Aug. 16, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Four incoming freshmen who signed National Letters of Intent with the Spartans last November - Ryan Krill, Jimmy Pickens, Blaise Salter and Mick VanVossen - and were also selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in June, have elected to enroll at Michigan State University and continue their baseball careers in East Lansing.
The deadline established by MLB for amateurs to sign with a team was Aug. 15.
Salter (38th round, No. 1157, Detroit), Krill (40th round, No. 1217 overall, Detroit), Pickens (41st round, No. 1247 overall, Detroit) and VanVossen (49th round, No. 1494 overall, Texas) are members of an eight-man recruiting class that was announced by head coach Jake Boss and his staff last November. All of the players will participate in fall practice and be eligible for the 2012 season.
Krill, a product of Portage Central High School, plays first base and outfield and was rated the No. 3 player in Michigan by Perfect Game. The 6-4, 205-pounder hit .479 with 16 doubles, six triples, five home runs and 50 RBIs his senior year as he led the Mustangs to the Division I semifinals. He was named to both the MHSBCA (Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association) Dream Team as well as The Detroit News Dream Team.
Pickens (6-2, 210) was ranked the No. 6 player in Michigan by Perfect Game and saw action at outfield and catcher at Brother Rice High School. He was named to the MHSBCA Division 1 All-State Second Team and The Detroit News All-Metro Team.
A catcher from Orchard Lake St. Mary's High School, Salter is a native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and was ranked the No. 5 player in Michigan according to Perfect Game heading into the 2011 season. Salter (6-5, 225) earned first-team MHSBCA Division 2 All-State honors his senior year and also made The Detroit News All-Metro Team. He finished his senior season with a .471 batting average and had seven home runs, 36 RBIs, 12 doubles and three triples; he also compiled a .547 on-base percentage.
A right-handed pitcher from Forest Hills Central High School in Grand Rapids, Mich., VanVossen (6-3, 190) was listed as the fourth-best player in Michigan this spring by MichiganBaseballProspects.org. He was named to The Detroit News Dream Team (second team) and his highlights in 2011 included a no-hitter against Kenowa Hills, a game in which he also struck out 17 batters.
Krill, Salter and VanVossen all participated in the 2011 MHSBCA East-West All-Star Game at Comerica Park in June. Salter went 3-for-4 in the game and was named the East Team MVP, while VanVossen started for the West and pitched two scoreless innings.