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Brother Rice’s Plummer becomes first Michigan HS player to be drafted in first round since ’97, goes to Cardinals at No. 23 overall

By: Jeff Dullack, June 8, 2015, 9:42 pm

Bloomfield Hills – Like almost any kid growing up playing baseball, Nick Plummer dreamed of one day being a drafted by a Major League Baseball team.

And on Monday night, Plummer’s dream became a reality.

Plummer was drafted at No. 23 overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in the Major League Baseball First Year Player-Draft.

Plummer admitted that he was a bit surprised to be drafted by the Cardinals after not having a lot of interaction with the club, but is obviously excited to be joining the St. Louis organization.

“It was a surprise, I hadn’t talked to the Cardinals that much,” he said. “It was awesome to hear my name called and to be here with my close friends and everybody, it’s awesome.”

The four-year starter for Brother Rice later added that while he hadn’t spoken at length with the Cardinals, it was told to him by a scout that St. Louis was excited to see Plummer available with the No. 23rd pick and felt that it got a steal with selecting Plummer.

“Not really, just that they’re really excited to get me,” he said. “They said that they were really happy to get me at 23 and we think we got a steal and I’m just really happy to be a part of the Cardinals organization."

Brother Rice coach Bob Riker said that he knew early on that Plummer was a special player, but admitted that he didn’t know he had a player that would go on to become a first round pick.

"When he was a freshman, I had a class and there were seven of them that graduated last year and they were really, really good, Ruppenthal is at Vanderbilt and Sammy (Stevens) is at Georgetown and Randy Righter is at Bowling Green, and a bunch of guys are playing elsewhere, but he (Plummer) hit third in that lineup as a freshman, with those guys already there," he said. "So I kind of knew early on that he was something special as far as a hitter goes and as far as a player goes.

"He worked on his game hard and he’s going to have to work even harder now, just because the level of talent and the difference between the level of talent where he’s at right now is very slim. 80 percent of the game right now is upstairs and can they be mentally be tough enough when it comes to adversity and failure and things like that, because they’re all relatively equal as far as talent level goes. But like I said, early on, I knew he’d be a Division 1 player, but I just never knew he’d be a first round pick."

The selection makes Plummer the first Michigan high school baseball player to be selected in the first round since 1997 when Dearborn Divine Child’s Ryan Anderson was drafted in the first round by the Seattle Mariners.

“I don’t look at that as much personally,” Plummer said of being the first high school player from Michigan drafted in 18 years. “But I think it says something about Michigan baseball players in general. I think we need more attention and Michigan players need to be scouted more, because there are a lot of good players here.”

In his senior season with Brother Rice, he helped lead the Warriors to a district title, while batting .520 with 22 doubles, five triples and three home runs and has scored 68 runs batting out of the leadoff spot for the Warriors.

Plummer said that he was speechless upon hearing his name called, realizing that he had officially lived out his dream of being drafted by a MLB team and added that he has spoken with members of the organization.

“My family’s all freaking out,” said Plummer. “I looked at them and I was really speechless, but it’s just something that I’ve worked for since I was little and it’s what I dreamed for. I’ve talked to some of the guys in St. Louis already and they know my plan and they drafted me because of the type of player I am and how I play the game.”

In the months leading up to the draft, Plummer’s name was one that was constantly talked about as he burst onto the draft scene after a great summer and emerged as a first round pick.

But throughout all of it, Plummer said that his focused remained with his team, with the hopes of winning a state championship.

“I was still focused on my high school season,” he said. “I wanted to win a state championship with my team and we fell short, but all you can do is control what you can control as a player and as a teammate and I gave it my all and we fell short, but everything happens for a reason and I’m excited I can enjoy the draft.”

Plummer signed with the University of Kentucky and recorded a .573 batting average in his junior season.

Riker said he’s obviously happy for Plummer to have the opportunity to do something that he’s always dreamed of doing and added that since his impressive summer last year, Plummer handled the pressure well every step of the way.

“I’m just happy for Nick,” he said. “He worked hard and he’s excited that he’s getting to live out his dream of playing in the big leagues. Being a first rounder is something that no one can ever take away from him. He’s had constant pressure since last summer and he’s been great at handling it and he’s never changed. He’s just stayed himself.”

Plummer is the second Brother Rice product to be drafted by the Cardinals in recent years as he will join former Brother Rice pitcher Andrew Sohn, who was drafted by St. Louis in the sixth round of last year’s draft after wrapping up his college career at Western Michigan.

Plummer said that more than anything, he’s just ready to get going with the Cardinals organization as soon as he can, to continue living out one of his lifelong dreams.

“It’s through the roof right now,” he said. “It’s something I look forward to, playing pro ball has always been something that has always been on my mind and it’s been my No. 1 goal.”

“I’m more than ready, anxioius to get down there, ready to start playing, that’s where I feel best. Ready to go.”