Mike Bolsenbroek

From BR Bullpen

Michael Bolsenbroek

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 8", Weight 210 lb.

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Mike Bolsenbroek has pitched in the minors (3 years), the Netherlands, Germany (where he has won two Pitcher of the Year awards) and Australia. He threw the first solo perfect game in Dutch national team history.

Bolsenbroek was born in and grew up in the Netherlands. In the 2004 World Junior Championship, he allowed 2 runs (1 earned) in 6 2/3 IP and got the only Dutch win. In 2005, he made his Hoofdklasse debut, going 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA for HCAW, allowing only 14 hits in 22 innings. He was horrible in his lone playoff start, allowing 6 runs and 6 hits in 1 1/3 IP to take a loss. That year, Mike moved to the USA to further his baseball career, first at El Modena High School and then Santa Ana College. He was drafted in the 41st round of the 2006 amateur draft by the Chicago White Sox and in the 26th round of the 2007 amateur draft by the White Sox, but did not sign either time.

Bolsenbroek went to Germany to pitch in 2008, having finished his junior college days. He signed with the Buchbinder Legionäre in the southern division of Bundesliga-1. He was 4-0 with 2 saves and a 1.59 ERA for the club, giving up 26 hits in 56 2/3 IP and striking out 61 while walking 29. He finished third in the division in ERA behind Philipp Hoffschild and Eddie Aucoin. He had the third lowest WHIP after those same two hurlers and his .138 average allowed was the lowest.

Bolsenbroek was 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in the 2008 European Cup in Regensburg, but with a RA over 9. He took the loss against DOOR Neptunus and was wild (5 walks, 2 wild pitches, 3 runs in 1 IP) in a start against Templiers de Sénart; Hoffschild came in to relieve and rescued the team, which won that outing. Overall, Mike walked 13 in 8 2/3 IP in the Cup.

Mike did not join the Legionäre for the Bundesliga playoffs as he was drafted in the 42nd round of the 2008 amateur draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. This time, he signed, a 7-year deal. He was the second Dutch player in Phillies organizational history, following Mike Crouwel (1992). Despite standing 6' 8", he was only the 4th-tallest Dutch hurler in Organized Baseball in 2008, following Loek van Mil, Rick van den Hurk and Swen Huijer.

Bolsenbroek pitched 5 games for the 2008 GCL Phillies, going 0-1. He allowed 3 runs (1 earned), 8 hits and 5 walks in 6 1/3 IP while fanning 5. In 2009, he was 2-2 with a 2.03 ERA and 30 K in 31 IP for the GCL Phillies. He moved up to the Williamsport Crosscutters in September and allowed one run in 4 2/3 IP. He went 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 18 games for the 2010 Lakewood BlueClaws. He finished his US career 2-4 with four saves and a 2.55 ERA in 41 games (two starts). In 74 IP, he allowed 65 hits and 38 walks while striking out 64.

Mike returned to Regensburg in 2011 and was 6-0 with a 1.57 ERA, striking out 79 in 57 1/3 IP. He led the southern Bundesliga-1 in ERA, tied René Franke for second in wins (behind former major leaguer Dusty Bergman), was third in strikeouts and was third in WHIP. He helped the club win another Bundesliga title. He was named the southern Bundesliga-1 Pitcher of the Year.

In 2012, Bolsenbroek was 7-0 with a 1.96 ERA and 71 K in 59 2/3 IP. He finished 4th in ERA (between Patrick Haugen and Justin Kuehn), was 6th in strikeouts, tied Haugen and Kuehn for the win lead, tied for second with two saves and led with a 0.87 WHIP (.10 ahead of Kuehn). He lost Pitcher of the Year honors to Nick Renault. He was 1-1 with a 2.13 ERA in the 2012 European Cup, fanning 13 in 12 2/3 IP, beating Technika Brno and losing to Rouen Huskies. He tied Chris Mezger and Dushan Ruzic for second in Ks, one behind Jorge Balboa. During the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, he pitched for Germany. He tossed 5 1/3 innings (5 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 UER) in a win over the Czech national team and Michal Sobotka; the lone run came on an error by Donald Lutz on a pick-off attempt in the 5th, when Germany was up 3-1 en route to a 16-1 romp. Martin Dewald relieved him in the 6th.

