Michigan Announces Four Signees in Early Period

Nov. 17, 2009

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan head baseball coach Rich Maloney announced today (Tuesday, Nov. 17) the signing of four players to National Letters of Intent during the November early signing period.

The four recruits include RHP Alex Lakatos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central), OF Michael O'Neill (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty), IF Mark Bass (Pace, Fla./Pace) and RHP Brett Winger (Orlando, Fla./Olympia).

"I'm thrilled with this group of early signees," said Maloney. "All four have the ability to make a positive impact because they are solid baseball players and solid student-athletes. They are the type of kids that will make the university better, our baseball program better, and fans of Michigan baseball will be proud to have them as part of our Michigan baseball family."

Lakatos is a three-time varsity letterwinner at Forest Hills Central High School, under head coach Thad Abel. A two-time all-conference, all-district and all-area honoree, Lakatos added preseason Perfect Game All-America honors to his list of accolades prior to his junior campaign. He helped lead the Rangers to conference and district championships as a junior while posting an 8-2 record on the mound and hitting .450 with seven home runs. Lakatos has also spent the last four summers playing for the prestigious Diamonds/Maroons program, under the direction of Bill Peterson.

"Alex has good size (6-3, 200) and possesses a fastball that hovers at 90 miles per hour with an excellent slider," commented Maloney. "What I really like about Alex is his competitiveness. He has great presence on the mound and is also a great student, which fits our mode of what we look for in a balanced student-athlete. I believe Alex can be a difference-maker early in his career at Michigan."

O'Neill, the nephew of former New York Yankees great Paul O'Neill, is a two-year varsity letterwinner at Olentangy Liberty High School, under head coach Matt Lattig. O'Neill earned all-conference and all-district first team honors as well as honorable mention all-state following his junior campaign. He was named the team's Offensive Player of the Year after hitting .447 with a .500 on-base percentage and eight triples. He also stole a team-high 21 bases.

"Michael is a very speedy outfielder with some pop in his bat," Maloney said. "He comes to us with good size (6-1, 175), and we believe as his body matures with the help of our strength and conditioning program he has the chance to become a great prospect for us. He is another very competitive player who has a shot to play early in his career because of the tools he brings to the program and also fits our mold of taking care of business in the classroom."

Bass, a two-time letterwinner at Pace High School under head coach Charlie Warner, helped lead his team to a 41-10 record in the last two seasons and a district title as a junior.

"Mark is a 6-2 middle-infielder who brings great confidence, a good bat and good glove to our program," Maloney said. "I think as his body matures, with the help of our strength and conditioning program, he will have some very bright days ahead.

Winger is a three-year letterwinner at Olympia High School who brings an 11-3 prep pitching record into his senior season. He helped lead Olympia to district and regional championships as a freshman and a Florida 1A-6A state championship as a sophomore. As a junior, Winger went 5-2 on the mound and hurled the first no-hitter recorded in Olympia High School history.

Winger has also enjoyed summer league success with the Orlando Scorpions under head coach Matt Gerber. Winger went 15-1 on the mound over the past two summers with the Scorpions, leading the team to the USA Tournament of Stars championship and the Perfect Game 2009 National Showcase.

"Brett has good size at 6-4 and 185 pounds," commented Maloney. "He has a good fastball with life on it and the makings of a very good slider. I think the best thing about Brett is that he is extremely competitive and is very projectable as a pitcher."

"Each of these four signees will play an important role in the future success of our program, and they are players that will make the Michigan family proud," Maloney added. "We look forward to working with them to continue raising the level of our program."

The Wolverines open their 2010 season Feb. 19-21 at the Texas Tech Tournament, facing Jacksonville State and Texas Tech, and open the home season at the Wilpon Baseball Complex, home of historic Ray Fisher Stadium, against IPFW on March 26.

Michigan Baseball Early Signees (as of 11/17/09)

Name Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School)
Alex Lakatos RHP R-R 6-3 200 Grand Rapids, Mich. (Forest Hills Central)
Michael O'Neill OF R-R 6-1 175 Powell, Ohio (Olentangy Liberty)
Mark Bass IF R-R 6-3 185 Pace, Fla. (Pace)
Brett Winger RHP R-R 6-4 185 Orlando, Fla. (Olympia)


• Michael O'Neill is the nephew of former MLB All-Star Paul O'Neill, who spent 17 seasons in the major leagues with the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees.

• Alex Lakatos was high school teammates with current Wolverine freshman SS Derek Dennis, who signed with the Wolverines during the 2009 November early signing period.

• Lakatos also spent time playing with Dennis and fellow Wolverine Kyle Clark last summer for the Grand Rapids, Mich., based Diamonds U18 squad, excelling for head coach Bill Peterson.

• Bass and Winger become the first Wolverines hailing from Florida since Gino Lollio (2000-03).

Contact: Matt Fancett (734) 763-4423

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