College Baseball Daily continues our countdown to the start of the 2011 College Baseball season by checking in on the Top 100 Players in the country. We will be providing one player per day until we reach number 1.
We continue the countdown today at number 39 with North Carolina junior shorstop Levi Michael. He is from Welcome, North Carolina, where he attended North Davidson High School, where as a junior he was rated the #1 prospect in the state by Impact Baseball. Michael decided to skip his senior year of high school to attend North Carolina in 2009.
He had an outstanding freshman year in Chapel Hill as he started in 65 out of the team’s 66 games at second base, while hitting .290 with 13 HR and 57 RBI. North Carolina advanced to Omaha in 2009, going 1-2.
2010 presented new challenges for a young North Carolina team, and the switch hitting Michael’s role changed greatly moving to third base. Michael became more patient at the plate in 2010, improving his batting average from .290 to .346 while drawing 18 more walks in 48 less at bats than 2009. His OPS jumped 150 points in 2010, and not only did he improve at the plate, but he started contributing a lot more on the basepaths with 20 steals, up from just 5 in 2009. Michael rode a career-best 16 game hit streak late into the season in 2010, and showed why Baseball America rated him as the #1 Sophomore College Prospect coming into 2010.
Levi Michael’s consistency has stood out in his summers in the Cape Cod League. Over two summers with the Harwich Mariners, Michael has hit .250 while in 2010 he slugged 6 doubles and had an OPS of .723, while hitting 2 HR and 16 RBI. He also appeared in the 2010 Cape Cod League All-Star Game for the East Team, going 0-2 in the contest.