Jack Blomgren’s childhood dream has come true. He’s a professional baseball player.
Selected by the Colorado Rockies in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball draft on June 11, the former shortstop for Janesville Craig and the University of Michigan says he’s on top of the world.
“I’ve always wanted to play in the big leagues and really for any team,” the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Blomgren said. “Just knowing that the team that I got picked by had a lot of trust in me and we had a good relationship coming into the draft is relieving.
“Overall, I’m very excited and my family is excited as well.”
Blomgren and longtime Craig coach Victor Herbst both said the chance for Blomgren to play pro ball was always in the back of their minds — even though Herbst felt he was under-recruited by major NCAA Division I programs out of high school.
“He had really good tools, even as a freshman,” Herbst said. “He’s got a high baseball IQ, and he’s a true grinder.
“He’ll do whatever he needs to be successful, and he’s shown that when he was with us in high school and at Michigan. … He’s been that way from Day 1.”
Blomgren, a Milton native, contributed immediately once he joined the Wolverines in 2018, starting 52 games as a freshman. He hit .216 with 18 RBIs and one home run as the Wolverines went 33-21 and 15-8 in Big Ten Conference play.
As a sophomore, Blomgren was named to the All-Big Ten Conference second team as a shortstop and the College World Series All-Tournament Team. He finished the year hitting .314 with 47 RBIs and three homers as Michigan went 50-22 and 16-7 in the Big Ten.
He also started 15 games as a junior in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the rest of the season. He hit .286 with six RBIs and one home run as Michigan went 8-7 in non-conference play.
Blomgren’s three-year fielding percentage was .956.
“He’s what I call a glue guy,” analyst Jim Callis said during MLB Network’s coverage of the draft. “He makes everybody on the team better, does his job. ... He’s got good instincts, a solid baseball IQ, a solid arm — not a bazooka but solid.
“I look at him as a guy who can play a lot of different positions, a nice utility man.”
While Blomgren waits to make the transition to the next level, he’ll remain in Janesville, training with Brad Fitzke of Athlete X-Factory, the trainer he has worked with since his high school days.
“He’s got all the things that I need,” Blomgren said. “He’s got batting cages, all the weights. … I’m lucky to have enough facilities, enough things to do my work.”
Despite a desire to make his way to Denver, he remains unsure about his immediate future, due to COVID-19 and the inability of Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association to form a consensus as to how the 2020 season will be structured, and whether there will be a training camp for the full roster.
“I should go out to Denver in the next few weeks,” Blomgren said. “I’m not sure of what exact date that would be, but hopefully it’s coming up pretty soon. I want to get out there as quick as possible.”
For Blomgren, this is the start of a long journey.
“This is just another step in the road,” he said. “I’ve worked extremely, extremely hard to get to this point.
“It obviously is awesome to get drafted, but it’s really nothing until I make it to the top. I truly believe that one day I will because I do think I have that work ethic. I’ll do everything it takes to get my teammates better and win a World Series, hopefully, one day.”
In 2018, Blomgren had a seven-game stint with the Madison Mallards in the Northwoods League. Playing on a temp contract, he made 18 plate appearances, collecting two RBIs.
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