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.