Detroit Western’s William English is expected to be a top draft pick in next month’s MLB Draft
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Detroit – It’s been years since a baseball player from the Detroit Public School League has caused the stir William English has at Detroit Western.
English is a 6-3 senior pitcher/centerfielder for coach Juan Sanchez at Western. English signed with Tennessee and is expected to be taken in the early rounds of the Major League Amateur Draft next month.
Western great Todd Cruz was selected in the second round of the 1973 MLB Amateur Draft. Cruz played for seven seasons in the major leagues with six different clubs.
In Detroit most recently, Dan Fields of U-D Jesuit was selected in the sixth round of the ’09 draft by the Tigers. Other more memorable players to have attended a Detroit public schools include Willie Horton, Ron LeFlore, and John Mayberry.
Other notable major league players to have been born in Detroit include Cy Young Award winner Pat Hentgen, Chris Sabo, and Chris Rusin, who currently pitches for the Colorado Rockies. None of these players attended a public school in Detroit.
“He’s a big-time draft prospect,” Sanchez said of English. “He has the ability to play both (positions at the next level). He’s only 17. They’ll have an extra year to develop him.”
Sanchez has known about English since junior high. English attended Detroit Renaissance as a freshman before transferring to Western. Sanchez said English is a quiet person and has been a model student since coming to Western.
“He’s grown so much since I first saw him,” Sanchez said. “It’s awesome to see. His speed is something else. When he runs, he glides. ”
Western has been the dominant program in the PSL for the past decade or so. The program has produced a number of fine players who have gone on to play in college but Sanchez said English is in a class by himself and has received the most publicity. As many as 25 major league scouts were at his game this past Monday against Warren De La Salle, a game Western won, 11-8.
De La Salle also has one of the state’s top prospects in infielder/outfielder Bryce Bush. Bush signed with Mississippi State.
This season English is batting .418 with eight doubles, three home runs, 18 RBI, 15 walks and 16 stolen bases. On the mound, he’s started five games and is 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA. Opponents are batting .171 against him.