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 BTT: It's Iowa Again

Baseball BTT: It's Iowa Again

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on May 29th, 2010 at 12:40 AM

 should have won 
Brosnahan Dealing
Photo by
MGoBlue.com

Michigan
(35-21, 15-11)

vs

Iowa
(29-27, 15-12)

Saturday 3:35pm ET
Bill Davis Stadium
Columbus, OH

TBA vs TBA
Stats Audio   TV:BTN  
Notes: Michigan is 102-45 all time.
Iowa is 2-1 in the tourney, 0-1 vs UM.

Season Series

2-5

3-5

 

7-5

18-4

Michigan lost to Minnesota 4-3 in 11 innings in one of the most thrilling Big Ten Baseball games in this writer's recent memory. The loss was pretty tough to take, but at the same time, Michigan doesn't seem to be stunned. The Wolverines will face Iowa in the loser's bracket for a chance to face Minnesota again in the Championship rounds.

Follow the jump for extremely abbreviated preview.

Baseball: All-Big Ten Teams Named

Baseball: All-Big Ten Teams Named

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on May 25th, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Following media day at the Big Ten Baseball Tournament, the conference unveiled their All-Big Ten selections.

Michigan claims one first teamer in junior outfielder Ryan LaMarre. Ryan finished his season hitting .409 with 5 homers and 8 doubles in 132 at bats. His .659 slugging percentage easily led the Wolverines. LaMarre didn't get a unanimous selection, possibly hindered by his early season absence.

For the full list of honors, follow 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 Recap

Baseball: Minnesota Recap

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on May 9th, 2010 at 6:55 PM


What a dump…

Michigan took it on the chin this weekend, dropping two games to open the series at Minnesota, but they battled back to win a close game three and keep pace with the Big Ten Joneses. Recaps, thoughts, and the opening stanza to a MICHIGAN STATE HATE mid-week series after the jump. And no, no pretty pictures as baseball can't be pretty in the Metrodome.

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: Ohio State Notes

Baseball: Ohio State Notes

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on April 30th, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Michigan (25-14, 7-5)

vs

Ohio State(23-13, 7-5)

Friday 6:35pm ET, Ray Fisher Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
TBA vs Alex Wimmers (9-0, 1.61 ERA)
Stats Audio (1290AM)      
Notes: Michigan is 157-89-1 all time, Last year: 1-2 series loss.

Michigan

vs

Ohio State

Saturday, 6pm ET, Ray Fisher Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
TBA vs Drew Rucinski (3-2, 4.34 ERA)
Stats Audio (1290AM)   BTN.com  
Notes: Barry Larkin jersey retirement starts at 5:45p

Michigan

vs

Ohio State

Sunday 1:05pm ET, Ray Fisher Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
TBA vs Dean Wolosiansky (3-5, 5.95 ERA)
Stats Audio (1290AM)   BTN.com  
Notes:

The Buckeyes come to Ann Arbor this weekend with the rivals tied for first place in the Big Ten. The stakes are huge. The winner is in the driver's seat for the regular season championship and a number one seed in the Big Ten Tournament. The loser could conceivably fall as far back as a tie for 7th place if the cards fall the wrong way.

As an added bonus, Michigan will be celebrating the career of Barry Larkin. His #16 jersey will be added to the walls of the Fish, where it shall remain forever retired into Michigan lore.

Final notes and thoughts after 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: Iowa Recap

Baseball: Iowa Recap

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on April 24th, 2010 at 9:56 PM

not back
About being back… not so much. (image from MGoBlue)

If you would have asked me what the worst case scenario would be walking into the Iowa series, my answer would have been Jarred Hippen throws a complete game in the first half of the double header, and that momentum would carry Iowa through game two for Michigan to be swept on Friday. I would have then said that rain would cancel Saturday's game for the first Iowa sweep of Michigan in Ann Arbor in recent memory. Unfortunately, the first half of that prediction came true.

Luckily, Saturday had only overcast skies and Michigan was able to redeem themselves (somewhat) by salvaging a 1-2 weekend. Michigan exits the series half a game back of the Big Ten leading Buckeyes, who visit Ann Arbor next week. That's right people, it's HATE WEEK for the baseball team.

But before we get to that, we look at the Iowa series. Recaps after the jump:

Baseball: Dual POTW Honors

Baseball: Dual POTW Honors

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on April 19th, 2010 at 2:34 PM

As a follow up to yesterday's Illinois recap, the Big Ten Conference tabbed two Michigan players for POTW honors. Patrick Biondi won Player of the Week and Tyler Burgoon earned Pitcher of the Week.

Press release notes:

Burgoon remained unstoppable out of the bullpen, posting saves against Toledo (April 13) and Bowling Green (April 14) and the victory at Illinois (April 18) to secure the series victory for the Maize and Blue. On the week, Burgoon threw 8.0 innings, allowing just three hits and striking out 11 batters. His biggest performance came in the weekend finale when he came out of the bullpen and scattered three hits over 5.1 innings with seven strikeouts for his team-leading fifth victory.

Biondi had an historic week, beginning with breaking Bruce Fox's 55-year-old rookie record for stolen bases, swiping his 20th bag of the year in the victory over Toledo. Biondi reached base and scored to lead off all five games last week, posting a .526 average with three doubles, a triple and a home run. After becoming the first Wolverine since 2003 to lead off a game with a home run on Saturday (April 17), Biondi went 3-for-3 with two walks, coming up a home run shy of the cycle in the weekend's last game.

Michigan earned both weekly awards for the first time since April 15, 2002, when current MLB catcher Jake Fox (2001-03) and pitcher Rich Hill (2000-02) swept the awards for their performances, which also came in Champaign against the Illini.

Burgoon edged out Alan Oaks and Alex Wimmers of Ohio State who both had very impressive 8 inning starts a piece, and Indiana's Drew Leininger who went 7.2 innings giving up just one unearned run.

Biondi's weekend edged out Zach Hurley's 8/15 weekend with a triple and a homer and Ryan LaMarre's 10/19 week with a homer, a triple, two doubles, 10 runs, and 6 RBI.