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)



February 13th, 2014 at 2:06 PM ^

I've noted numerous times in my baseball recruiting posts that the PBR overall rankings are for their 10-state coverage area. The only reason I didn't this time is that there wasn't an overall ranking for Bullock to report.

Just FYI, PBR is gradually expanding, and it looks like coverage will soon be added for New York, Virginia/DC, and Florida.

rob f

February 13th, 2014 at 2:35 PM ^

As I don't follow baseball recruiting other than the "Hello" posts you and others provide here, much appreciation for the job you guys do in keeping us up-to-date.

Since it doesn't look like PBR uses any "star system", do you have any idea how many stars Bullock (and other recent recruits, for that matter) might get? 



February 13th, 2014 at 4:01 PM ^

The tough thing about baseball recruiting is that most of the best players will get drafted, sign with an MLB club, and never play college ball. So, even if you never get someone who's the equivalent of a 5 star, you might still be doing very well in recruiting.

It'll be interesting to see whether Bullock's PBR ranking goes up over the next year or two, especially if they get another chance to evaluate him. His current state ranking is pretty low, so I'd guess he might be considered a 2 star. Someone in another thread mentioned that Jack Weisenburger was ranked #38 and Karl Kauffmann #64 by Perfect Game. Those are national rankings and would seem to be equivalent to 4 stars.

Unfortunately, the Perfect Game rankings are behind a paywall. The only other ones I know about are two of the 2014 signees, and I'm not sure if these are current. But at one time, Rahman Williams was ranked #139 and Bryan Pall was #343.

In general—and I know this doesn't address your question—I still contend that a good gauge for how Michigan is doing in recruiting is how many top 100 players in the PBR rankings they're getting, because even though PBR isn't national, their current coverage area is similar to Michigan's main recruiting territory. And they have actually gotten commits from three top 50 players (per PBR) in the 2016 class, which is impressive.


February 14th, 2014 at 7:42 AM ^

I looked at his profile in greater depth.  My guess is he is more an OF than a P.  The lefty specialist is just a bonus.  He needs to be at 85 mph to be a top tier college left pitcher.  (88 mph for a RHP)

Going back to the sophomore thing for a second.  I think offering sophomores off of their freshmen year and a camp is risky.  I can't think of another major college program that does this.

Football has measurables like speed and strength.  There is more film on a player.  Unless this kid has been seeing 88 mph fastballs with sliders and curve balls from real pitching and not a bullpen camp then this is a risk.  You have to play 18U travel ball to see this kind of piching.  High school baseball blows and the 16U tournaments don't have a high enough caliber pitching to make those determinations.

I just don't know what the hurry is.  I do get the kid from Brother Rice though.  He throws really hard and is very tall. 

In terms of scholarships - most if not all of these commitments are preferred walk on status except from what I believe is the kid from Rice.  He is probably getting a half scholarship to start.


February 14th, 2014 at 8:49 AM ^

I think offering kids who haven't even played their sophomore season of high school is beyond ludicrous. These boys haven't even filled their bodies out, hell, they barely shave yet, what's the rush?!

Is all speculation really. You see a 14-15 year old, and you HOPE he's a stud 4 to 5 years down the road. The coach can't really know for sure based on a freshman season, and a couple of showcases.


February 14th, 2014 at 9:55 AM ^

Going back to the sophomore thing for a second. I think offering sophomores off of their freshmen year and a camp is risky. I can't think of another major college program that does this.

If you're right about Bullock being a preferred walk-on, I fail to see how accepting his commitment is "super risky," which was your original wording.

And you're dead wrong when you say that no other major college is doing this. Vanderbilt has as many 2016 commitments as Michigan does right now—four. Virginia, which is Perfect Game's preseason #1 team this season, already has five commits for 2016. Looking at PBR's 2016 rankings, 19 of the top 30 players have already committed. Earlier commitments is the current trend, and I think it would be risky of the coaches to sit idly by while top prospects make their picks.


February 14th, 2014 at 10:44 AM ^

I know nothing about recruiting college baseball, but all this info is really helpful - thanks. My son is in 8th grade and is talking about playing in college.  He has a LONG way to go, but as a pitcher, already has a fastball at the 70 mph mark, and has a nice curve and a change-up. He'll likely be tall (my husband is 6'2" and he's already 5'8" with long arms and legs). My expectations aren't high, considering how well-rounded these guys have to be, but if it motivates him to keep working, that's great.