Published August 19, 2014
Committed to U of M, Reuss said he was pleasantly surprised to be drafted by Tigers
By Mike Moore firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Mike on Twitter.
BLOOMFIELD HILLS — The Detroit Tigers has always been Grant Ruess’ favorite team.
After all, this was the team he grew up following.
Little did he know, it was also the team that would offer him his first shot at professional baseball.
“A complete surprise, to be honest,” Reuss, a 2014 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood grad said about the June MLB draft and the Tigers selecting him. “I was at a friend’s grad party, and I got a call from a recruiting coordinator from the Tigers telling me they’d picked me. To be drafted in the first place was a shock, but to be picked by your hometown team was a huge honor.”
The Tigers selected Reuss in the 31st round with the 940th overall pick.
The draft occurred June 7, a little more than a month before Reuss officially closed his high school career by playing in the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game, fittingly enough, at Comerica Park.
“I grew up a Tigers fan. It’s my favorite team,” Reuss said. “To end my high school career at Comerica and be drafted by them was a surreal experience.”
Reuss said he knew the possibility of being drafted was real but never allowed himself to think of it that way.
“I didn’t want to be someone hoping for it so much, only for it not to happen,” he said.
But it did happen, and according to Cranbrook coach Andy Fairman, Reuss was the first Cranbrook baseball player ever selected in the draft out of high school.
Fairman wasn’t surprised, either.
“We had scouts at our games, a lot of interest in Grant, so we had a feeling it might happen,” Fairman explained. “We just didn’t know when or where. But when we all got word of it, we were so excited for him.”
Reuss, a 6-foot-5-inch, 215-pound lefthander, had a solid senior season.
In 11 games, he pitched 42.1 innings with a 4-2 record.
He allowed just 22 hits, struck out 69 while walking 53, and finished with a 3.60 ERA.
He wasn’t too shabby from the plate either, hitting .367 with seven doubles, two home runs, 27 runs scored and 17 walks.
“Grant had a great year and a great career here at Cranbrook,” Fairman added. “He played so well. He was the guy who got the ball against the tougher teams we faced. … He’s a kid that worked exceptionally hard while he was in this program. He was a guy that earned everything that’s come his way.”
Reuss said he considered signing with the Tigers, but stuck with his original plan to forgo the pros for now and honor his commitment to play at the University of Michigan.
“I’ve been set on Michigan for a while,” he said. “I think getting an education started while developing more as a player is key for me right now.”
By declining the Tigers’ offer, Reuss will now be eligible for the MLB draft after his junior season, and should he get picked again, it won’t be much of a surprise.
“I guess I’ll expect it in three years,” he said with a laugh. “We’ll see where it all takes me. But for now, my focus is on Michigan and what’s next in my career.”