MLB Draft: Two U-M Juniors, Three Signees Selected

MLB Draft: Two U-M Juniors, Three Signees Selected

Submitted by Raoul on June 7th, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Two Michigan juniors and three Michigan signees were selected on day three of the MLB draft. Junior right-hander James Bourque was the first picked, going in the 14th round (#424 overall) to the Washington Nationals. Erik Bakich had gone into the draft expecting Bourque to be drafted and to sign, and he indicated that again in an MLive article today. 

"He is a hard-thrower," Bakich said, in a phone interview Saturday. "He got his fastball up to 96 miles per hour by the end of the season, and he has stuff with his fastball and curveball that from a professional standpoint is really good."

. . .

"Any where a player gets drafted on day three of the draft gives them a good opportunity to start a professional career," Bakich said.

Bakich expects Bourque to sign with the Nationals.

But in a Freep article, Bourque sounded more uncertain:

Bourque has no idea of his plans, whether he’ll sign or return for his senior year at Michigan, but the uncertain part is over.

“I’m definitely more relieved,” he said. “The whole draft process gets old and you don’t really get any news until you see your name on the draft board... I’m just more relieved and glad it’s done and I can focus on what I’m doing now and talk to them.”

The Tigers drafted junior southpaw Trent Szkutnik in the 20th round (#610 overall). As with Bourque, Bakich had been anticipating that Szkutnik would go pro. That still seems to be the case given that he's a local product, who went to high school at Temperance Bedford and is a Tigers fans. Here's a quote from an MLive article:

"It is great to see the team from our state take Trent," Michigan baseball coach Erik Bakich said. "Everyone is extremely excited about him getting a chance to play professional baseball here in Michigan."

The first Michigan signee drafted was Drew Lugbauer, a 6-4 catcher out of Arlington H.S. in New York, selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in round 21 (#624 overall). A local news article indicates he's still planning on coming to Ann Arbor:

"We spoke to the Blue Jays before the draft and they knew I was going to school. I'm really thankful they selected me,'' Lugbauer said.

"I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing and try to develop as a player to the best of my ability (at Michigan).''

With Cole Martin graduating this year, Lugbauer could be a key member of the 2014 class.

Taken in round 26 (#786 overall) by the Texas Rangers was another signee, Jayce Vancena, a right-handed pitcher out of Lake H.S. in Millbury, Ohio. The Rangers had expressed serious interest in Vancena heading into the draft, even summoning him down to Texas for a pre-draft workout and forcing him to miss a playoff game in the process (according to this article).

The Tigers drafted a second Michigan signee in round 31 (#940 overall)—Grant Reuss, a left-handed pitcher from Cranbrook Kingswood H.S.

Note that July 18 is the deadline for drafted players and teams to reach deals.

OT: Detroit Tigers trade deadline ideas/discussion

OT: Detroit Tigers trade deadline ideas/discussion

Submitted by ThadMattasagoblin on June 6th, 2014 at 10:07 PM

The Detroit Tigers have a few holes on their team that are preventing them from winning a world championship. What do you think Dambroski and Illitch should do at the deadline? Should they go after a shortstop like Rollins or Hanley Ramirez who could provide veteran leadership in the postseason and a nice boost in hitting or should they go after a lock down reliever who can provide depth and strengthen the bullpen?

OT: Vlad hits 50 Cent's Terrible Pitch

OT: Vlad hits 50 Cent's Terrible Pitch

Submitted by boliver46 on June 4th, 2014 at 10:53 AM

We had a forum post that had some decent traffic regarding 50 Cent's terrible First Pitch.  Well the good folks at MLB Fan Cave did something pretty funny:

Yep, that's swing-at-anything former star Vlad Guerrero added into the footage of 50 Cent's horrible first pitch from last week's Mets game. Of course, Guerrero golfs 50's misfire into the outfield for a base hit. He was known for swinging at balls way out of the strike zone and turning them into hits, so why not 50 Cent's?

Funny stuff!  Who would have thought anyone would swing at that pitch, much less hit it???  Good old Vlad! 

I don't know how to embed Vines, so if someone does I would appreciate it in the comments below.


Baseball Hello: Cody Bruder

Baseball Hello: Cody Bruder

Submitted by Raoul on May 31st, 2014 at 11:11 PM

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."

OT: Prince Fielder Out For Season

OT: Prince Fielder Out For Season

Submitted by Everyone Murders on May 23rd, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Prince Fielder is officially done for the season with season ending neck surgery (herniated disk).  I always liked Fielder and wished the best for him, despite his lackluster playoff showing in 2013.

But with the full benefit of hindsight, the Kinsler for Fielder trade looks pretty good right about now.  In addition to losing what is clearly now dead weight (hah!) in Fielder, Kinsler has performed well so far both at the plate and in the field.  The ripple effect of moving Miggy back to first, having a capable second baseman in a fielder's (double hah!) park, and unloading Fielder's bulky (triple hah!) contract is making Dombrowski look pretty smart right about now.

I hope Fielder recovers well and returns to form for the Rangers, unless we see them in the post-season.

Michigan Baseball Open Thread

Michigan Baseball Open Thread

Submitted by VCavman24 on May 22nd, 2014 at 10:19 PM

The #5 seed Michigan Wolverines take on the #1 seed Indiana Hoosies tonight in the Big Ten Tournament.  Indiana beat #8 Iowa 5-2 yesterday while Michigan beat #4 Minnesota 3-2 with a 3-run Home Run by Travis Maezes being Michigan's only source of income.  Michigan has lost to Indiana twice but beaten them once.  Indiana is good but Michigan can win if we play well.  Brett Adcock will be on the mound for Michigan.