Q&A with Michigan Commit Ben Dragani



By Matt Huck
Area Scout

2017 LHP Ben Dragani of Catholic Memorial recently committed to Michigan. Dragani is currently ranked No. 4 in the Wisconsin Class of 2017 and No. 203 in the PBR Overall Ranks. Recently the Wolverines have been dipping into the Badger State picking up 2015 RHP Jack Bredeson and 2016 OF Dominic Clementi both out of Arrowhead High School. Dragani, Bredeson, and Clementi have all been members of Team Wisconsin at the PBR Future Games. At a lanky 6-foot-4 and 190-pounds with a Dragnini has been a known commodity in the Midwest since 2014.  Here is a report on Dragani from the PBR Future Games.

Ben Dragani7/31/15 - At 6-foot-4, 190-pounds, Dragani has been the prototypical projectable lefty for a couple years now. We’ve seen him since early in his freshman year and love his upside, which is one reason why he came into the Future Games as the highest ranked available prospect in Wisconsin’s 2017 class. Dragani has one of the easier arm actions you’ll see producing an 80-83 mph fastball, touching 84 mph. He couples that with a hard darting slider at 75-77 mph, which we’ve previously seen up to 79 mph, so the hand speed is clearly there. In two innings of work, Dragani didn’t allow a hit and induced four groundouts. Dragani is already a hot commodity but once he makes that velocity jump, and he will, he could project as one of the top arms in the Midwest.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult? 

Dragani: I expected the recruiting process to be fun. I would say that it was fun for the most part. I didn't love calling coaches as a freshman but it got better. One of the best things was talking to new people, visiting schools, and getting a feel for different programs around the country.

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at? 

Dragani: I looked for a really good education that could set me up for a great career after college. Also I looked for a program which could compete across the country and which would help me reach my best baseball potential.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision? 

Dragani: At first I thought I really wanted to go south but that changed. I feel that Michigan is a great distance where my family can come see me play in a reasonable amount of time.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

Dragani: One good event was the PBR Top Prospect Games before my sophomore year. Another event that was good was the yearly showcase at Hitters.

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Dragani: Michigan first saw me at the PBR Top Prospect Games

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Dragani: A Michigan degree is very valuable and I believe that at Michigan I can reach my best potential with the coaches and nutrition and strength programs.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Dragani: It was a wide range but most of my top choices were Big Ten schools.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Dragani: Ben Rortvedt. He is a very good hitter and behind the plate he blocks everything and has a great arm.

PBR: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

Dragani: I realized it the summer before my freshman year. Coach Mahar pulled me aside and told me He thought I could play. Then I started talking to a few schools which made me realize I could continue on past high school.

 PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Dragani: Work hard because it pays off. Take your time in choosing your school. 

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Dragani: Playing with Hitters over the last couple summers and also playing with Chicago Scouts Association this fall.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Dragani: I feel my team, Catholic Memorial, will compete very well in the Little Ten conference. It's one of the better conferences in the state but we're looking to surprise some and win it this year.

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Dragani:  I play for the Rawlings Hitters. My most memorable moment has been becoming friends with many kids from different high school throughout Wisconsin and Illinois.

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