Baseball Recruiting: Three More Hellos

Submitted by Raoul on November 3rd, 2015 at 9:12 PM

The latest Michigan baseball commitments (which happened over the last three weeks) increase the 2016 class to eight and the 2017 class to seven.

Marcus Chavez: 5-10 C, Grand Street Campus HS (Brooklyn, NY). Prep Baseball Report is not particularly high on him, ranking him #27 in the state of New York in the 2016 class. They say his bat "is not advanced" and call him "pull happy," but they were impressed by his "big arm behind the plate." According to a local news article on his commitment, he's a "tremendous leader," and he picked Michigan over Oregon, Seton Hall, Villanova, Maine, and Boston College.

Ben Dragani: 6-4 LHP, Catholic Memorial HS (Waukesha, WI). PBR has him ranked #4 in Wisconsin and #203 overall in the 2017 class: "Dragani has one of the easier arm actions you’ll see producing an 80-83 mph fastball, touching 84 mph. He couples that with a hard darting slider at 75-77 mph, which we’ve previously seen up to 79 mph, so the hand speed is clearly there." PBR also has post-commit Q&A with Dragani.

Cody Bolton: 6-3 RHP, Tracy HS (CA), class of 2017. Not much out there on the latest product of the strong California-to-Michigan pipeline. Perfect Game has his fastball topping out at 88, while in his NSCA profile, Bolton listed it at 89.

On a related note: Michigan has now posted their 2016 roster, and they noted the team's 13 newcomers (3 transfers and 10 freshmen) in this press release. They've also posted a "meet the newcomers" feature in three parts, with part three including links to the first two. The biggest roster surprise was no Charlie Donovan, arguably the highest-rated player in Michigan's 2015 class (although a case could be made for Jonathan Engelmann). I have heard nothing about why he's not on the roster.



November 3rd, 2015 at 11:50 PM ^

Of all the potential reforms to college sports, I wish they'd allow school to give out full scholarships to all of the scholarship athletes in all sports, instead of having to split up a much smaller number.


November 4th, 2015 at 12:06 AM ^

And Michigan will be on top of the college baseball world for years to come! I've been saying this for years. I have 13-14yr old kids that throw 85-88 lol

Cali kids throw hard people

Every Roh Has …

November 4th, 2015 at 12:11 AM ^

Engelmann has a chance to be special. 1st round pick-type special. One of the toolsiest players I can remember Michigan baseball having. If the bat comes along, he could be an All American.


November 4th, 2015 at 5:54 AM ^

is there a normal parameter of increased speed that a decent high school picture, cum college pitcher is expected to pick up?  if he tops at 83-84 now, is it common that kids add, say, 3-5 mph with greater physical maturity, specialized coaching, etc?

old guy question.  played a lot of hardball all the way up to college but it wasn't my #1 sport so discarded at michigan.  when i say 'old guy', i mean i was helping abner doubleday lay out the bases and make the rules....


November 4th, 2015 at 9:55 AM ^

This is Jim Donovan, Charlie Donovan's dad.  Charlie got sick(mono) toward the end of the summer.  He simply wasn't ready go in September so we opted to have him take medical leave and defer his enrollment until either January or next fall depending on what makes the most sense for his health and the team.  Charlie's younger brother Joe, a 2017 catcher will be enrolling the following year and is also very excited to be a wolverine!!  Go BLUE!!


November 4th, 2015 at 12:39 PM ^

As someone who had mono when I was already a couple years out of college, I may have been walking around with it for weeks or even months, and once the symptoms became serious enough to know that it wasn't something temporary, it was another 10 days or so to get correctly diagnosed.  When I finally knew what it was (struggling even to hold up the NYC phone book to call the hospital to get my test results), I realized I had to go back home to live with the parents for however long it was going to take.   

Best wishes for his full recovery, and his return to school and the team when he's completely ready.   It'll be worth it.



November 4th, 2015 at 10:17 AM ^

Thanks for letting us know. Hope Charlie's feeling better now. Glad to hear that he'll still be a Wolverine.

EDIT: Obviously this was supposed to be a response to Charlie's father's post above. For those not familiar with Joe Donovan, he's a highly touted catcher, currently ranked #6 in the state of Illinois and #63 overall in the 2017 class, according to PBR.


November 4th, 2015 at 11:39 AM ^

No problem.  It has taken longer than any of us anticipated, and he's still not feeling "like himself."  His doctor continues to preach patience as mono can take a long time to "unwind." This has been a very traumatic experience for Charlie.  It certainly wasn't what he imagined he'd doing right now, and that in itself has been really tough for him.  Fortunately, though progress has been slow, it has been consistent.  He will be back!


November 4th, 2015 at 12:57 PM ^

So I'll only add it often takes much longer than expected.  I remember having college friends who "got to go home" with mono for a week or two for a "mid-semester vacation."  I don't think most of us respected how serious it can be, and the long-term effects that can develop without full recovery.

A lot of us think we're soft to give in to the early symptoms, probably athletes in particular.  But it can get worse and it does take time, and to someone so young and so eager to perform, that time may seem like an eternity.   Glad you're all there for him, and he has a doctor who knows what he's talking about. 

Tell Charlie we're all patient enough to wait to cheer him on the field.  We're cheering for him now.


November 5th, 2015 at 1:25 AM ^


Thanks you so much for the kind words as well as sharing your experience!  We appreciate it so much!  We have been blown away by the treatment we all have been given by the UM family.  Erik Bakich and Nick Schnabel have been incredibly supportive from day one of this ordeal.  They have treated him like a son the entire time!  We could not be more grateful!

When he does get back on the field, I think you'll enjoy watching him play.  He is a sweet swinging lefty who runs like a deer, has great "hops," covers lots of ground in the middle infield, plays hard and plays the game the right way.  He knows how to win and will fit in perfectly to the culture that Coach Bakich and staff have created.  I can't wait to see it!