Image credit: Michigan lefthander Tommy Henry (Photo by Tomas DeRosa)
State List Talent Ranking: ????????
(Stars are listed on a 1 to 5 scale relative to what the state typically produces, with 1 being the weakest)
Henry has improved each season at Michigan, culminating in a strong junior season that has improved his draft stock significantly in a class lacking top-end college arms. Henry has a solid three-pitch mix, including a fastball that sits 91-93 mph early in games and a slider and changeup that both project as above-average offerings. He doesn’t have a high spin rate on his slider (2,200 rpm), but he makes the most out of what he has by creating good angle and tunneling the pitch effectively. Henry has built up a solid track record in the Big 10 and as a junior is posting the best strikeout-to-walk rate of his career (5.15) through nine starts.
Michigan had a deep rotation this year with Tommy Henry and Kauffman serving as excellent anchors to the weekend rotation. When Kauffman is on, he pounds the bottom of the zone with sinkers and sliders. His above-average fastball has solid sink, and his velocity has ticked up to 91-95 mph in the later parts of this season. His slider gives him a second potentially above-average offering, and he generally shows feel to locate both pitches. He will sporadically throw a fringe-average changeup as well. Kauffman throws strikes and shows solid feel for setting up hitters. When he doesn’t get his sinker and slider down in the zone, however, hitters are able to tee off, as neither is a pitch that can blow hitters away. Kauffman’s delivery is clean and conventional, and he’s proven to be durable throughout his time at Michigan. He will likely begin his pro career as a starter, but as a sinker/slider righthander he could eventually end up as a useful reliever.
Brown wasn’t on the radar of many crosscheckers or scouting directors prior to the season, but that quickly changed after showing impressive velocity and better strike-throwing ability than area scouts were expecting to see from the 6-foot-2, 203-pound righty. Brown has an electric fastball that touches 98 mph, and he holds his velocity well over his outings, sitting in the 91-95 mph range into the sixth and seventh innings. Part of that is because he has a good understanding of how to add and subtract with his fastball velocity during games, and part of that is because he made some adjustments with his delivery over the summer which increased his top-end velocity and allowed him to hold it longer into games. Brown’s slider is not as consistent as his fastball. It’s a pitch that flashes above-average grades at its best but also fluctuates down to a 40-grade offering as well. Scouts also want to see improvement from a changeup. There is some crossfire and slight recoil in Brown’s delivery, which leads to questions as to whether or not he’s a long-term starter or reliever. Over his first 14 starts and 85.1 innings, Brown struck out 114 batters (12 per nine) and walked 39 (4.1 per nine) with a 2.21 ERA.
Brewer has proven to be a revelation for Michigan as the JuCo transfer from Lincoln Trail (Ill.) JC quickly turned into the Wolverines’ best hitter. A rare righthanded hitter who throws lefthanded, Brewer has primarily played first base and right field because Jesse Franklin was already established in center field for Michigan, but Brewer projects as a potential center fielder in pro ball thanks to his athleticism and 70-grade speed. He’s a surprisingly adept first baseman as well, but that position fails to fully take advantage of his speed. He can play all three outfield spots, and his plus arm fits in right field. Brewer’s swing can get too long and he swings and misses too much because he occasionally expands his strike zone, but he stings the ball when he connects and he has some pull-side power to left and left-center field. He also is one of the best basestealers in the Big Ten with 19 steals in 23 attempts. Brewer is one of the more athletic college hitters in the Midwest and led the conference in hitting.
Wagoner caught everyone’s attention when he touched 94 mph at Super 60 before the season. He didn’t consistently show that velocity this spring, but he did show enough velocity (90-91 mph) to keep some teams interested. Wagoner’s control and command have a long way to go, but there’s reason to believe it will get better and he’ll firm up his below-average breaking ball. He’s 6-foot-5 with some projection remaining. If he gets to Eastern Michigan, he’ll be a big addition for the Eagles.
If Mokma doesn’t sign this year, there’s a chance he could play with his brother Mike at Michigan State. The younger Mokma has an excellent 6-foot-5 projectable frame. He sits 90-93 mph with solid control for his age and he’s shown some feel for spinning a breaking ball.
7. Colin Czajkowski, LHP, Woodhaven HS, Brownstown, Mich.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 195 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Michigan
8. Zach Kohn, RHP, Central Michigan
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
9. Jack Weisenburger, RHP, Michigan
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 220 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted