Baseball Double Hello: Troy Miller and Ricky Karcher

Baseball Double Hello: Troy Miller and Ricky Karcher

Submitted by Raoul on July 30th, 2014 at 10:42 PM

The Michigan staff continues to fill out its 2015 class in advance of the early signing period in November, today gaining two more commitments, both right-handed pitchers.

Troy Miller

Miller is a 6-3, 205-pound righty out of Soquel H.S. in Soquel, California, located near Santa Cruz. Miller was voted Pitcher of the Year for the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League, after going 6-1 in 11 regular-season appearances with 44 strikeouts and a 2.53 ERA in 51 1/3 innings. He has a four-pitch arsenal: a two- and four-seam fastball, circle change, and curveball. His velocity has increased this summer, with his fastball clocked at 91 mph recently.

Miller was recently selected to compete for the Oakland A's team at the "prestigious and heavily scouted" Area Code Games to be held August 4–9 in Long Beach.

"Being with the top 240 players in the country — it's a real honor," Miller said Wednesday. "I'm excited for where my baseball career, with the help of my coaching, is taking me right now."

That article (from July 23) indicates that Miller had earlier committed to Saint Mary's College but decomitted at the beginning of this summer. It also mentions plans of official visits to Michigan and Baylor and an unofficial visit to UC Santa Barbara, but he changed those plans today with his verbal commitment to Michigan.

I don't have rankings info on Miller—Prep Baseball Report doesn't cover California, and the Perfect Game rankings are paywalled. His credentials above seem quite good, however. It's also encouraging to see the Michigan staff continue to be able to attract players from California, having already brought in Ramsey Romano and Jackson Glines, with juco transfer Cody Bruder joining the team this year.

Ricky Karcher

I haven't been able to dig up much on Karcher, but here's what I've found: Perfect Game has him as a 6-4, 175-pound righty, with a best-recorded fastball of 88 mph. For at least the last two years, he has attended and played baseball at Ponte Vedra H.S. in Ponte Vedra, Florida, located near Jacksonville, helping his team win a state championship in 2013. But he's apparently moving to Saline for his senior year of high school, attending Saline High. It's possible he's originally from Saline, and his family is now returning there.

Again, any rankings are n/a. PBR recently expanded to Florida, but they don't yet have rankings for that state.

Baseball Hello: Jack Bredeson

Baseball Hello: Jack Bredeson

Submitted by Raoul on July 27th, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Michigan baseball added to its 2015 class today, with the commitment of Jack Bredeson, a 6-6, 235-pound right-handed pitcher out of Arrowhead H.S. in Hartland, Wisconsin. Prep Baseball Report has him ranked #19 in Wisconsin and #222 overall. Here's their scouting report on him from earlier this year:

6-foot-6, 235-pound, strong framed pitcher with a four pitch mix. Has a tall and fall delivery with choppy rhythm, clean lines, and above average effort. Arm works short and quick from over the top. Fastball worked downhill for strikes. Was 83-86 mph with arm side run and heavy finish. Throws a slider with strong shape and bite, 71 mph. Had feel for the changeup, throwing it with fastball arm speed, 75-77 mph with slight sinking action. Curveball was 68-69 mph with 11/5 shape.

He's also the older brother of Ben Bredeson, a Michigan football offensive tackle target in the class of 2016.

Jack Bredeson is also the high school teammate of Dominic Clementi, a left-handed pitcher who committed to Michigan for the 2016 class in January (see Hello post).

EDIT: Perfect Game has Bredeson with a grade of 9, which translates to "potential top 10 round draft pick and/or highest-level college prospect." In their scouting report from February of this year, they call him a "raw arm strength prospect with the potential to improve."

Here's Michigan's 2015 class as it currently stands:

  • Nick Azar – 6-3 SS, #37 in MI, unranked overall (Hello post)
  • Jack Bredeson – 6-6 RHP, #19 in WI, #222 overall
  • Andrew David – 5-10 SS, unranked (Hello post*)
  • Charlie Donovan – 5-11 SS, #1 in IL, #6 overall (Hello post)
  • Ben Keizer – 6-2 LHP, #9 in MI, #98 overall (Hello post)
  • Ako Thomas – 5-7 2B/MIF, #19 in IL, #86 overall (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.

Baseball Hello: Tommy Henry

Baseball Hello: Tommy Henry

Submitted by Raoul on July 22nd, 2014 at 7:34 PM

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.

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."

