New class also tabbed fourth in upper Midwest region
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State will take the field for the 2008 season with the Big Tenâ€™s top class of newcomers, according to rankings released recently by Baseball America. The nine new Spartans were also named the fourth-best group in the upper Midwest by the publication. Seven of the nine were all-state players in high school, and two players among them were selected in last Juneâ€™s MLB amateur draft.
Grewe credited his assistant coaches, Tony Baldwin and Danny Lopaze, for much of the teamâ€™s recruiting success.
"I canâ€™t say enough about the efforts of Coach Baldwin. I have always said that I believe he is a great recruiter because he has a keen eye for talent," Grewe said. "But most importantly, he worked diligently in the recruiting process to find players that have both the passion for being at MSU and have great talent. Coach Lopaze was also very instrumental in our recruiting efforts and as my junior college recruiting coordinator he has done a tremendous job of balancing our recruiting efforts."
A trio of freshmen, Jonathan Roof, Tyler Newsome and A.J. Achter, were cited by Baseball America as potential impact players. Roof, a product of St. Maryâ€™s High School in Paducah, Ky., was a 39th-round draft choice by the Boston Red Sox. Newsome, a pitcher/outfielder from Marist High School in Palos, Ill., was selected in the 49th round by the Baltimore Orioles. Achter, a 6-5 right-handed pitcher from Clay High School in Oregon, Ohio, was lauded by the publication for his size and pitching talent.
Michigan natives Brandon Eckerle (Durand, Mich./Corunna) and Andrew Webb (Allen Park, Mich./Allen Park) are joined in the new crop of players by junior college transfers Scott Heithusen and A.J. Shindler, Illinois native Jeffrey Holm and Virginia product Seth Williams.
"All of this data proves two things - the hard work by my assistant coaches paid off, and Michigan State University is not only a great place to be from, but a great place to be. My number one goal in recruiting is to get commitments from players of character who has the passion and pride to be a part of the MSU community and play for the Spartans. We succeed in this goal and our second recruiting class will aid in the programâ€™s growth in many ways."