Baseball Hello: Ryan Nutof

Submitted by Raoul on November 11th, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Just two days before the beginning of the early signing period, Michigan has added to its impressive 2014 class with the commitment tonight of Ryan Nutof, a 6-2, 185-pound right-handed pitcher who emerged during the summer as one of the top uncommitted 2014 prospects in the Midwest. PBR posted this eval in a July rundown of players creating buzz:

It’s not often that high-end prospects fly under our radar for this long, but that has been the case of the hard-throwing Nutof. In a 10-day span this June, Nutof lit it up in three short-pen outings. The first was at the Black and Silver, when he came out firing 89-91 mph fastballs. His arm is quick, loose and athletic. He showed feel for three pitches and the ability to pound the strike zone. He was 88-91 in his other two outings as well. South Elgin doesn’t have a track record of producing high-level prospects, but the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder has significant upside and a live arm.

In a PBR feature posted in September, Nutof said he had taken visits to Michigan State, Northwestern, and Ball State and had "also received considerable interest from Wichita State, Pepperdine and several other schools." PBR has Nutof ranked #15 in Illinois and #68 in their ten-state region. As the chart below of the Wolverines' ten-member class shows, Michigan has now gained commitments from six prospects in PBR's overall top 100 for 2014—and three of those six are from the Chicago metro area, which has turned into fertile recruiting ground for Erik Bakich and his staff. Michigan also landed two 2013 players from Chicagoland—Nick Kowalczuk and Keith Lehmann—and they have a commitment from the #1 player in Illinois for 2015, Charlie Donovan from Westmont H.S.



November 12th, 2013 at 5:17 PM ^

2014 Commits Position, School Hgt., Wt. PG Rank/Grade PBR Rank MBP Rank Scouting Rpt.
Jake Bivens SS/2B, Battle Creek Lakeview H.S. (MI) 6-0, 175 n/a region: #65; MI: #5 MI: #8 PBR
Michael Hendrickson LHP, Saline H.S. (MI) 6-2, 175 n/a region: #138; MI: #16 MI: #20 PBR
Oliver Jaskie LHP, Grandville H.S. (MI) 6-4, 190 n/a region: #183; MI: #25 MI: #16 PBR
Ty Kiafoulis OF, Birmingham Brother Rice (MI) 6-5, 230 Grade: 8 MI: #62 MI: #14 PG
Drew Lugbauer C/3B, Arlington H.S. (Pleasant Valley, NY) 6-4, 210 Grade: 8.5 n/a n/a MLBlogs
Ryan Nutof RHP, South Elgin H.S. (IL) 6-2, 185 n/a region: #68; IL: #15 n/a PBR
Bryan Pall RHP, Carl Sandburg H.S. (Orland Park, IL) 6-2, 205 US: #343; IL: #10 region: #88; IL: #10 n/a PBR
Grant Reuss LHP, Cranbrook Kingswood (Bloomfield Hills, MI) 6-5, 205 n/a region: #18; MI: #1 MI: #2 PBR
Jayce Vancena RHP, Lake H.S. (Millbury, OH) 6-4, 210 n/a region: #45; OH: #7 n/a PBR
Rahman Williams SS, Montverde Academy (Orlando, FL) 5-11, 170 US: #139; IL: #3 n/a n/a PG



November 12th, 2013 at 7:50 AM ^

There needs to be two NCAA seasons.  One for the south and the west and another for the midwest and the northeast.  Games start in February where all the northern teams travel down south or out west.  They start games up north in the middle of March.  I assure you in the middle of April it still sucks to play travel ball in Michigan.   I have a HS sophomore catcher who has been to the camps.  Coach Bakich is a very good coach.  He seems to have some quality assistants and a good system.  Heck, I stole his baseball warmup drills from him when I managed last year.   I believe he will in a couple of years compete for a big ten title.  However, the reality is that the majority of baseball kids are trying to get south and Coach Bakich will have to continually find the diamonds in the rough and kids like this last kid who developed late or was under the radar.  The good news is baseball is a late bloomer sport so if he is good at development and looks at player development as a 3-5 year process he should compete long term.  The kids down south are all looking to blow out and go pro after 3.

Steve in PA

November 12th, 2013 at 1:31 PM ^


My son went to a prospect clinic a few weeks back and at the halfway break for lunch told me, "I'm too small to play here"  This was a D2 school.

In the post-lunch interview the coach told the parents and players that he takes 5-7 players a year reserving all but one for D1 transfers.  There was a player who was recruited by Bakich at MD but transferred to this D2 school to not sit out a year.  He said that the level of baseball in northern schools between top D2 schools and D1 isn't that great.

If you look at the size of the kids on the recruit chart above they are all 6' + except for a SS that probably runs like the wind.




Every Roh Has …

November 12th, 2013 at 1:59 PM ^

I work as a baseball scout for a major amateur scouting service (hint: The initials are PG). I can comfortably say that Michigan baseball in on the rise, having scouted many of the 2013-2014 baseball commits in person.


November 12th, 2013 at 4:23 PM ^

Thanks to the scout above for the informative post.

Here's another small piece of evidence of the strength of this class: PBR posted an update of their Illinois rankings for 2014, with one notable change for a Michigan commit. Bryan Pall was moved up from #20 to #10 on the strength of his performance at the recent WWBA tournament in Jupiter, Florida, through which he "made himself a high-interest draft prospect."

Also, I forgot that Rahman Williams had transferred to Montverde Academy in Orlando, Florida, for his season year, so he no longer appears in the PBR rankings. Will update the chart when I have a chance.


November 13th, 2013 at 8:19 AM ^

A local paper, the Daily Herald, has an article out on Nutof's Michigan commitment, saying that he had 23 offers from Big Ten, ACC, West Coast, MAC, and other schools and that he picked the Wolverines over his other finalist, Penn State, following an official visit last weekend:

Last weekend's official visit to the University of Michigan sealed his decision to accept a baseball scholarship that will cover 85 percent of his college expenses. Nutof phoned Wolverines second-year coach Erik Bakich on Monday and accepted the offer.

"I loved it there," Nufof said. "It had everything I was looking for and more, so I figured why wait. I love their new facilities. They just got a ton of money to renovate their field and locker rooms and they built a new nutrition facility. The facilities overall are excellent.

"But the biggest thing is I love what coach Bakich is doing with the program right now. He's really got the guys training hard and I like his views on everything. I like what pitching coach (Sean) Kenny does with the pitchers, and I met the players and they're great. I'm excited."