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Pace Honored To Be Michigan Commit


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

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Pace Honored To Be Michigan Commit

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Gregory Pace Jr

Class of 2022 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2022
  • Primary Position: OF
    Secondary Position: RHP
  • High School: Detroit Edison Public School Acady
    State: MI
  • Summer Team: Ohio Pro Select
  • Height: 6-2
    Weight: 187lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Statistics

Pitching
81
Max FB
(03/07/20)
80 - 81
FB
(03/07/20)
69 - 70
CB
(03/07/20)
Position
6.37
60-yard
(08/01/20)
89
OF Velo
(08/01/20)
92
Exit Velo
(08/01/20)
Position
60-yard
6.37
OF Velo
89
Exit Velo
92
Position
60-yard
6.37
OF Velo
89
Exit Velo
92
Position
60-yard
6.64
OF Velo
85
Exit Velo
87
Trackman - Hitting
96.7
Exit Velocity (max)
(08/02/20)
90.7
Exit Velocity (avg)
(08/02/20)
313
Distance (avg)
(08/02/20)
379
Distance (max)
(08/02/20)
Trackman - Hitting
Exit Velocity (max)
96.7
Exit Velocity (avg)
90.7
Distance (avg)
313
Distance (max)
379
Hard Hit %
Line Drive %
Fly Ball %
Blast - Hitting
24.3
Hand Speed (max)
(08/02/20)
23.4
Hand Speed (avg)
(08/02/20)
76.0
Bat Speed (max)
(08/02/20)
72.1
Bat Speed (avg)
(08/02/20)
Blast - Hitting
Rot. Acc (max)
Rot. Acc (avg)
Hand Speed (max)
24.3
Hand Speed (avg)
23.4
Bat Speed (max)
76
Bat Speed (avg)
72.1
On Plane Eff (avg)

Pace Honored To Be Michigan Commit

DETROIT - “Big-time athlete with a bag full of tools.”

The description of Gregory Pace Jr. on the PBR website during the Future Games says it all.

Colleges like Arizona State and Florida State took notice and were in contact with the top-rated 2022 outfielder in Michigan. But in the end, the Detroit Edison junior will be staying at home after a commitment to play for the Wolverines.

“After the Preseason All-State is when I first talked with Michigan,” Pace reflected back to a conversation with assistant coach Nick Schnabel.

Interest heated up during the Future Games after Pace ran a 6.37 time in the 60, with 89 outfield velocity and 92 exit velo.

“I called them as soon as I got home,” Pace related. “He said how much he’d love to have me at Michigan. A week after, I had a call with (head) coach (Erik) Bakich and was offered on the spot. He said ‘Go Blue’ and I said ‘absolutely'.”

The 6-1 182-pounder brings a lot to the table that attracted Michigan.

“They like my athleticism, running a 6.3 with my strength,” explained Pace. “They love what I bring to the field, the joy and the passion I have with the game.”

While no official visit was taken to the Big 10 school, there was a virtual tour with coach Schnabel in addition to the phone conversations.

“I love the coaches and love the player development,” Pace said about UM. “Last year they had the most draft picks.”

There was more that stood out to the ninth-ranked player in the 2022 class in the state.

“There are only a few African-Americans playing college baseball but I saw a lot playing at Michigan,” pointed out Pace. “They have a little culture going on there to take care of each other.”

That is important to the 16-year-old, who feels the need to pass that on to future African-Americans in his school..

“They can see that anybody can make it,” Pace explained. “No matter the skin color, they recognize talent. How they work and put in the high work ethic, it’s going to pay off. Their talent will show. Somebody is going to recruit them.”

Pace certainly put in the work to get to this point.

“As soon as Covid started I began lifting heavily,” Pace noted. “I’m seeing a big change in my body since I went to the Preseason All-State. All my numbers have increased. I’ve been lifting and hitting a lot. Every time I can go to the field to hit and throw I take advantage of it.”

The desire to improve remains strong.

“I believe I have everything, but I need to get my contact and vision up,” explained Pace, understanding the importance of facing better competition. “I need to make sure I’m seeing (pitchers throwing) 90s, so when I get to Michigan I won’t be shocked.”

The dream to play college baseball has been around for a few years.

“I’ve been thinking about it since sixth or seventh grade when I started seeing a lot of people committing,” Pace said. “I just love baseball. I have a lot of passion for the game.”

One player in particular had a major impact on Pace.

“Seeing guys like Werner (Blakely) getting drafted … I just want to do that,” Pace said of the Detroit Edison 2020 graduate, who was taken with the 111th pick by the Los Angeles Angels in the MLB Draft this summer. “He had a very big influence on me. All the coaches that contacted him, he’d tell me what I needed to do to get to that level. He’d tell me how much work he put in and the sacrifices he made to do it.”

Pace has seen sacrifices right at home during the recruiting process.

“My parents have pushed me to be the absolute best I can be,” noted Pace, who also credited high school coach Mark Brown with being a big part of his baseball journey. “My parents have sacrificed a lot by spending money for me to go to all these events and showcases out there so I can be the best I can be to be able to perform at any level. They wanted to make sure I have what I need to advance to the next level.”

The chance to play baseball at Michigan, which reached the College World Series finals in 2019, is exhilarating for Pace.

“I’m looking forward to winning a national championship and I think Michigan is the college that can do it,” Pace said. “With the work they put in and the development of players there, I think there’s a good chance we’ll go back and win it this time.”

A 3.6 student taking honors and AP courses, Pace enjoyed the experience of going through a recruiting process that culminated in a commitment to the Big 10 power.

“It wasn't easy but it was all worth it,” Pace said. “When it was all over there was a feeling of relief and joy. When I committed I actually teared up. I was so proud I was able to work through all of this.

“I’m so excited that I’ve made it. Now I want to help some of the kids at my high school make it.”