Grant Wolfram, seen during his senior season at Hamilton, will pitch for Central Michigan University next season after deciding against signing with the Detroit Tigers. He had been selected by Detroit in the 17th round of the MLB first-year player draft. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Wolfram opts to play for CMU instead of turning pro

Jason Wesseldyk

The day was July 8, 2010.
That’s when NBA superstar LeBron James made headlines with a TV special dubbed “The Decision” in which the then-free agent announced he would be leaving Cleveland and “taking his talents to South Beach” by signing with the Miami Heat.
Five years to the day later, recent Hamilton graduate Grant Wolfram made a decision of his own.
And while it didn’t generate the publicity or hype associated with James’ decision, it was a pretty big deal for an 18-year-old who had the option of beginning his professional baseball career or heading off to college.
In the end, Wolfram opted for the latter, as the 6-foot-7 lefthanded hurler announced he would honor his commitment to Central Michigan University rather than signing with the Detroit Tigers.
Since he will be playing at a four-year college, Wolfram will not be eligible for the Major League Baseball draft again until 2018.
“It was a tough choice, but I just think this is the best option for me at this time,” Wolfram said. “It all comes down to me developing more as a player. I plan to go to Central and working hard these next three years to get bigger, stronger and better.”
If that happens, then Wolfram will likely improve his draft position when he re-enters the draft.
The Tigers selected him in the 17th round as the 520th overall pick.
“Obviously playing professional baseball is still my goal and I think (going to Central) will help that in the long run,” Wolfram said. “A perfect scenario would be to play really well at Central and then get drafted in the top five rounds next time.”
The chance to get an education was another big factor in Wolfram’s decision.
“By going to Central, I’ll have three years of college out of the way,” he said “And then if I get drafted again, teams pay for you to finish. So that will help. Plus trying to finish one year of college while playing professional baseball is a lot easier than trying to finish all four years of college while playing pro ball.”

For full story, pick up a copy of the July 16 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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