Baseball: Goings and Comings, Hello: Jake Engels

Baseball: Goings and Comings, Hello: Jake Engels

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on June 23rd, 2010 at 2:02 AM

Goings. Most of Michigan's players have signed their contracts so far, and there's also been at least one player sign on with an independent league. A breakdown:

To my understanding, all of the MLB draft picks are now currently signed and on their respective rosters (even if Burgoon may not show up on MiLB just yet). Dufek will also try to extend his playing days, by playing in the independent league. He may get lucky and get a free agent type deal to go to the MiLB, he may not. May he be lucky enough to get his wish.

I imagine this is probably it as far as players with a baseball future. Katzman may show up on some independent league roster, but the rest of the seniors might just be done.

In another note, Miller may have a chance to face Berset as early as next week as Helena hosts Billings for a three game set starting Monday June 28. For those of you in exotic Montana, perhaps a trip could be in store for you? I mean, what else are you going to do in Montana? Fight grizzly bears (I'm reminded of a long-lost haloscan thread on the merits of the grizzly bear population in Montana and the political risk of pissing them off.)? No, I thought not.

Comings. jake engels With the somewhat unexpected early departure of Matt Miller, and with all of the other juniors that were drafted leaving, Michigan had at least one athlete worth giving a scholarship to, so HELLO Jake Engels. Engels comes to Michigan from Portage Northern High School, where he had quite the career:

Engels went 24-7 while earning three varsity letters at Portage Northern. During his senior campaign, he went 11-3 with a sparkling 0.89 earned-run average and 68 strikeouts to lead the Huskies to a district title. As a sophomore, he went 6-3 and earned All-SMAC honorable mention. In his first season as a letterwinner, Engels went 7-1 with a 2.66 ERA and was tabbed to the All-SMAC Central Division team. Engels also excelled in the classroom, earning honor roll each year and high honors during his senior year.

I have to imagine that Engels has had a scholarship offer in the bag for quite a while now. The Big Ten doesn't allow over signing, which means Engels wasn't allowed to be offered a scholarship until one of the early exiting juniors signed their pro contract. Now that all of them are out, Engels is in. The above picture is Jake and the District Trophy, partially won on his arm.

In terms of Jake's role next season, I wouldn't be surprised to see him redshirt. Pitching is a premium, and with him not being a drafted player, I think it's reasonable to think he won't bolt after three years.

Comings, with more awards. Also on the baseball recruiting front is the recent release of the All-Michigan teams. Michigan baseball recruits Alex Lakatos (previous post here) was the biggest winner, making the All-Michigan Dream team and Division 1 First Team. Lakatos was generally ridiculous on the mound this season, including a no-hitter where he struck out 19. Michigan was also represented with the previously mentioned Jake Engels on the Division 1 First Team and outfielder Zach Fish on the Division 2 First Team.

Fish (previous post here) also got some publicity in the Kalamazoo Gazette All-Michigan article:

Fish batted .473 with 12 home runs, nine doubles and four triples. The junior shortstop, committed to the University of Michigan, totaled 61 hits, 60 runs and 57 RBIs, and was walked 31 times (11 intentionally). He also was 27-for-29 in stolen-base attempts, and as a right-handed pitcher finished 6-1 with a 2.33 ERA and six saves.

"I think a lot of (the run-producing stats) don't really fall on me. I think they fall on the guys that were ahead of me (in the order), and at the end of the order, too," said Fish, who was coming off a monster weekend with the Cincinnati-based Midland Redskins, going 12-for-18 with one homer, a triple, three doubles and 10 RBIs.

I'm liking those numbers. He's very likely to make a push into the order next season with LaMarre and Nick Urban both graduating. If he can put up numbers like that, Michigan will be in great shape.

Summer Ball. The summer seasons all kicked off over the last two weeks. Many of Michigan's players are doing pretty well. Garrett Stephens, Patrick Biondi, and Kevin Krantz (back from his broken thumb) have lit up my RSS feed with good news. I'll have a list of everyone's location as soon as I track everyone down.

