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July 17, 2013

Farmington Hills resident recalls crazy day that included drafting by Tigers

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

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University of Detroit Jesuit catcher and Farmington Hills resident Harrison Wenson was recently drafted by the Detroit Tigers. He is headed to the University of Michigan this fall.

He was more than two hours late for his own graduation party, but the excuse came in the form of a baseball regional championship trophy.

So as he got acclimated to the guests there to, well, celebrate him, Harrison Wenson could hardly pay attention to his own cellphone.

When he finally did, confusion was calling.

“I had so many missed calls and texts,” he said with a laugh. “People were congratulating me, but I didn’t understand why. These were a lot of the same people I had been with during the game all day.”

Wenson had assisted in the University of Detroit Jesuit’s Division 1 regional victory against Grosse Pointe South June 8, but the calls and texts were focused on a different form of victory: one with a more Major League feel to it.

“I freaked out,” he explained of learning the phone barrage had to do with the fact that the Detroit Tigers selected him in the 2013 MLB draft. “It was a blessing. I was not expecting it at all. I figured if I wanted to get drafted, I had to go to all the showcases, and that wasn’t something I was planning on doing. It was such a debacle to find out that way, but it’s such an honor.”

Wenson, a catcher for U of D and Farmington Hills resident, was selected in the 38th round (1,146th pick overall) by the Tigers.

“Harrison is a prime example of what can be accomplished with hard work and dedication to a craft,” U of D coach Jim Mancuso said. “I’m lucky to have coached such a talented player so early in my coaching career.”

Mancuso wasn’t as surprised as Wenson when the player’s name was called.

“There was no doubt in my mind Harrison was going to be selected in the draft, and the fact that it was the Detroit Tigers is icing on the cake,” the coach said. “I know it has been a dream of his.”

Wenson hit .420 this season for the Cubs, adding eight doubles, three triples and six home runs. He was named All-State and a member of the Dream Team for the second year in a row.

He played in the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game July 1 at Comerica Park.

Thrilled to be drafted by the Tigers, he said he will not sign, though, and will instead continue his career next year at the University of Michigan, fulfilling yet another dream, and keeping a family tradition intact.

Wenson’s father, Paul, played at Michigan in 1985-86 before spending three seasons in the Tigers’ minor-league system.

“I have always stressed academics, which was one of the main reasons I went to (U of D), which is such a great academic school,” Harrison Wenson said. “To go to Michigan and get a degree there is going to be amazing. My option of being an 18-year-old catcher in a farm league wasn’t something I was really ready to do right now.”

Wenson will be eligible for the draft again following his junior season.

“I don’t want to look ahead or sound cocky, but my plan is to be drafted and signed with somebody after my junior year,” Wenson said. “Right now, though, I’m excited to go to Michigan and make the most of my time there.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.