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Detroit Edison’s Werner Blakely becomes fourth Michigan HS player since 2000 taken in MLB Draft’s first four rounds

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY , June 11, 2020, 9:02 pm

Detroit Edison shortstop Werner Blakely became the fourth Michigan high school player since 2000 to be taken in the top four rounds of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Thursday, selected in the fourth round by the Los Angeles Angels. 

Blakely, who is committed to Auburn, was selected with the 111th pick in the draft, the highest a Michigan high school player has gone since Birmingham Brother Rice outfielder Nick Plummer was taken in the first round of the 2015 draft. Only two others — Chippewa Hills catcher Billy Killian (Padres, third round 2004) and Lake Orion pitcher Randall Frye (Mariners, fourth round 2002).

There were only 33 high school players selected in the first 100 picks, a low mark in the history of the MLB Draft (dating back to 1965).

Other players with Michigan connections taken in the draft included:

• Jeff Criswell, P, University of Michigan (Portage Central) — Round 2 (58), Oakland

• Sam Weatherly, P, Clemson University (Howell) — Round 3 (85), Colorado

• Jordan Nwogu, OF, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor Pioneer) — Round 3 (88), Cubs

• Zavier Warren, C/SS, Central Michigan University (Birmingham Groves) — Round 3 (92), Milwaukee

Joey Wiemer, OF, Cincinnati (Temperance Bedford) — Round 4 (121), Milwaukee

Warren was the first Birmingham Groves grad drafted since Colin Kaline (2007 and 2011) went to the Tigers, and the first Central Michigan player drafted in the first four rounds since Escanaba High grad Kevin Tapani in 1986 (Round 2).