Inside the Recruitment: '15 RHP Michael Brettell commits to Central Michigan University

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Michael BrettellBy Chris Kemlo
PBR Ontario Director of Scouting

Name: Michael Brettell
Position: RHP
Class: 2015
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 195 pounds
School: E.L. Crossley Secondary School
Rank: 4th in the 2015 class of Ontario
Commitment: Central Michigan University

Background: The recent Central Michigan commit, 6-foot-3, 195-pound righty works from a ¾-arm slot with a fastball that has been up to 89 mph. His arm works with clean actions, good timing and separation over the rubber with the ability to work downhill. Throws a slider and changeup with conviction, slider turning into a potential put out pitch while the changeup stays down with some run. His coaches love his demeanor and poise, Brettell competes well and has a mound presence about him. Excels in the classroom and will be taking engineering. With the pitching history of CMU, Brettell looks to be a perfect fit for the Chippewas on and off the ball field.

PBR: Why did you choose Central Michigan University?

Brettell: I chose Central Michigan because of their coaching staff’s reputation of developing pitchers to get to the next level. I was impressed with Coach Opalewski, he was so passionate about pitching in general and making me a better pitcher while Coach Jaksa is a very supportive, kind of like a father figure. Also after my visit I felt like it was the right fit for me, I felt comfortable being there. It’s a very nice school in a nice area.

PBR: What other schools were you considering?

Brettell: I was also considering Niagara University, Dartmouth College, and Butler University. I didn't feel quite the same about those schools as I did with Central Michigan.

PBR: Where did Coach Jaksa and Coach Opalewski first see you and how did your relationship develop with them?

Brettell: I believe the first time that Coach Opalewski saw me pitch was when my team, the Great Lake Canadians, was playing Cincinnati University, I then received an email to fill out a questionnaire for their school. Coach Jaksa then saw me pitch at the Centrefield Sports Showcase and from there they got in touch with me to set up a visit.

PBR: Who has helped you the most to get to where you are today?

Brettell: I do appreciate all of the coaches I have had through my years of playing, especially the coaches of the Great Lake Canadians and with the help of PBR to help make my talents noticed to be able to get to this point. Also my dad is the one who has helped me the most to get me to where I am today. He has helped me with the confidence and determination that I posses as well as my character to help me achieve what it is I strive towards.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it easy/difficult?

Brettell: Truthfully I thought the recruiting process would be easier than it was. Not that it was too difficult but it was a lot happening all at once, it was very overwhelming and I would advise others to start the process early and keep up with good grades.

PBR: What team do you play for in the summer and how has that helped you prepare for the next level?

Brettell: In the summer I play for the Great Lake Canadians, they have helped me prepare for the next level by scheduling games throughout the summer and fall against the top teams and also against Universities, helping to prepare me not only physically but how to handle the game mentally.

PBR: What plans does the coaching staff of the Chippewas have in store for you?

Brettell: The coaching staff of the Chippewas are excited to start working with me and hoping that I can come out and be productive for their team and be a great teammate.

PBR: What do you feel are the strengths about your game?

Brettell: What I feel are the strengths about my game is my ability to work ahead and get guys out, whether it be a strikeout or batted outs. I am able to keep calm in tight situations and only play my game, not letting the excitement get the better of me.

PBR: What is your most memorable baseball moment to date?

Brettell: There has been a few memorable moments in my career. Being selected to play with Team Canada, is the probably the most memorable. Being able to represent my country at the junior stage is an amazing achievement for anyone. Also being chosen to play in the T-12 tournament held at the Rogers Centre, it is a very neat experience to be able to play in a major league stadium in a tournament with the best players in Canada.

PBR: Now that you have committed to CMU, what goals have you set for yourself for 2015?

Brettell: The goals I have set for myself for 2015 is to be able to put on some muscle mass while maintaining flexibility and athleticism. Also increase my velocity to be able to compete with the better players.

PBR: Who is the toughest hitter that you have faced in Ontario?

Brettell: Probably the toughest hitter I faced in Ontario would be Josh Naylor. He has quick hands and able to make contact with pretty much anything. Every time I faced him he was always able to get the bat on the ball.

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