Terry Bernal/Daily Journal
Burlingame senior Jonathan Engelmann, shown here batting during the Area Code Games in Long Beach last weekend, has
verbally committed to play baseball at the
University of Michigan on a partial scholarship.
Burlingame’s Jonathan Engelmann is Division I bound.
Monday, on the eve of the first day of school of his senior year, Engelmann verbally committed to play at the University of Michigan on a partial baseball scholarship.
A former infielder who converted to a corner outfield spot for the Panthers as a junior last season, Engelmann will compete for an outfield job for the Wolverines. With current Michigan center fielder Jackson Glines heading into his senior year — the Fresno City College transfer hit .332 as the team’s No.3 hitter this season — Engelmann is on track to eventually take over in center field, he said.
“They offered me to play center field for the University of Michigan,” Engelmann said. “Obviously, I have to earn my spot there from here on out, but it was enough to get me over there. I’m very excited about their offer. It was very generous.”
Engelmann recently returned from the Area Code Games in Long Beach. At the annual showcase featuring 250 of the top high school prospects in the nation, Michigan manager Erik Bakich attended the first three games. Engelmann had offers on the table from three Division I programs, including UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine.
Monday night though, Bakich flew in to SFO to visit the Engelmann household to make the senior a formal offer. After enjoying a dinner of barbecue steak kabobs prepared by Englemann’s father, Tim, Engelmann verbally committed to the longtime Michigan baseball program in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“Everything he mentioned about the program seemed to fit my playing style,” Engelmann said. “I think the aspirations I have to play beyond college and play professional baseball, they have a great development program for that.”
Entering into its landmark 150th year of organized baseball on campus, Michigan has produced a handful of prestigious major leaguers: Jim Abbott, Mike Matheny and Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin, to name a few.
Bakich — a San Jose native who starred at Bellarmine and San Jose City College — has quite a track record for producing big-league talent as well. Entering into his third season at the helm of the Wolverines, Bakich previously served as a coach at Vanderbilt, where he recruited current major leaguers David Price and Pedro Alvarez to play for the Commodores, according to Engelmann.
Relocating to the Detroit Tigers territory won’t change Engelmann’s major league fandom though.
“I think my allegiances will stay in the Bay Area as far as baseball goes. I’ll forever be a Giants fan,” Engelmann said. “The Tigers, with all respect to the (Michigan) program, when we beat them in 2012, it was a good deal.”
Previous Burlingame alumni who went on to play Division I baseball are: Damon Lembi, Class of 1990, Arizona State; Kaazim Summerville, ’97, St. Mary’s; Anthony Granato, ’99, Virginia Commonwealth; Lucas Robinson, ’99, Marist; Taylor Vogt, ’99, UC Santa Barbara; Marc Caviglia, ’01, Hawaii-Hilo; Tony Brunicardi, ’03, Sac State; Anthony Edwards, ’04, Mississippi Valley State; Shane Arslan, ’05, UCSB; Eric Fregosi, ’05, Sac State; Matt Chavez, ’07, USF; D.J. Sharabi, ’10, San Jose State; Zac Grotz, ’11, Tennessee; Vince Arobio, ’13, University of the Pacific; Grant Goodman, ’13, USF.