Nov. 10, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State baseball head coach Jake Boss announced Wednesday that eight student-athletes, including six from the state of Michigan, will join the Spartan baseball roster for the 2012 season: Anthony Cheky (Portage, Ind./Portage High School), Kevin Goergen (Lemont, Ill./Lemont), Ryan Krill (Kalamazoo, Mich./Portage Central High School), Michael Mestdagh (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Birmingham Groves High School), Jimmy Pickens (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Brother Rice High School), Blaise Salter (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Orchard Lake St. Mary's), Chase Toth (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston High School) and Mick VanVossen (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central High School).
"We could not be more excited about the next incoming group of Spartan baseball players," said Boss. "Our recruiting goals continue to be recruiting in the state of Michigan first, then the Midwest, then on a national level if need be. This class reflects the talent level that the state of Michigan possesses as it addresses every need we have going into the 2011-12 year from an offensive, defensive, and leadership standpoint. Each one of these young men are extremely impressive individuals and will represent Michigan State University in a positive manner. They work hard on the field and in the classroom and truly embody the term student-athlete.
"Credit needs to go to recruiting coordinator Mark Van Ameyde and assistant coach Graham Sikes for all their hard work and the countless hours they put in to make this recruiting class an outstanding one. As we continue to build a program here at Michigan State, this class will be a cornerstone to the successes that are ahead for Spartan Baseball."
Below is a look at each of the incoming student-athletes:
Anthony Cheky Portage, Ind. Portage High School 5-11 162 L/L OF
Lettered in baseball his junior year under Coach Tim Pirowski at Portage High School and was named team MVP, hitting .523 with 11 triples, eight doubles, three homers and 30 RBIs . . . named to the Duneland Athletic Conference First Team after leading the league in batting . . . his 11 triples were the most in school history for a single season . . . also named to the Post-Tribune and The Times First-Team All-Area squads . . . selected for the Indiana Crossroads Classic Showcase Series . . . selected for Team Indiana, where he hit .590 with two homers and was a perfect 10-for-10 stealing bases . . . was a 2010 Gold Glove winner . . . will serve as a team captain for the upcoming 2011 season . . . played summer baseball for the Indiana Breakers, recording a .619 batting average with 13 doubles, eight triples, four homers and 22 stolen bases . . . also lettered in football his senior year as a defensive back, punter and kick returner, and in basketball as a point guard . . . son on Tony and Becky Cheky . . . born Oct. 25, 1992 . . . plans to major in marketing . . . chose Michigan State over several schools, including Notre Dame, Clemson, Arkansas, Ohio State and Purdue.
Boss on Cheky: "Anthony is a hard-nosed competitor who has a unique ability to will his team to victory. He is an above-average runner and a left-handed hitter who has some power. He will compete for a starting position in the outfield following the graduation of Brandon Eckerle."
Kevin Goergen Lemont, Ill. Lemont High School 6-1 165 L/R SS
Two-year letterwinner in baseball under Coach Joe Rodeghero at Lemont High School . . . will serve as a team captain for the upcoming 2011 season . . . named first-team all-conference as a junior after batting .396 with two homers and 26 RBIs . . . also named first-team all-conference his sophomore year for hitting .406 with 25 RBIs . . . plays summer baseball for the Dupage Dragons . . . has been an honor roll student his first three years of high school . . . son of Tim and Lynn Goergen . . . born March 7, 1993 . . . plans to major in business . . . chose Michigan State over Michigan, Indiana, Northwestern, Iowa, TCU, Illinois, Cincinnati and Creighton.
Boss on Goergen: "Kevin is an outstanding defensive shortstop with plus arm strength. A left-handed hitter who handles the bat extremely well, he reminds me of Jonathan Roof when he was a senior in high school. The potential for Kevin is unlimited and he will be looked upon heavily as a freshman."
