UM loses all 11 MLB Draft picks, plus two recruits
At least Michigan baseball kept its coach.
But, man, it lost so much more — including 11 players selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, seven of them juniors, plus two recruits.
The Wolverines set a record for a single draft with the 11 picks, and all have signed, including two with the Tigers — a pair of juniors in utilityman Jake Bivens (27th round) and left-hander Grant Reuss (29th round).
Michigan also saw two recruits sign professional contracts: right-hander Cody Bolton, a sixth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates ($300,000), and first baseman Jason Pineda, a 17th-round pick by the San Diego Padres ($125,000).
That’s quite the mass exodus for a Michigan team coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance, and a 42-17 record.
On the flip side, it’s also a sign of the state of the program.
“That’s what good programs do,” coach Erik Bakich said. “Look at all the best programs in the country, they have draft losses. That will be the challenge for us. The Big Ten has struggled to rebound from losing a lot of players from year to year.
“If we’re gonna be the program we want to be, we’ve gotta be able to reload and not rebuild. We’ll have a lot of talent again.
“It’s a little bit unproven in certain areas.”
The biggest loss is left-hander Oliver Jaskie, a junior who was selected in the sixth round by the Seattle Mariners. He received slot value of $245,600.
Michigan saw four other recruits get drafted, but they will not sign and continue their careers in Ann Arbor, including Portage Central right-hander Jeff Criswell.
Meanwhile, the biggest name sticking with Michigan is Bakich, whose name was tied to multiple job openings after the Wolverines were eliminated from NCAA Regionals. He never talked to South Carolina, as reported, but he did talk with Stanford, Bakich told The News on Wednesday. In the end, Michigan was where he wanted to be, and he has signed a five-year extension that runs through 2022.
As for Michigan State (29-23), it had four players drafted, and three have signed: junior left-hander Alex Troop (ninth round, Washington Nationals, $185,000); junior outfielder Brandon Hughes (16th round, Chicago Cubs, unknown bonus); and senior left-hander Joe Mockbee (29th round, Chicago White Sox, $1,000). Junior right-hander Nathan Witt, a 17th-round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers, hasn’t signed. The deadline to decide whether to sign or return to school is mid-July.
Michigan State senior right-hander Walter Borkovich also signed with the Atlanta Braves as an undrafted free agent.