It’s fairly well known within the sports world that the University of Michigan produces a ton of NFL players. And they also lead the way among colleges producing the highest number of NHL players. But the maize and blue are well represented in the Major Leagues as well.
The list of recent alums to have notable MLB careers includes Jim Abbott, Chris Sabo, Barry Larkin, Derek Jeter, J.J. Putz, Rich Hill, Clayton Richard and Chris Getz. Kane County Cougars infielder Jason Christian, one of the top prospects in the Oakland Athletics organization, wishes to add his name to the list.
I recently had an exclusive with Christian at “the Road to Wrigley,” a minor league game taking places at Wrigley Field. The 6-3, Loveland, Ohio native was the A’s 5th round pick in 2008. He knows that he still has some work to do if he wants to make it to “the show.” I asked him what he’s been working on.
“Trying to be more consistent both in the field and at the plate, where I’ve had my struggles this season, and at the end of last season,” he said.
“I try to play all three positions, there aren’t that many guys out there that can do that and obviously, that’s one of the thing that can help me move up in the organization,” Christian said highlighting his versatility; one of his main selling points as a prospect.
“Last year they told me I was going to play 3rd and that was the first time I did it, and it came pretty well so I’m continually learning and playing all three infield positions,” he continued.
I asked Christian of there was anyone in the Majors that he looks up to, and one of his answers was you guessed it, a former Wolverine.
“I grew up around Paul O’Neill. He’s a good family friend of ours and the way he played the game I try to emulate that. And as an infielder, Derek Jeter- the way he carries himself both on and off the field I definitely look up to him,” he answered.
Written by Paul M. Banks, President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com
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