Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Michigan Baseball Draftees

An update on the Michigan Baseball Team's players selected in the 2008 Draft:

Jason Christian, Nate Recknagel, Michael Powers, and Adam Abraham have all signed MLB contracts and therefore will not return to Michigan next season. All except for Recknagel were Juniors. Zach Putnam has not signed with the Indians yet and although most assumed that he was the most likely to leave early, there still is a possibility that he will return with the Wolverines next season. Putnam was drafted in the fifth round, much lower than projected.

Here's my early projection for the starting lineup/rotation (assuming Putnam does not return*):

1) Kevin Cislo (2B)
2) Ryan Lamarre (CF)
3) Derek Vanbuskirk (1B)
4) Mike Dufek (DH)
5) Alan Oaks (RF)
6) Chris Berset (C)
7) Tyler Mills (SS)
8) Nick Urban (3B)
9) Kenny Fellows (LF)

Starting Rotation:
1) Chris Fetter
2) Tyler Burgoon
3) Tyler Mills
4) Eric Katzman

Ha, this will be fun...

*If Putnam returns, slide him into that DH/#1 pitcher spot and slide everyone else down. Dufek's bat would probably find itself in the lineup at first base, moving Vanbuskirk back to left in place of Fellows.

Well it's safe to say that expectations will not be as high for Michigan Baseball in 2009 as their roster will be extremely depleted. There are no returning infielders, the only functioning reliever is gone in Michael Powers. The starting pitching which lacked a consistent three or four starters loses the Big 10 Pitcher of the Year in Zach Putnam.

I think Michigan will still have enough talent to win the Big 10 behind some excellent coaching and recruiting by Rich Maloney. Tyler Mills is the only recruit I know much about as he was just named Michigan's (co) Mr. Baseball as he went 12-2 with an ERA of 1.50. Mills also hit .426 with 30 RBIs as the shortstop/centerfielder for Mount Pleasant.

Michigan's roster currently lacks any shortstops or third basemen so I'm penciling Mills in at short when he doesn't pitch and giving the third base job to Urban. Look for Adam Arbour and Mike Kittle to be in the mix for playing time at those two positions as well.

Michigan finished the 2008 season ranked in the top twenty-five in three separate polls:
Collegiate Baseball (20th)
Baseball America (22nd)
USAToday/ESPN Coaches Poll (22nd)


Matt Boyer said...

I talked to a few people who work for the team and a few in the athletic department and they said Putnam was giving his good-byes to teammates and staff when the team was moving their stuff out of the Fish. It doesn't sound like he is coming back.

Michael Tobin said...

VanBuskirk has no college eligibility left, so put Dufek at first and start scrambling to find a dh (Oaks is a possibility if Maloney can find another outfielder)

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