Pleasant surprise to see a Michigan baseball recruiting article in the local newspaper this morning. Thought I'd share it with the board. Go Blue.
Three local high schoolers to play baseball for University of Michigan
Three local baseball players have committed to play for the University of Michigan: Danny Zimmerman of Redondo Beach, Blake Beers of Manhattan Beach and Logan Pollack of Culver City.
The Wolverine's coach Erik Bakich is forming a recruiting pipeline to the West Coast, as California surpasses even countries like the Dominican Republic for major league baseball talent, according to Baseball Almanac.
Fifth-year head coach Bakich led U of M to a 42-17 record this season and an appearance in the NCAA Regionals.
Zimmerman was a four-year starter who won two CIF titles for Redondo Union. Beers and Pollack went to Manhattan Beach Middle School together, but went on to private schools Loyola and Notre Dame for high school.
Pollack's parents divorced before high school and he lived with his father in Manhattan Beach until he passed away. He then moved in with his mother for his freshman year and he played at Harvard-Westlake before transferring to Notre Dame.
All three players have played together or against each other since they were young.
“I’m really excited because I actually played with Danny since I was 9,” Pollack said. “We were on the same club team from 9 until 13. We went our separate ways when high school came around. We then came back together after our sophomore year and started playing on the same club team.”
That is when Michigan took notice.
“I committed in August (of 2015) and he committed probably a month or so after me. It was awesome because from that day we knew we were going to be roommates,” Pollack said.
Zimmerman made his decision the day after the famous Michigan-Michigan State football game where the Wolverines were leading in Jim Harbaugh’s first season as head coach.
But on the last play of the game, the punter lost the ball and Michigan State ran it back for a touchdown and won the game. The next day Zimmerman made up his mind.
“I talked to the coach the next morning after he broke down everything,” Zimmerman said. “He apologized for the (football) game.”
Zimmerman watched the game from the first row at the 50-yard line and will never forgot the scene. But it did not change his mind regarding the baseball.
“I ended committing the next morning on the field with the head coach,” Zimmerman said.
“Just the whole experience so far has been unbelievable because, Blake, I went to middle school with him and I played on multiple teams with him,” Pollack said. “We’ve always been around each other for a very long time and so it’s really exciting that we’re going to spend the next three to four years at Michigan.”
All three are going against the grain. Most Southern California kids are looking to stay home in the nice weather.
“It was definitely a good fit and the weather I’m not too worried about,” said Zimmerman, who was a Louisville All-American his junior year.
He hit 11 home runs last year and 10 this year. He finished in the top three in California in that category and will pitch and play either first base or the outfield at Michigan.
Pollack, who played shortstop alongside the second pick in the draft (Green), will likely play shortstop, second base or centerfield for Michigan. He was a preseason Perfect Game All-American, two-year captain and three-year starter.
Beers is a standout power pitcher with three pitches who saw limited action this year due to an injury that he is rehabbing. He reached out to Michigan and they replied back. It didn’t take much for him to make his decision. He committed in January of 2016.
“I was looking for a good school academic-wise as well as athletic-wise and I think Michigan is the perfect package of that,” Beers said. “When I went out there I told my mom the night we were staying in the hotel and I was like, ‘I need to go to school here. This is where I belong,’ after just one night there.”
“It makes all the sense in the world for Michigan to recruit out of California,” said former UCLA Bruin and Los Angeles Dodger Eric Karros, whose son played at Mira Costa this year. “Along with Florida and Texas, the best amateur baseball is played in California.”
Karros has not seen all three local players in action, but has met Zimmerman.
“He has a ton of accolades coming out of high school, all well-deserved and earned,” Karros said. “I had an opportunity to watch him take batting practice in my batting cage a couple months ago, he was very impressive. I look forward to following his career.”
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