Baseball: Game, Tournament, Season Come to a End

Baseball: Game, Tournament, Season Come to a End

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on May 31st, 2010 at 11:46 PM

sweet love with a bat

Simply Beautiful

In a little over two seasons of Michigan baseball coverage, I've seen highs and I've seen lows. In 2008, Michigan had an outstanding class of upperclassmen, perhaps their best since the 1980s. When they left, some to graduation, others who left early to the draft, Michigan was left with a huge void. In one year, Michigan went from a first place team in the Big Ten to one of the worst teams in the conference.

The 2010 season was supposed to be the first step to rebuilding. Michigan had two powerful senior captains. They had Ryan LaMarre, a guy now looking at being drafted in the first two rounds of the MLB draft. The pitching depth was there. They may have lacked the big star on the mound, but they were going to be good.

On Saturday, Michigan faced Iowa in a chance to make the Big Ten Tournament Championship. The game went much like the rest of the season. Michigan opened with a bang. The offense exploded. After it went quiet, the pitching held strong. But when the pitching left, so did much of Michigan's hopes for the NCAA.

Recap, and a look back at the big picture… or excel graph. However you want to look at it…, and a look forward after the jump.

Baseball: Penn State Recap

Baseball: Penn State Recap

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on May 22nd, 2010 at 8:18 PM

lorenz defense is good

Michigan took two of three games at Penn State this weekend to claim a #2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. While all three games had many great positives, the ending to game two is how this series will be remembered. Michigan held a 4 run lead going into the bottom of the 9th, and the bull pen collapsed.

Weekend recap, series thoughts, and a look at the Big Ten bracket after the jump

Baseball: Northwestern Recap

Baseball: Northwestern Recap

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on May 17th, 2010 at 12:06 AM

the captains Oh Captains, My Captains

That just happened. Michigan wins the series 2-1 on the most stunning senior day in recent memory. This series has it all - A pitcher's duel, a stunning heart breaker, a come-from-behind win on senior day featuring the two co-captains completing a walk off. If you have ever been a baseball fan, this was the series for you.

Game One

Box Score R H E
Northwestern 0 1 0   1 0 1   0 0 0   3 9 3
Michigan 2 0 0   0 0 1   1 0 x   4 10 0

W – Gerbe (2-0)… Save – Burgoon (9)

Game one was the pitchers' duel. Michigan managed the early lead thanks to a leadoff walk of Patrick Biondi. After going to third on a perfectly placed hit and run by Toth, going right through the hole vacated by the second baseman, LaMarre would knock him in on a would-be double play, but Northwestern's second baseman double clutched, giving LaMarre just enough time to beat out the throw. After Berset's single, Crank would line out deep to left, gaining an easy sacrifice fly, and Michigan led 2-0.

oaks

Alan Oaks was on the mound for Michigan and had a pretty good game. In his 6 innings of work, he gave up 7 hits and 3 runs. Two of those came in the form of solo home runs by Northwestern's third baseman Chris Lashmet. The third run also involved Lashmet. In the 6th, he would single and score on a Zach Morton double that screamed past a diving Lorenz and took a strange hop off the wall, evading Ryan LaMarre in left.

LaMarre would lead the response for Michigan, knocking a triple off the center field wall. This set up Chris Berset up for an easy RBI single.

Oaks would open the 7th with a hard hit double, and the bullpen would take over for Oaks after that, with the game tied at 3 a piece. Gerbe would give up a sac bunt to move the runner to third, but Mike Dufek made a great play on a slow roller by the next batter to gun the runner trying to score and preserve the tie.

In the bottom of the 7th, Biondi got the offense started on a two-out rally. His walk was followed by back-to-back singles by Toth and LaMarre to bring in a run. With the lead, 4-3, it was all Burgoon from here on out.

