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Grand Street catcher Chavez picks Michigan

Brooklyn Daily
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It’s a view he could get used to.

Grand Street senior catcher Marcus Chavez liked what he saw standing behind home plate at the Michigan Wolverines’ Ray Fisher Stadium during his official visit. Visions of his future unfolded before him as he watched current players warming up for a fall game, he said.

“I just stood there and watched the whole field and that’s what really grabbed my attention,” Chavez said. “It made my decision easy. I could actually see myself being a part of something bigger than what I am.”

He verbally committed to play for the defending Big Ten champions, opting for Michigan over Oregon, Seton Hall, Villanova, Maine, and Boston College. Program leaders aspire to make the College World Series every year, and they told Chavez they want him to be an impact player right away, he said.

Chavez wanted a team where he could make a difference right out of the gate but still had a shot at the college finals in Nebraska, he said.

“I just felt comfortable,” Chavez said. “I wanted to put myself in a situation where I knew I would play, be with winning program, and potentially play in Omaha.”

He has developed a strong relationship with the Michigan coaching staff, especially headman Erik Bakich and catchers coach Aaron Etchison. The Wolverines were one of the first teams to begin recruiting him as a sophomore, and the early recognition meant a lot to Chavez, who plays his travel ball for the Long Island Tigers and will play for the Bayside Yankees this fall, he said.

“They had plans for me, and they told me what they were going to do to get me better and take my game to the next level,” he said.

The Wolverines are getting one of the city’s top catchers and a tremendous leader. Chavez, who dreams of being drafted one day, was the glue to a Grand Street team that suffered injuries to some of its best players. The Brooklyn Courier all-Brooklyn, first-team selection handled a young pitching staff well and delivered with the bat — hitting .489 with 19 runs batted in, 18 runs scored, and 10 extra base hits.

The Grand Street Wolves’ season ended in the quarterfinals, but the roller coaster year was a learning experience for the returning group, Chavez said.

“It just made me mentally stronger and helped all the other young guys we have on the team right now,” he said. “I feel like this year is going to be different.”

By “different,” he means bringing home Grand Street’s first Public School Athletic League Class A title since 2012 — and he can go after it with a clear head now that he’s committed to a college, he said.

“It’s a burden off my shoulder, and I still have my senior year,” Chavez said. “I really want to end with a ring.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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