Baseball Hello: Christian Bullock

Baseball Hello: Christian Bullock

Submitted by Raoul on February 13th, 2014 at 1:47 PM

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:

  • Christian Bullock 6-0 1B/LHP/OF, #91 in IL
  • Dominic Clementi 6-2 LHP, #6 in WI, #49 overall (Hello post)
  • Karl Kauffmann 6-1 RHP, #1 in MI, #6 overall (Hello post)
  • Jack Weisenburger 6-2 RHP, #6 in MI, #40 overall (Hello post)

Baseball Hello: Ben Keizer

Baseball Hello: Ben Keizer

Submitted by Raoul on February 10th, 2014 at 10:55 PM

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.

*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).

Baseball Hello: Jack Weisenburger

Baseball Hello: Jack Weisenburger

Submitted by Raoul on January 26th, 2014 at 6:45 PM

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

Baseball Hello: Dominic Clementi

Baseball Hello: Dominic Clementi

Submitted by Raoul on January 24th, 2014 at 10:04 PM

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)

Baseball Hello: Karl Kauffmann

Baseball Hello: Karl Kauffmann

Submitted by Raoul on December 6th, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Just a day after gaining a big commit from an in-state southpaw in the 2015 class, Collin Goslin, the Michigan baseball staff this afternoon got more good news, adding the top in-state player in the 2016 class to its recruiting haul: Karl Kauffmann, a 6-1, 180-lb. right-handed pitcher out of Brother Rice H.S. Not only the #1 player in the state, Kauffmann is also ranked #6 overall in Prep Baseball Report's 2016 rankings for their 10-state region.

Here's what PBR had to say about him in an October piece about top players in each state:

A 6-foot-1, 180-pound righty that already sits in the mid 80s. Kaufmann, ranked sixth overall, pitches with poise, a smooth delivery and easy arm action. He has been up to 87 and shown an improved breaking ball this summer with tighter spin. It sits 73-75 now. He also shows smooth actions in the infield and good bat speed, but looks like more of an asset on the mound at this time. He has already received interest from nearby schools like Michigan and Michigan State, but is also on North Carolina’s radar.

In addition to North Carolina and MSU, he had also attracted the attention of Vanderbilt, indicating how highly sought after he was. Needless to say, the commitment of Kauffmann amounts to a stellar start to Michigan's 2016 class. It also shows a continued tapping of the Brother Rice pipeline, with two other future Warriors-turned-Wolverines upcoming: 2014 signee Ty Kiafoulis and 2015 commit Nick Plummer.

photo of Kauffmann from PBR profile page

Baseball Hello: Collin Goslin

Baseball Hello: Collin Goslin

Submitted by Raoul on December 5th, 2013 at 7:46 PM

The Michigan baseball coaching staff, which has been actively pursuing a number of 2015 and 2016 pitchers, today landed a big one: 6-3, 180-lb. southpaw Collin Goslin—one of the top in-state players in the 2015 class. He attends Dearborn Divine Child, so with his commitment to Michigan he's following in the footsteps of two notable former Wolverines, Alan Oaks and Patrick Biondi. Goslin also continues a strong trend from the 2014 class of the Michigan staff stockpiling left-handed pitchers; recently signing with the Wolverines in that class were lefties Michael Hendrickson, Oliver Jaskie, and Grant Reuss.

In a Chris Webb blog item posted in October, Goslin indicated that Vanderbilt, Louisville, Michigan State, and Ohio State were the main schools recruiting him, in addition to Michigan; Kentucky and Northwestern had reportedly also expressed interest. His full list of offers isn't known, but he did pick one up from OSU in October. Webb said that Goslin has "a strong three-pitch arsenal led by an upper-80s fastball," and he also notes that Goslin has played quarterback for Divine Child for the last two seasons. (Note that Goslin's Divine Child teammate, Dion Henderson, who's mentioned in Webb's post, recently committed to Kentucky.)

Here's a more detailed scouting report from Prep Baseball Report, included in an October rundown of top left-handed pitchers:

Ranked third in the state, Goslin is a strong-bodied lefty with a projectable 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame. He sat 86-88 at the Midwest Future Games and featured a mid-70s curveball that has swing-and-miss potential. He also mixes in a changeup at 78-79. He’s a good athlete with some effort to his delivery and pitches from a high three-quarter slot.

PBR has Goslin ranked #43 overall in the 2015 class.

photo of Goslin from PBR profile page

Below are the PBR overall rankings (encompassing their ten-state coverage area) for Michigan's six 2015 commits. Note that Nick Plummer was recently bumped up from #30 to #20. Plummer and Goslin are PBR's #2 and #3 players from the state of Michigan in the 2015 class, so Erik Bakich and his staff continue to do well with their in-state recruiting efforts.

*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.