Michigan outfielder Ryan LaMarre could go in first round of MLB Draft
After leading the Michigan baseball team with a .419 average this past season, junior center fielder Ryan LaMarre has an outside chance of becoming the Wolverines' first first-round draft pick in 10 years when the Major League Baseball amateur draft begins Monday night.
Baseball America ranks LaMarre as the nation's 32nd overall prospect after a season in which he had to recover from breaking his thumb in the third game of the year. In 36 games, LaMarre hit five home runs and drove in 40 runs, leading the Wolverines in batting average, slugging percentage (.649) and on base percentage (.453).
"I think if you look at the whole package, I think that's what he is," Michigan coach Rich Maloney said Monday. "He's a special player and he's got what I call 'it' - you can't coach it, you can't teach it - some guys just have it.
"Ryan LaMarre, for me, that's what he has."
If selected in Monday night's first round, LaMarre would become the first Michigan baseball player drafted in the first round since David Parrish was selected by the New York Yankees with the 28th overall pick in 2000.
MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has projected LaMarre as a possible first round pick, going to the Yankees with the 32nd pick.
Although LaMarre has a year of eligibility remaining at Michigan, being selected in one of the top rounds would likely end his collegiate career.
"I'm excited and I hope he gets what he has worked so hard for," Maloney said. "Certainly we would love to have him back, but with the way baseball is set up when guys picked high like that, typically you don't. The reality is that he's a special player."
Jeff Arnold covers sports for AnnArbor.com and can be reached at (734) 623-2554 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jeffreyparnold.