Decked out in Detroit Tiger gear, a nine-year-old Grant Wolfram met then-Detroit manager Jim Leyland at a fan event prior to the 2006 season. (Photo provided)Following his pre-draft workout at Comerica Park, Grant Wolfram (left) had the opportunity to meet Detroit Tiger pitcher Justin Verlander. (Photo provided)

Tigers select Hamilton’s Wolfram in MLB draft

Jason Wesseldyk

Like many kids throughout the state of Michigan, Grant Wolfram has dreamed about playing for the Detroit Tigers.
Unlike most of those other kids, Wolfram now has the chance to chase that dream if he so chooses.
Detroit selected Wolfram in the 17th round of this year’s Major League Baseball draft on Wednesday, June 10, making him the 520th player chosen overall.
“It was a great feeling when I found out the Tigers had selected me,” said Wolfram, a recent Hamilton High School graduate. “It was like a dream come true. I couldn’t have been any happier.”
Wolfram, a 6-foot-6 left-handed pitcher who has touched 90 miles per hour on the radar gun and consistently throws in the upper 80s, finished his high school career strong.
Posting a record of 10-3, Wolfram had a 0.54 ERA and struck out 98 batters in 64-1/3 innings. His final game was a 6-2 win over Spring Lake in a regional semifinal game on Saturday, June 6, in which both runs he allowed were unearned.
“I’m definitely very excited for him as a coach,” Hamilton coach Ken DeGood said. “And he’s a great person, not just a great player. He always treats his teammates and young kids with respect and is humble about his accomplishments.”
The day prior to regionals, Wolfram found himself on the mound at Comerica Park as part of a pre-draft workout for the Tigers. Among the luminaries in attendance were Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski as well as Al Kaline, Alan Trammell and Kirk Gibson.
“I felt like (the Tigers) really had a good interest in me, especially when they started showing up at my districts and regional games,” Wolfram said. “So at that point I thought there was a chance (of being drafted by them).”
In addition to being the ace of Hamilton’s pitching staff, Wolfram was also the Hawkeyes’ leading hitter. He ended the season with a .522 average and 52 RBI to go with a pair of home runs.
It was, however, Wolfram’s left arm that attracted the attention of the Tigers and several other MLB teams.

For full story, pick up a copy of the June 18 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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