Nov. 11, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan baseball program and head coach Rich Maloney have announced the signing of seven student-athletes to National Letters of Intent today (Monday, Nov. 11).
Joining the Wolverines for the 2012-13 academic year are Jacob Cronenworth (St. Clair, Mich./St. Clair), Matthew Dacey (Wyckoff, N.J./Don Bosco Prep), Evan Hill (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Mt. Pleasant), Travis Maezes (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer), Daniel McKinney (Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green), Kevin Ross (Skokie, Ill./Niles West) and Cam Wysocki (Ada, Mich./Forest Hills Northern).
The class features the top four ranked prospects by MichiganBaseballProspects.org (Maezes, Wysocki, Hill and Cronenworth).
"Only time will tell how good any recruiting class is, but on paper this one appears to be like our 2005 class that featured Zach Putnam, Jason Christian, Adam Abraham, Mike Wilson and Kevin Cislo to name a few," Maloney said. "I think this class has a chance to be pretty special and (Assistant coach) Matt Husted did a great job in putting this class together. I think we have a good balance between pitching and position players. We have four quality hitters in Maezes, Ross, Dacey and Cronenworth, who have a good mix of power and speed. From a pitching standpoint, we have a lefty in Evan Hill, who is very projectable and has a huge upside. We also have Cam Wysocki, who is already touching 90, and Daniel McKinney, who throws three pitches for strikes. These are three pitchers that are solid, so we have a great combination."
Cronenworth, an infielder, is a three-year varsity letterwinner at St. Clair High School and is ranked fourth in the state by MichiganBaseballProspects.com and fifth in Perfect Game. He helped St. Clair to a Division II state championship his junior year as he threw a complete-game three-hitter in the state final. Cronenworth is a two-time Port Huron Times first-team all-area selection and an all-district performer his sophomore season. Cronenworth set five school records his junior year -- for batting average (.564), hits (63), doubles (18), on-base percentage (.650) and runs scored (49). He also was second on the team with 46 runs batted in and went 10-0 with a 1.82 earned-run average and 62 strikeouts in 65 innings pitched on the mound. He threw a no-hitter in the 2011 district final and was part of a shared no-hitter in the regional final. In Cronenworth's final 23 innings on the mound, he allowed just three total hits. He also has excelled in ice hockey, as he was a first team all-state selection in 2011 after scoring 19 goals his junior season. He played in the Team USA National Team Identification Series in 2009 and also played summer baseball for the East Coast Grays, the Michigan Dawgs and the Macomb Raptors. Cronenworth is a member of St. Clair's National Honor Society and was a first team Macomb Area Conference (Blue) Academic selection.
"Jacob plays hockey and baseball," Maloney said. "We've had some success with that here at Michigan. Those guys have always had a grit that's been special to them. I think Jacob has that quiet confidence. He hits left handed and is just a ballplayer. He helped St. Clair win a state championship last season. He also pitches and has a nasty hook. He's just a solid player."
Dacey, an infielder, is ranked eighth in the state of New Jersey and 14th by position nationally by Perfect Game. He was a first team all-county selection by both the Bergen Record and the Star Ledger in 2011 after hitting .493 with eight home runs and 38 runs batted in. He also was a Perfect Game Underclass High Honorable Mention and a 2011 Under Armour Preseason All-American. Dacey helped Don Bosco Prep to a 25-1 record and a conference championship. They were ranked No. 1 in the East regional by USA Today in the 2011 season and No. 6 overall. Dacey played summer baseball for Wladyka Baseball and the South Florida Bandits and played in a multitude of Perfect Game championships. Dacey is a member of the National Honor Society at Don Bosco.
"Matt comes to us as a strong, physical kid who has power," Maloney said. "He's played in the big showcases and is a solid student. He went to Don Bosco Prep, which is a great school. "
Hill, a left-handed pitcher, is ranked third in the state of Michigan by Michigan Baseball Prospects and eighth by Perfect Game. He was named the Saginaw News Player of the Year and was on the News' Dream Team as a junior. Hill also was an all-district selection and named to the Mount Pleasant Morning Sun's first team. He was 4-1 with a 1.70 ERA as a junior, before injury cut his season short. He threw a no-hitter against Midland Dow High School and also hit .361. As a sophomore, Hill was 11-1 with a 0.72 ERA and was named a first team all-state honoree. He earned all-district and Morning Sun Dream Team honors in 2010. Hill also played ice hockey and helped Mount Pleasant to the 2010 state semifinals. Hill played summer baseball for the Diamonds and CM Stars, helping the latter win the Palomino World Series in August.
