With the 68th pick the Chicago Cubs select Dan Vogelbach. Cubs fans, you may have just found your future star at first base. DanVogelbach, who is 6′ 0″ and now weighs in at 250 lbs, is the most prolific power hitter ever to come out of Florida.
Last year, Vogelbach, helped the Bishop Verot Vikings from Fort Myers win a state championship, is a large powerful left handed hitter. This was evident by last years performance in The Perfect Game Power Showcase at Chase Field. A home run derby that has the nations top power hitters competing to see who is the best of the best. Vogelbach, hit a record 30 home runs, including a 508 foot bomb that would have made the “Babe” proud, en route to winning the home run competition. This phenom has exceptional power to all fields. He has strong wrists and his bat speed is exceptionally quick. With, Wrigley Field having its shortest distance down the right field line, this is a marriage Cub fans have been dreaming about. Their next super power hitter. Cub fans remember Sammy Sosa, right?
Before the draft, however, Vogelbach, did have a few drawbacks which may explain why he slipped to the 68th pick. One was his weight. Last year, Dan, weighed in at 280 plus. Another was his speed. The last was his admiration to attend the University of Florida.
I got a chance to see Dan this past week at a Bishop Verot baseball game. I barely recognized him. He lost a lot of weight. Over 30 pounds in about a 6 month period. I asked him how he trimmed down so fast. ” I work out all the time. I’m either working out with the Verot baseball team or my brother Josh.” By the way, Josh Vogelbach is an assistant with the Island Coast High School football team. Cubs fans better hope he doesn’t turn his brother Dan into a football player. Dan also went on to say, “I watch my diet and stay very disciplined. My future is in my hands. I’m staying focused. This is my dream.” When asked about his speed, he said, “I’m down to a 6.9 in the 60 yd dash.” Looks like he already has proven many critics wrong.
With his weight under control and his speed improving I asked Dan about his decision he had to make on either signing with the Cubs or attending The University of Florida on a baseball scholarship. He replied, “I love the University of Florida. I love the coaches, the atmosphere, everything about the university. But, this was a family decision. My family and I are one unit. We decided to fulfill my dream and that was to play major league ball. It wasn’t an easy one but we all decided it was the best.”
I’ve seen Dan play ball. He plays with a passion that some may take as cocky. I figured with a 1.6 million dollar signing bonus who wouldn’t sign. So, I decided to find out what this young man is really all about. Last year he got a chance to play 6 games in Mesa, Arizona for the Chicago Cubs Rookie league. When asked about his statistics he said, “I don’t look at stats. I don’t care what people write. This is in my hands. It’s all up to me. This my my dream.” He had a sincere humbleness to him. Didn’t sound brash or cocky at all. He was very genuine.
Last year in 6 games, Vogelbach, hit .292. His on base percentage was .370 and his slugging percentage was .542. He had 6 RBI’s 1 hr and 3 doubles. Pretty impressive for an 18 year old fresh out of high school. He didn’t mention any of that to me. He said, ” I have to do whatever it takes. My goal is to be in the big leagues in 2-3 years. I totally tone out what people say.” The maturity he already has speaks volumes for Vogelbach. It’s pure and simple. He loves baseball.
With his next destination probably headed to either the Peoria Cubs or Daytona Cubs, Vogelbach has all the tools to make it to the show. His determination, maturity, and impressive power hitting skills could very well get him there in 2-3 years. But, like he said,” There are no guarantees. This is all up to me.” With the hard work, Dan Vogelbach, has already shown it might not be long before the Chicago Cubs see their next future super power hitter and possibly their next World Series Championship. God knows the Cub fans need it.
Filed under: High School Sports