Ryan Krill Kalamazoo, Mich. Portage Central High School 6-4 205 L/R 1B/OF
Three-year letterwinner in baseball under Coach Paul Schneider at Portage High School . . . ranked the No. 3 player in Michigan and one of the top 500 players in the nation according to Perfect Game . . . rated the No. 4 prospect for the Class of 2011 by MichiganBaseballProspects.org . . . named to the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association 2010 Division 1 All-State Second Team as a junior after hitting .474 with two homers and 45 RBIs . . . also named all-district, all-region and academic all-district . . . earned all-district and all-region honors his sophomore year while driving in a school record 69 runs . . . also hit .513 with five homers that season . . . batted .555 with one home run and 12 RBIs as a freshman . . . selected to the Perfect Game National Showcase in Tampa, Fla. . . . selected to represent Team USA as part of the Great Lakes Team . . . also earned three letters playing football as a tight end and one playing basketball . . . earned all-conference honors both his sophomore and junior seasons playing football, and was named a captain as a senior . . . son of Joseph and Robyn Krill . . . father played football at Western Michigan . . . born March 17, 1993 . . . plans on majoring in finance . . . chose Michigan State over Ole Miss, Auburn, Kentucky, Louisville, TCU, Clemson, Michigan and Stanford.
Boss on Krill: "Another big, strong, physical left handed hitter, Ryan is a leader on and off the field and will be looked upon to fill the void at first base after Jeff Holm graduates. His power potential is tremendous and he should be a force in the middle of our lineup."
Michael Mestdagh Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Birmingham Groves High School 6-1 185 R/R RHP/OF
Two-year letterwinner as a centerfielder and pitcher under Coach Jim Crosby at Birmingham Groves High School . . . rated the No. 20 prospect for the Class of 2011 by MichiganBaseballProspects.org . . . will serve as a captain this upcoming season . . . played for the 18-under Michigan Red Sox this past summer, helping the team win the Motor City Pride Tournament and the AABC District Tournament while going 4-1 at the Perfect Game Tournament in East Cobb, Ga. . . . earned all-league, all-county, all-district and all-region honors as a junior while all being chosen team captain . . . led his team in runs (36), walks (28) and stolen bases (31) in 2010 while batting .400 . . . on the mound as a junior, collected five wins, four saves and struck out 59 batters in 43 innings pitched while compiling a 1.60 ERA . . . also a four-year letterwinner in water polo and a two-year letterwinner in basketball . . . two-time all-state selection in water polo and earned All-America honors as a junior . . . son of David and Debbie Mestdagh . . . born Feb. 14, 1993 . . . plans to major in finance . . . chose Michigan State over several schools, including Michigan, Purdue and Creighton.
Boss on Mestdagh: "Mike is an extremely athletic young man with a live arm. An accomplished water polo player, he is only beginning to scratch the surface of how good he can be on the mound. He is an outstanding student who comes from a great family and will no doubt have a great deal of success in the Spartan uniform."
Jimmy Pickens Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Brother Rice High School 6-2 210 L/R OF/C
Three-year letterwinner in baseball under Coach Bob Riker at Brother Rice High School . . . ranked the No. 6 player in Michigan and one of the top 500 players in the nation according to Perfect Game . . . rated the No. 13 prospect for the Class of 2011 by MichiganBaseballProspects.org . . . named to the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association and Detroit Free Press 2010 Dream Team and Division 1 All-State Team as he hit .418 with five homers and 31 RBIs . . . also compiled a .581 on-base percentage, .819 slugging percentage and stole 19 bases . . . as a sophomore in 2009, batted .364 with six home runs, 41 RBIs and 21 stolen bases . . . helped lead Brother Rice to a 35-6 record and a state title as a freshman in 2008, batting .290 with one homer and 30 RBIs . . . plays for the Michigan Bulls summer team . . . also earned four letters in football as a running back and free safety . . . rushed for 823 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior in 2009 as Brother Rice advanced to the MHSAA Division 2 state semifinals . . . elected a football captain in 2010 and helped the Warriors win the Catholic League A/B Division championship at Ford Field . . . has earned two letters in basketball . . . son of Roger and Sharon Pickens . . . born March 18, 1992 . . . plans to major in kinesiology . . . his brother, Doug, was a catcher at Michigan and is currently in the Cleveland Indians minor league system . . . brother, Ryan, played football at Western Michigan (2006-09) . . . chose Michigan State over Michigan, Louisville and Tennessee.