"Evan is very projectable and has a huge upside," Maloney said. "He has a good fastball, a nice changeup and has the makings of a special pitcher. Evan is a guy who competes very well and has a great future ahead of him."
Maezes, an infielder/outfielder, is the top-ranked prospect in the state of Michigan according to MichiganBaseballProspects.org and is No. 2 in the state by Perfect Game. The Ann Arbor native was a first team all-state selection his junior season and was named to the 2011 Dream Team by the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association. Maezes was named to the Perfect Game Underclass Second Team in 2011 and was an honorable mention on the 2010 team. He helped Pioneer High School to a state championship his sophomore season and an SEC Red Conference championship in 2011. Maezes has played summer baseball for the Ann Arbor Travelers from 2008-11.
"Travis is an outstanding athlete who is very physical and runs well," Maloney said. "He has power and a strong arm. He could have attended any number of schools and decided to stay home, which is great for us."
McKinney, a right-handed pitcher, is the 10th ranked player in the state of Ohio by Perfect Game, and the organization also made him a 2011 Underclass High Honorable Mention and a 2010 Underclass Honorable Mention. He was named to the Northern Lakes League second team as a junior. In his sophomore season, McKinney was 8-0 on the mound and earned first team all-district and first team all-City League honors at Toledo St. John's High School. McKinney joined fellow U-M signee Travis Maezes on the Ann Arbor Travelers summer league team.
"Daniel throws three pitches for strikes and is very competitive," Maloney said. "He should be competing for a job right out of the chute."
Ross, an infielder, is ranked No. 7 in the state of Illinois by Perfect Game. The all-state and all-conference selection his junior season, Ross hit .538 in the Area Code Games in 2011. He received the New Balance Kevin Youkilis "Heart and Hustle" Award for his Area Code Games performance and was named to the All-Area Code team at third base. He played for the Chi-Town Cream summer baseball team in 2010-11 as well as the White Sox's Area Code team and the Chicago Scouting team. Ross had the highest batting average for Niles West during his sophomore season.
"Kevin has a special gift from a physical standpoint," Maloney said. "He runs well, throws 89 across the infield and hits for power. He's a very talented young man who has been moving up on the charts. His star is emerging."
Wysocki, a right-handed pitcher, is the No. 2-ranked player in the state of Michigan by MichiganBaseballProspects.com and the seventh by Perfect Game. He was 6-2 on the mound with 60 strikeouts in 44 innings pitched for Forest Hills Northern High School as a junior. Wysocki was a first team all-conference, all-area and all-district selection and helped the Huskies to their first district championship since 1993. An Under Armour Preseason All-American, Wysocki also hit .450 with 35 RBI and 14 stolen bases for Forest Hills Northern. He earned all-conference and all-area honors his sophomore season, hitting .420 with 29 RBI. Wysocki also plays football and basketball for the Huskies, as he broke the single-season passing yardage record and set the career passing yardage and touchdown passes records. Wysocki played summer baseball for the Elite Grand Rapids from 2006-11. He is in the National Honor Society at Forest Hills Northern and was an academic all-region selection in baseball. Wysocki's dad, Dane, was a member of the Michigan baseball team in 1982-83.
"Cam is 6-3, projectable and already touching 90," Maloney said. "Cam has a good breaking ball, is the quarterback in football and the guard in basketball. Cam is a guy who has a chance to compete right away for us."
Michigan will open the 2012 season on Friday, Feb. 17, at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. The Wolverines face Pittsburgh at 7:30 p.m. in Dunedin, Fla.
2011-12 Michigan Recruiting Class
||St. Clair, Mich./St. Clair
||Wyckoff, N.J./Don Bosco Prep
||Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Mt. Pleasant
||Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer
||Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green
||Skokie, Ill./Niles West
||Ada, Mich./Forest Hills Northern
Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423