Notable Stars

  • The Pen – 3 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K, W, Save
  • Anthony Toth – 3/4
  • Ryan LaMarre – 2/4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3B
  • Game Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
  • Attendance: 1385

Notable Goats

  • Coley Crank – 0/3 RBI, 3 LOB, SACF

The rest of the series, including the THRILLING CONCLUSION, after the jump.

Baseball: Minnesota Preview

Baseball: Minnesota Preview

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on May 6th, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Michigan (28-15, 9-6)

@

Minnesota (20-26, 8-7)


Friday 6:35pm CDT, Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN
Eric Katzman (4-1, 4.03 ERA) vs Seth Rosin (4-4, 4.43 ERA)
Stats (Minn) Audio (Minn, $)      
Notes: Michigan is 84-84 all time, Last year: 1-2 series loss.

Michigan

@

Minnesota


Saturday 2:05 CDT, Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN
TBA vs TJ Oakes (3-3, 4.19 ERA)
Stats (Minn) Audio      
Notes: Audio available through Friday's link ($9/month).

Michigan

@

Minnesota


Sunday 1:05pm CDT, Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN
TBA vs Phil Isaksson (4-0, 3.16 ERA)
Stats (Minn)        
Notes: Isaksson  is a LHP

Michigan takes its first Big Ten road trip in three weeks, traveling to Minnesota for what is going to be yet another huge series in terms of the conference standings. The Gophers had a truly rough start to the year, but they currently sit tied for third place, only a game behind Michigan. They also lead the Big Ten in ERA and third in batting during conference games. They're getting hot when it counts, and Michigan looks to cool them off.

Q&A with the Daily Gopher, weather, thoughts, and predictions after the jump:

Baseball: Ohio State Recap

Baseball: Ohio State Recap

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on May 2nd, 2010 at 7:27 PM

barry larkin story 
Barry Larkin wants you in the stands supporting Michigan

Michigan beat Ohio State on Friday and Sunday to secure one of the more exciting series wins in Ann Arbor in quite some times. This series saw surprises abound: a first round draft pick get scratched from the starting lineup with an injury, nearly every pitcher in this series pitched to or beyond their potential, great defense, and most importantly, the good guys coming out on top.

For full recap, follow the jump:

Baseball Stat Watch: Conference Midpoint

Baseball Stat Watch: Conference Midpoint

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on April 27th, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Now that we've reached the conference midpoint and looked at the conference outlook, it's time to take a look at the team stats. Unlike in previous editions, the graphics will include some pitching related stats despite too small of a sample size to be that meaningful. The pitching stats are starting to show some trends, though.

As another reminder, these stats aren't official, but they should be pretty close. I have to compile these by going through every box score and input them into Excel tables. Many times, box scores contain errors that are corrected in the official statistics, but they may not be adjusted in the online box score.

So, as I start each of these posts, we'll look at the three major derived stats that are readily available in the college game (batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage):

team hitting over season

In that AWESOME EXCEL GRAPH, you can see each of the percentages as they accumulate over the season. It should be pretty obvious that as the season goes along, the lines should normalize to the average as more data comes in. What may be a bit more difficult to see is that Michigan's offense peaked in the Central Michigan game. At that time Michigan was hitting .328 (BA) and .411(OBP). The slugging picked up a bit since then, peaking in the offensive explosion in Illinois game one, with a .477 slugging percentage.

Michigan currently sits at .321 (BA), .404 (OBP), and .470 (SLG). That ranks 3rd, 3rd, and 4th in the Big Ten respectively (more on this below). In terms of conference only stats, Michigan is at .322 (BA), .411 (OBP), and .469 (SLG), which means we've done a little bit better in conference in terms of getting on base, but everything else has been pretty similar to the non-conference season. That's pretty surprising given the difference in talent we've faced, but at the same time, Michigan has had a couple of anemic offensive games against some of the Big Ten's best pitchers (Hippen, Bischoff, Leininger), and they've had some explosive games against some of the not so good (Illinois win).

Speaking of talent difference between conference and nonconference, the purple line in the above graph, for those who didn't pay attention last time, represents the RPI of our opponents. The number one team in Boyd Nation's pseudo-RPI would be a 1.000, and a team holding the #302 RPI (or any non-D1 opponents if you're a Buckeye who plays AND LOSES to D2 and NAIA teams) would register as a 0.000 score. From that, you can see that our non-conference schedule was pretty difficult with two games against #1 Coastal Carolina, but our last few games, as well as the Big Ten regular season are quite a drop in competition.

The second graph I tend to post up is per nine innings stats, particularly runs, hits, strikeouts, and walks. These are just the sum of our total stats accumulated over the number of innings Michigan has batted (a home win normally only has 8 innings, as compared to any road game having 9 innings). Taking a peak:

per 9 innings

Looking at the above, we can clearly see the differences between "OMG WE LOST LAMARRE" and the the team becoming stable. LaMarre came back against Central Michigan, where we can see a small jump in hits and runs, but not much in terms of long term changes. The only long term pattern that comes from the post-LaMarre return is a slight drop in strikeouts, a product of Krantz and Stephens getting less at bats.

At the time of LaMarre's return, I probably would have predicted an increase in hits and runs per game, but as we'll see in a bit, a couple of players have really cooled down over the last few weeks, most notably Coley Crank.

For individuals and a brief look at pitching, follow the jump. Warning, it gets long. Probably unnecessarily long. But it is what it is.

Baseball: Indiana Recap

Baseball: Indiana Recap

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on April 4th, 2010 at 4:33 PM

slides safe
LaMarre back on the field, picture by Aaron Ferguson, IU Athletics

Michigan went into Bloomington this weekend for a three game set to open conference play. The first two games were high intensity with plenty of drama, the last game was a huge let down. Despite that let down, Michigan currently sits tied for first place with 4 other Big Ten teams as we emerge 2-1 on the weekend.  That's more important than how badly the team face planted on Sunday.

So for full recap, take the jump. My thoughts on the series come after the individual game recaps.

Baseball: Indiana Series Notes

Baseball: Indiana Series Notes

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on April 1st, 2010 at 11:51 PM

Michigan (13-9)

@

Indiana (12-11)

Friday 3pm, Sembower Field, Bloomington, IN
Alan Oaks (3-3, 2.79 ERA) vs Walker Stadler (3-2, 4.91 ERA)
Stats Audio (IU)  
Notes: Michigan is 125-56 all time, including 1-2 in Ann Arbor last year

Michigan

@

Indiana

Saturday 2pm, Sembower Field, Bloomington, IN
Bobby Brosnahan(2-2, 4.15 ERA) vs TBA
Stats Audio (IU)  
Notes:

Michigan

@

Indiana

Sunday 1pm, Sembower Field, Bloomington, IN
TBA vs Drew Leininger (3-1, 1.22 ERA)
Stats Audio (IU)  
Notes: My guess is Miller starts. I've heard rumors of Katzman.

Having done the pretty thorough Q&A already (and returning the favor here), I'm not going to focus a ton on previewing Indiana in this post; instead, I'll focus just on a few thoughts.

They come after the jump:

Baseball: IPFW Recap/EMU Preview

Baseball: IPFW Recap/EMU Preview

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on March 27th, 2010 at 10:56 PM

A home game is now in the books as Michigan downed the IPFW Mastodons for a three game series sweep. Michigan brought the offense, collecting 47 hits for 30 runs. IPFW was the bad team that was expected, and our players didn't disappoint, at least on offense. Pitching had some less than stellar moments, but in the end, the guys that got into trouble kept the losses to a minimum.

Game by game review, series thoughts, and a look at Tuesday's Eastern Michigan game follow: