TigsTown Exclusive: Kunkel Signs with Tigers

After leading the Michigan Wolverines to back-to-back berths in the NCAA Tournament, and both the regular season and postseason titles, Jeff Kunkel is set to begin his professional career with the Detroit Tigers. (FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM DRAFT CONTENT)

Jeff Kunkel agreed to terms on Monday night, just hours before he world have re-entered tomorrow's draft.

Terms of Kunkel's bonus were not disclosed.

"Jeff was the heart and soul of our team," said Michigan coach Rich Maloney. "He has been the leader of our team and has done a great job in leading our program."

Kunkel hit .335 this spring with no home runs and 28 RBIs. In 230 at-bats, he drew 30 walks and had just 27 strikeouts. The Michigan co-captain was also was 4-for-5 in the stolen base department.

Kunkel profile as a line-drive hitter, who has great arm strength and has thrown out 45 percent of basestealers over the last two years. Kunkel is also lauded for his ability to call a game and blocks pitches very well.

Kunkel's outstanding play behind the plate has made him a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, which is presented annually to the top catcher in college baseball. Kunkel was a semifinalist for the honor in each of the last two years. The award will be announced on June 28.

Maloney was not only happy for his former star, but happy for the team the Roseville native has cheered on.

"I'm elated for him and for my hometown team," Maloney said.

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