Velasquez Goes From Team Michigan MVP At Future Games to Michigan Commit
Alfredo Velazquez was considered one of the top pitchers at the Future Games.
He produced the second-highest hop+ score at the event, drawing raves from PBR Crosschecker Shooter Hunt.
The Brother Rice standout, who was selected the overall MVP for Team Michigan after an impressive performance both on Workout Day and during the three games at the event, drew notice from coaches in attendance with more than a dozen schools reaching out to the 63rd-rated 2023 outfielder in the nation.
But in the end, the highly-recruited two-way prospect will be staying in-state after a commitment to the University of Michigan.
“I really like that it’s close to home, only 30 minutes away, and that it’s one of the top academic places around,” Velazquez said. “I feel the coaching staff will help me develop as a player and as a man. That is something that (head) coach (Erik) Bakich stresses.”
Interest from the Big 10 Conference program began in July of 2020 after Velazquez was seen via live stream playing a game for Arsenal Baseball. More than a year later, the second-rated junior outfielder in Michigan announced his decision to attend the university in Ann Arbor.
“I got to know the program more and learn about the baseball program,” noted Velazquez, a two-time participant at the Future Games. “I took a visit a few weeks ago and fell in love with it.”
Michigan State, Central Michigan, Miami of Ohio and Cincinnati helped form the top five schools being considered by the 428th-rated 2023 in the country.
“Honestly, the recruiting process was amazing,” Velazquez reflected. “I remember getting my first call at the beginning of 2020 from the Xavier coach and we didn’t even have a season. It ended up being a long process, I just tried to take as much time as I could to find what was right for me and in the end it all worked out.”
Velazquez credited PBR with providing a lot of assistance.
“The Future Games helped me out a lot,” pointed out Velazquez, who also gained exposure this summer playing in the PBR Nationals. “When I went the first time there weren’t coaches allowed but they were able to watch live streams. I talked to four or five coaches after that. This year I talked to a lot more with coaches able to see it live. That really helped.
“All the showcases that Aaron Wilson put together and all of the contacts he has really helped me out, too,” Velazquez added in reference to the PBR Michigan Director of Scouting.
Coach Brandon Justice with Arsenal and coach Bob Riker with Brother Rice were others influential in benefitting the development of Velazquez.
“It all started my freshman year,” Velazquez related. “Seeing kids I know talking to schools, and having coaches telling me I could do that triggered something in me. Before that I wanted to do it but I didn’t think I could. My confidence really grew in ninth grade.”
There was a lot about the 5-8 160-pounder that stood out to Michigan.
“They like that I’m a gamer,” Velazquez explained. “Obviously, I’m not the biggest but they like the way I compete on the mound and can spray the ball around at the plate. They also like my athleticism and that I’m a two-sport guy, I play football, too.”
The opportunity to both pitch and play in the field also helped attract the second-ranked junior outfielder in the state to Michigan.
“That means a lot,” Velazquez said of being able to be a two-way player. “I know the coaches like what they saw in me in both aspects. I feel being two-way helps hone in on the competitive edge, getting guys out on the mound and also when I’m at the plate and on the bases.”
The left-handed hitting Velazquez also pointed to his small stature as a benefit rather than a liability.
“It’s driven me a lot,” Velazquez admitted. “I had a couple of coaches bring up my height and that lights a fire when it sounds like they’re having doubts. I know I can do it.”
It has Velazquez, who will turn 17 on Nov. 27, excited about what lies ahead when he dons the Maize-and-Blue uniform.
“I feel I’ll bring that competitive edge,” noted Velazquez, who grew up a Michigan State fan but became intrigued with the Michigan program when the 2019 team made it to the finals of the College World Series. “Being a smaller guy, I feel I can compete with anyone. I’ll compete on the mound, at the plate or whatever the coach asks me to do.”
Kinesiology is the planned major for the sixth-ranked junior in the state, who carries a 4.071 GPA.
“This is exciting for me and my family and I’m really happy to get it out of the way,” Velazquez said. “Michigan is a great school and it’s super close to home.
“Hopefully, I’ll help bring that championship to Michigan. My class and the class above us there have a ton of great athletes and I feel we have a great shot at winning the whole thing.”