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.



June 23rd, 2010 at 7:01 AM ^

Good news to see Dufek trying out the independent route. Wish him the best there.

Also,  was hoping to see a list of where the players are playing this summer...thanks.


June 23rd, 2010 at 7:09 AM ^

So USA Basesball is holding their 18U tournament this week. [Rosters at this link.] I talked with the USA Baseball staff, and they didn't have any current Michigan commits or prospects that they were aware of (several of the staff have ties to Michigan Baseball).

That said the two kids staying at my house for the week are from Indiana, and one of them has taken a visit to Ann Arbor.

Christian Montgomery RHP/INF R/R 6-1 240   Lawrence Central Indianapolis, Ind.


Jerrick Suiter RHP/OF/C R/R 6-3 210     Valparaiso, Ind. 2011

Jerrick took the visit to Ann Arbor. He says he felt Rich Maloney is a great guy, but the Ann Arbor isn't right for him. He's a big Domer homer, so there will be some banter this week.

Christian is more open on school choice. He'll be the starter today for his team's first game of the Tournament.  Anyway, it will be interesting to see if Michigan sends someone to scout this week (as they have in the past).


June 23rd, 2010 at 7:46 AM ^

...the list of summer league participants. I spent several summers in Orleans, MA when I was a kid so I'm always excited to see Michigan kids on the Cardinals roster.


June 23rd, 2010 at 9:13 AM ^

i went to high school with the kid but he was only a freshman when i graducated so i can't really offer too much about him. however, i was told by the assnt coach that he was offered a scholarship a while ago but it was something like only 1/4 scholarship. is it possible that after these departures he was offered a larger scholarship, say 1/2?


June 23rd, 2010 at 2:40 PM ^

I know UM is recruiting at least one guy from the USA U18 list. Austin Cousino has an offer from UM, although he just finished his junior year of HS, so he is a 2012 recruit.

At least four UM baseball players are spending the summer in the Prospect League. Two play  for Butler, PA  (Ballentine, Broder) and two more are with the Richmond River Rats (Stephens, Krantz).

Regarding scholarships and oversigning. Baseball is much different from football and basketball. Very few players are on full athletic rides (fully funded D1 has 11.7 scholarships). While the max number of guys on aid per season is 27 (anyone on aid must receive a min of 25%). Therefor, a lack of scholarships is rarely a problem, it becomes more a situation of how much aid a school is willing to commit to a guy.

As much as weather is a factor in the discussion of northern schools competing with southern baseball schools, IMHO lack of scholarships is a bigger problem. My personal belief is that northern teams would be much more competitive if they could offer every guy a full ride just like basketball and football. Here is an example - A player  from Florida is offered by both Michigan and Florida State. Both Schools offer 50% scholarship. The cost to attend UM is still over 20K, while instate tuition/room/ board at FSU is going to run around 5k. Not to mention a school like FSU will offer instate guys 25% because tuition is so cheap, therby allowing FSU to offer 80/90/100% to the top out of state guys.