Nice Article on Michigan Baseball Signee Hector Gutierrez

Submitted by Raoul on May 17th, 2013 at 8:36 AM

McCabe in the Freep has a nice, lengthy article on 2013 Michigan baseball signee Hector GutierrezDetroit Western's Hector Gutierrez hopes to encourage more kids to pursue college baseball dreams. There are a lot of firsts in the article:

Gutierrez is the first PSL athlete to receive a baseball scholarship to U-M since Detroit Northwestern’s Kourtney Thompson signed a letter of intent in 1985.

The biggest factor is that PSL baseball is the polar opposite of PSL basketball. College basketball coaches flock to Detroit to ogle the talent. College baseball coaches? Not so much.

“I know how it is in basketball, but in baseball they say a lot of inner-city kids don’t have it anymore,” Gutierrez said. “But it’s starting to come around now.”

That’s thanks to coach Juan Sanchez and his cousin, Mike, who have turned Western into a program that can compete with the top teams in the state.

Nice reaction from his parents:

Making Gutierrez’s commitment and eventual signing of a letter of intent so spectacular was the reaction of his parents.

“You just committed!” his parents screamed. “You’re going to college!”

Gutierrez, an honor student with a 3.5 grade-point average, was always headed to college, even if he had never played baseball.

Baseball just made college more affordable for the family.

“I started thinking about college when I was a freshman,” he said. “I thought baseball would help me get into college. I’m going to be the first to go to college, so I want to make them proud.”

Gutierrez will be the first member on either side of his family to go to college. He also will be the first male in his immediate family to finish high school.

And great quotes from both Hector Sr. and Jr.: 

“For me, this has always been my dream — my kid going to college and Division I and it’s Michigan!” Hector Sr. said as tears welled in his eyes. “I don’t want him to follow in my footsteps. I want him to be bigger than what I am. I tell him not to be a laborer, own a company.”

Right now Hector Jr. is happy to be living his father’s dream, one he hopes others from Detroit will be able to experience.

“I know there haven’t been many Detroit guys going to college to play baseball,” he said. “Nobody was prepared to go to college. I don’t think it was in their heads to go to college.

“Maybe it will be now.”

It's worth noting that Gutierrez has generated some draft buzz, which isn't mentioned in the article. Prep Baseball Report's Draft Blog has included posts on him, along with two other Michigan signees, Jackson Lamb and Johnny Slater. St. Louis Sports Scouting also posted an item on Gutierrez in March that says this:

I do like Gutierrez as a possible late round draft pick, but will that be enough to lure him from his full ride….I will check back on this after June’s draft!

It sure seems like from the Freep article that Gutierrez would have to go much higher than a late round to consider forgoing college, so hopefully he does make it to Ann Arbor. He sounds like the epitome of a Wolverine student-athlete.

Comments

jvick9006

May 17th, 2013 at 9:02 AM ^

Hector is a great kid that I know personally. Right now, he's being projected as a 4-10 round type guy. He'll be at Michigan unless the money is too much to pass up.

ChasingRabbits

May 17th, 2013 at 9:35 AM ^

Sounds like a great kid, and a great story.  I can't believe any gauranteed contract less than the value of the full ride or so would convince the family that UM is not his best option.  What round would he have to get to to generate that kind of contract?

Hopefully the city kids start picking up baseball again.   Any distraction or incentive to work toward seems to help these kids out.  The more there are the better chance they have of making it through those tough years. 

 

ChasingRabbits

May 17th, 2013 at 9:58 AM ^

Win win...  very good to hear.  In most cases I would be a little upset at UM missing out, but in the end its about the kids and Hector sounds like he has set himself up to succeed either way.   Still, hope he sticks with UM and raises his draft stock to the first round while leading us back to the CWS.  Just nice to hear he wins either way.

 

jmj18

May 17th, 2013 at 10:03 AM ^

In terms of the roster for the 2014 season, the starting pitching will return and the team will need to replace one or two key players.  Biondi is graduating.  Is O'Neill likely to sign after his junior season?

Can the M baseball followers comment upon any impact freshman for 2014, or any current reserve players expected to step up.   Maezes and Croenenworth have made a strong impact their freshman seasons and M will need a string of good recruiting classes to get back to competing for first in the B1G.

Raoul

May 17th, 2013 at 12:31 PM ^

Michael O'Neill is unlikely to return for his senior season. Baseball America has him at #80 on their list of the top 100 draft prospects for 2013. And MLB.com has him at #86 on their top 100.

As far as impact freshmen, Jackson Lamb is the most highly rated member of Michigan's 2013 recruiting class, but there's been a fair amount of draft buzz about him as well, so it's uncertain if he'll end up at Michigan. For a full rundown of Michigan's 2013 signees, see these posts: in-state signees and out-of-state signees.

LSAClassOf2000

May 17th, 2013 at 10:33 AM ^

Detroit Western really does have some great people behind their program. Juan Sanchez has been a large part of efforts to build better baseball facilities and promote the sport in southwest Detroit, and it is great to see baseball start to make this sort of resurgence in Detroit (I had no idea it hadn't been since the 80s that someone from the PSL had signed a letter of intent - the PSL has churned out MLB talent in the past). 

This is a great story and thanks for sharing this, Raoul. From the sound of it, he has an incredible work ethic which will serve him well regadless of his path, whether it is Michigan or the pros. I believe Hector Gutierrez pitched an 18-strikeout game against King last month too - there was a spread about that game in the paper then.