EAST LANSING, Mich. - One of the key points on David Greweâ€™s agenda when hired as Michigan State head baseball coach in July of 2005 was recruiting. A firm believer that recruiting is the lifeblood of a successful program, Grewe has set out to bring the best talent in Michigan and the Midwest to MSU. One of four recruits signed in his initial class, Grewe has found a gem in Chris Roberts (Oshkosh, Wis. /Oshkosh West).
Entering his senior season at Oshkosh West, Roberts was recently ranked as one of the top 140 high school players in the country by Baseball America. Coming in at No. 136 on the list, Roberts is a versatile shortstop, who has the ability to tear up the base paths and hit for both power and average. With the Spartansâ€™ current infield consisting mainly of upperclassmen, Grewe knew that players like Roberts would be a needed ingredient for future success.
â€œChris is a phenomenal athlete,â€ Grewe stated. â€œHe brings so much versatility, and heâ€™s one of those players who truly understand the game. Chris plays hard and he plays the right way, and thatâ€™s exactly what we are looking for at Michigan State.â€
First introduced to Coach Grewe during his tenure as an assistant at Notre Dame, Roberts was immediately drawn to the young coachâ€™s enthusiasm and philosophy.
â€œI met Coach Grewe when he was still at Notre Dame and stayed in contact with him after he was hired as the head coach at Michigan State,â€ Roberts explained. â€œI really liked his intensity. When I came on a visit to MSU, I could tell that all of the players on his team were really buying into his program.â€
Heavily recruited on a national level and in particular by Big Ten and South Eastern Conference programs, Roberts found the best fit not only in Coach Greweâ€™s program, but at Michigan State. â€œMichigan State is a really good school academically,â€ Roberts stated. â€œThey offer everything you would ever need, not only with school but with baseball. Even though itâ€™s a northern team, MSU makes up for it with a huge indoor practice facility, which allows the team to practice year around.â€
â€œI am extremely excited about Chris,â€ Grewe added. â€œI wanted to go after guys that were the right fit for our team. It has to be the right school and the right program, and I truly believe that is the case for Chris.â€
With his final season at Oshkosh West upon him, Roberts still has some unfinished business before he enters the college ranks. Leading his conference in home runs as a junior, he will set out to repeat that feat as a senior. With the big decision of choosing his next team behind him, Roberts is excited to lead his high school squad in its quest of a state title, but admits he is looking forward to his days in a Spartan uniform.
â€œItâ€™s nice to know that I donâ€™t have to worry about picking a college anymore,â€ Roberts said. â€œI can focus on baseball and helping my team. We have a lot of seniors and we really want to win a state title this year. Iâ€™ll be following Michigan State closely though. Itâ€™s been a dream of mine to play baseball in the Big Ten.â€
Courtesy of MSU.