, whip through the zone. Short path, slightly uphill, occasional gap to gap approach. High level defender in the outfield, plays through the ball aggressively, clean exchange. Plus arm from the outfield, loose arm action, over the top slot, carries well, 88 mph from the outfield. Clementi is one of the top outfield defenders in his class, showed excellent range. High level bat speed, showed the ability to hit at a consistent rate.
Clementi joins Michigan's first 2016 commit, right-handed pitcher Karl Kauffmann (Hello post), who's ranked #1 in Michigan and #6 overall by PBR.
I'm not sure when Michigan last had a player from Wisconsin on its roster (there are none currently), but seeing the coaching staff successfully delve into that territory is interesting given that the University of Wisconsin no longer fields a D-I baseball team (they do have a club team).
Dominic Clementi (source)