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Three Michigan Baseball prospects selected in 2021 MLB Draft

The Wolverines have sent a trio of prospects to the next level.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Baseball program has experienced a breakout of sorts over the last number of seasons under the guiding hand of manager Erik Bakich. The 2021 MLB Draft was another feather in the cap for a program that has developed talent at an impressive rate.

Michigan had three players selected in this draft cycle, headlined by lefty ace pitcher Steven Hajjar coming off the board in the second round to the Minnesota Twins. His selection made the Wolverines one of seven collegiate programs to have at least one player selected in the first round two rounds of the last three drafts.

As Zach Shaw of The Michigan Insider points out, Hajjar also became the fourth Wolverine pitcher to be selected in the second round of the last three drafts. He joins Karl Kauffman, Tommy Henry and Jeff Criswell with that distinction. The development of those players in a Michigan uniform is a major reason why Chris Fetter is the pitching coach of the Detroit Tigers now.

Below is a bit more on each player’s selection.

Left-handed pitcher Steven Hajjar — Round 2, Pick No. 61 overall to the Minnesota Twins

Our Texas Rangers affiliate, Lonestar Ball, previewed Hajjar earlier in the draft process.

Hajjar is a little on the young side for a college draftee — he doesn’t turn 21 until August — and part of the appeal of Hajjar is that there is projectability with him. Reports have him both in the low 90s and at 88-91, though he has thrown harder before and has apparently topped out at 95 mph. BA describes the fastball as having a “low spin profile,” though it still gets decent grades, and if he increases his velocity as a pro it would grade that much better.

Hajjar’s best pitch is his changeup, which BA puts a 55 on and MLB Pipeline gives a 60. He throws both a curveball and a slider, though neither of them is a really strong pitch at this point. He has a delivery MLB Pipeline describes as “deceptive,” and he’s got the athleticism to allow him to repeat the delivery, though there are mixed reports on his command and control.

Shortstop Benjamin Sems — Round 15, Pick No. 440 overall to the Colorado Rockies

Right-handed pitcher Blake Beers — Round 19, Pick No. 578 overall to the Oakland Athletics