Boss on Pickens: "Jimmy is another fierce competitor who has a tremendous amount of leadership ability. He is extremely athletic and can play a variety of positions. We will use Jimmy in the outfield and behind the plate, and he is also very capable at first base. His left-handed bat is capable of putting up big power numbers."
Blaise Salter Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Orchard Lake St. Mary's High School 6-5 225 R/R C
Three-year letterwinner under Coach Nick DiPonio at Orchard Lake St. Mary's High School . . . ranked the No. 5 player in Michigan and one of the top 500 players in the nation according to Perfect Game . . . rated the No. 12 prospect for the Class of 2011 by MichiganBaseballProspects.org . . . named to the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association 2010 Division 1 All-State First Team after hitting .410 with four homers and 41 RBIs . . . has earned all-district honors three times, and all-area, all-county, and all-region honors twice . . . earned all-league honors as a junior . . . has helped lead Orchard Lake St. Mary's to three straight district titles and a state runner-up finish in 2008 . . . will serve as a captain for the 2011 season . . . played summer baseball for the Motor City Hit Dogs (2008) and the Midland Braves (2009) . . . also a three-year letterwinner in football as a defensive end and tight end . . . son of John and Kelley Salter . . . born June 25, 1993 . . . his father, John, played baseball at Bowling Green . . . his grandfather, Bill Freehan, played for the Detroit Tigers (1961, `63-76) . . . his great uncle, Dan O'Brien, played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1978-79) . . . chose Michigan State over several schools, including Ole Miss.
Boss on Salter: "Blaise is an outstanding leader, the type of young man who will elevate a program. He is extremely physical with a strong arm and a tremendous amount of power potential at the plate. He catches and receives extremely well and will be looked upon to contribute heavily as a freshman."
Chase Toth Clarkston, Mich. Clarkston High School 6-0 190 R/R OF
Three-year letterwinner in baseball under Coach Phil Price at Clarkston High School . . . selected to USA Baseball's Great Lakes 17-under Team in 2010, one of 20 players chosen from six states . . . named to the all-district team as a junior in 2010 after hitting .410 with five homers, 30 RBIs and scoring 32 runs while leading Clarkston to a 22-9 record . . . named to the NorthOaklandSports.com 2010 All-Area Second Team . . . played for Oakland Bulldogs summer team, compiling a .453 batting average with seven homers, 20 RBIs and 20 runs scored . . . named a team captain as a junior and will be a captain his senior season this upcoming spring . . . son of Mark Toth and Kelly Gorham . . . born Aug. 5, 1993 . . . no-preference major . . . member of the student council at CHS . . . lists playing in the 2010 USA Baseball National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Tournament in September 2010 in North Carolina as his greatest athletic experience . . . chose Michigan State over several schools, including Notre Dame, Central Florida, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Boss on Toth: "Chase is a solid outfielder who runs well, throws well, and will hit for both average and some power. He is a tireless worker who has turned himself into a very good player and will compete for playing time in the outfield for us as a freshman."
Mick VanVossen Grand Rapids, Mich. Forest Hills Central High School 6-3 190 R/R RHP
Three-year letterwinner in baseball under Coach Thad Abel at Forest Hills Central High School . . . rated the No. 2 prospect for the Class of 2011 by MichiganBaseballProspects.org . . . two-time all-conference selection . . . went 5-1 on the mound as a junior with an ERA of 1.74 in 40.1 innings while striking out 59 and throwing two complete games . . . as a sophomore, compiled a perfect 6-0 record on the mound with a 3.41 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 49.1 innings of work . . . plays summer baseball for the West Michigan Elite . . . also a two-year letterwinner in football and one year in skiing . . . named all-conference and a captain for football in 2010 . . . son of Mark and Lynn VanVossen . . . born Oct. 30, 1992 . . . plans to major in agribusiness . . . chose Michigan State over several schools, including Missouri, West Virginia, Michigan and Kentucky.
Boss on VanVossen: "Mick is extremely athletic with a prototypical pitcher's frame that will allow him to throw hard. He is a power arm who will be a factor on the mound early in his career. Mick is an outstanding competitor who will only continue to get better and better during his time at Michigan State."