Day 3 of the Major League Baseball Draft was a much better day for local prospects.
Most notably, it was a fantastic day for the University of Michigan, which saw 10 of its players drafted Wednesday, giving the Wolverines 11 in all -- shattering the program record of seven, sent in 1988 and matched in 2005. Interestingly, this year, Michigan's football team also set a program record for draft picks in a single year, also with 11.
Coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance and a 42-17 record, Michigan had 19 draft-eligible players, with more than half being selected.
Catcher Drew Lugbauer, who hit 11 home runs with go with 58 RBIs and a .514 slugging percentage, was the first local player selected Wednesday, as the fifth pick of the day in Round 10. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves.
All of the players were recruited by fifth-year coach Erik Bakich, who, understandably, is a hot commodity in coaching circles, reportedly drawing serious interest for openings at South Carolina and Stanford. He told The News on Wednesday night, though, that he is staying at Michigan, and presumably will sign the five-year extension that's on the table.
Lugbauer was the second Michigan player taken in 2017 after lefty pitcher Oliver Jaskie went on Day 2 in the sixth round to the Seattle Mariners. They were joined by right-hander Ryan Nutof (Cincinnati Reds), catcher Harrison Wenson (L.A. Angels), right-hander Bryan Pall (Mariners), utilityman Jake Bivens (Tigers), center fielder Johnny Slater (Mariners), left-hander Michael Hendrickson (Cleveland Indians), lefty Grant Reuss (Tigers), right-hander Mac Lozer (New York Mets) and shortstop Michael Brdar (St. Louis Cardinals).
Every Division I program from Michigan had at least one player drafted this year.
After just four players with local ties went in the first 10 rounds of the draft through two days, 11 were taken in rounds 11 through 20 on Day 3, and a whole lot more after that.
Farmington High School alum Alex Manasa, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound right-handed pitcher was taken in the 11th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates after a fine year at Jackson Community College. He was a reliever on the mound, with five saves in 16 outings, striking out 31 in 21.1 innings. That’s where the Pirates see his future, though he was his team's best hitter, batting .410 with a .579 slugging percentage and 56 RBIs in 50 games. He also stole 25 bases in 29 chances.
Mount Pleasant High School shortstop Obie Ricumstrict went later in the 11th round, to the Texas Rangers. He’s the son of Central Michigan football’s defensive line coach, George Ricumstrict.
ALLISON A PITCHER?
That Tanner Allison was drafted wasn't a surprise, at all. That he was drafted as a pitcher, well, that was a shocker.
The Western Michigan junior went in the 19th round to the Atlanta Braves, who announced him as a left-handed pitcher. This after a year in which Allison had all but given up on pitching to focus on hitting -- and hit, he did, setting a program record with 68 RBIs en route to becoming the second Bronco ever to win Mid-American Conference player of the year.
In fact, Allison pitched in just three games this season, early, and posted a 16.20 ERA.
But one of those outings was during the exhibition against the Tigers in Lakeland, Fla., and the Braves had scouts there and liked what they saw. What they saw was a lefty (always a commodity) who could sit low 90s (even better), and touch 94.
Allison, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder from Portland, Mich., pitched in seven games as a freshman and 14 as a sophomore, before rolling his ankle. During the offseason, he went to coach Billy Gernon to discuss focusing on one or the other. Allison asked Gernon what he thought.
"Nah," Gernon, "you're a junior. You told me."
Allison chose hitting, and Gernon was thrilled -- even before Allison went on to have a season for the ages, with an OPS over 1.000.
He's expected to sign for more than $100,000, becoming the fifth Western Michigan player to get drafted and leave school early in the last four years.
"I've gotta check my deodorant," Gernon quipped. "All these guys are leaving me."
STATE PLAYERS DRAFTED in 2017
6th round, Padres: Aaron Leasher, LHP, 6-3/190, Morehead State (Mount Pleasant)
6th round, Mariners: Oliver Jaskie, LHP, 6-4/215, Michigan (Ada)
8th round, Red Sox: Zach Sterry, 1B, 5-11/226, Oakland
9th round, Nationals: Alex Troop, LHP, 6-5/210, Michigan State
11th round, Braves: Drew Lugbauer, C, 6-4/230, Michigan
11th round, Pirates: Alex Manasa, RHP, 6-4/195, Jackson C.C. (Farmington)
11th round, Rangers: Obie Ricumstrict, SS, 6-2/175, Mount Pleasant HS
13th round, Reds: Ricky Karcher, RHP, 6-4/195, Walters State C.C. (Saline)
14th round, Marlins: Demetrius Sims, SS, 6-2/200, Bethune-Cookman (Ann Arbor)
16th round, Reds: Ryan Nutof, RHP, 6-2/190, Michigan
16th round, Cubs: Brandon Hughes, CF, 6-2/215, Michigan State (Sterling Heights)
17th round, Astros: Matt Ruppenthal, RHP, 6-4/225, Vanderbilt (Bloomfield Hills)
17th round, Dodgers: Nathan Witt, RHP, 6-4/210, Michigan State (Clarkston)
18th round, Rockies: Garrett Schilling, RHP, 6-2/185, Xavier (Clawson)
19th round, Braves: Tanner Allison, LHP, 6-1/200, Western Michigan (Portland)
22nd round, Rockies: Daniel Jipping, OF, 6-2/232, Central Michigan (Canton)
23rd round, Mariners: Sam Delaplane, RHP, 5-11/175, Eastern Michigan
24th round, Rays: Jordyn Muffley, C, 6-1/195, Parkland College (Portage)
24th round, Angels: Harrison Wenson, C, 6-3/235, Michigan (Farmington Hills)
25th round, Mariners: Bryan Pall, RHP, 6-1/215, Michigan
27th round, Tigers: Jake Bivens, UT, 6-1/190, Michigan (Battle Creek)
27th round, Blue Jays: Sam Weatherly, LHP, 6-3/175, Howell HS
28th round, Mariners: Johnny Slater, CF, 6-1/185, Michigan (Southfield)
28th round, Indians: Michael Hendrickson, LHP, 6-3/205, Michigan (Saline)
29th round, White Sox: Joe Mockbee, LHP, 6-3/205, Michigan State
29th round, Tigers: Grant Reuss, LHP, 6-5/215, Michigan (Bloomfield Hills)
30th round, Rangers: Ryan Dorow, SS, 6-0/195, Adrian (South Haven)
33rd round, Mets: Mac Lozer, RHP, 6-0/190, Michigan
35th round, Tigers: Jeff Criswell, RHP, 6-2/201, Portage Central HS
36th round, Cardinals: Michael Brdar, SS, 5-10/180, Michigan
36th round, Tigers: Jesse Heikkinen, LHP, 6-1/180, Holt HS
36th round, Blue Jays: Jonathan Cheshire, RHP, 6-1/185, Davenport (Howell)
38th round, Tigers: Steven Mann, CF, 5-10/190, Detroit Country Day HS