Bolsenbroek was 9-1 with a 0.81 WHIP, 86 K and a 1.46 ERA in 2013. He won his second Pitcher of the Year award, beating out Luke Sommer. In the 2013 European Cup, he lost to both the Amsterdam Pirates and Eagles Prague, with a 5.40 ERA.

In the 2014 European Cup, he had a no-decision in a Regensburg loss to Draci Brno but beat the Templiers de Sénart. He fanned 16 in 13 2/3 IP and had a 1.32 ERA. He tied Wilson Lee for the most strikeouts. In the 2014 Bundesliga, he was had a 6-1, 2.24 record with 75 K to 13 BB in 60 1/3 IP. He was third in ERA behind Sommer and Jan-Niclas Stöcklin, tied Kyle Waddell for 4th in strikeouts and tied for 5th in wins. He pitched for the Netherlands in the 2014 European Championship. On September 14, he threw a 7-inning mercy rule perfect game against the Greek national team in a 11-0 win. It was the second perfecto in the history of the Dutch national team, 50 years after Rob Hoffmann and Herman Beidschat had combined on one in the 1964 European Championship; interestingly, Mike's 3B (Nick Urbanus) was the grandson of the 2B in the 1964 game (Han Urbanus). Bolsenbroek fanned 10 and needed just 73 pitches. Coincidentally, there had been another no-hitter earlier in the day as Belgium's Thomas De Wolf had thrown one. In his other outing, Mike tossed a three-hitter to shut out the defending champion Italian national team in their first loss of the 2014 Euros; three Dutch pitchers combined to top Italy the next day to give the Netherlands the title. Bolsenbroek won Best Pitcher honors for the 2014 Euros. Curt Smith beat him out for European Championship MVP.

The big right-hander was 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA in the 2015 World Port Tournament, beating Cuba and Jonder Martínez in his only start but getting hit harder in relief. His .207 average allowed was 4th in the event, between Yen-Ching Lu and van Mil. He was 9-1 with a 2.23 ERA for Regensburg in the 2015 Bundesliga-1. He was among the league leaders in ERA (1st, .35 ahead of Gianny Fracchiolla), K (88, 5th, between Michael Torrealba and Gabriel Sandersius), wins (3rd, behind Tyler Lockwood and Sandersius), IP (76 2/3, tied for 7th with Fracchiolla), K:BB ratio (6.29:1, 2nd to Lockwood), WHIP (1.00, 2nd to Lockwood), opponent average (.220, 3rd, after Torrealba and Fracchiola), opponent slugging (.328, 7th, between Kevin Trisl and Lukas Steinlein),and opponent OBP (.260, 1st, .016 ahead of Lockwood), opponent OPS (3rd, after Torrealba and Lockwood). He was very good for the Netherlands in the 2015 Premier 12, with two hitless, walkless, scoreless innings, fanning three and hitting one (versus Italy and Canada).

At the 2016 European Champions Cup, he started twice against Kotlarka Prague. He allowed four runs (three earned) in six in a no-decision in the round-robin. His 4.50 ERA was Regensburg's highest in the round-robin but his 7 K led the team and tied Roldan Ochoa and Wes Roemer for 6th in the event. He was better against Prague in the 7th/8th place game, throwing 8 innings and allowing only two unearned runs, with 7 more Ks, before Clayton Voechting closed it out. He blanked Japan for 7 innings in the 2016 Haarlem Baseball Week to give the Netherlands a spot in the finals.

He had a 8-1, 1.72 record for Regensburg in the '16 season. He was 3rd in ERA (after Eric Massingham and Dave Rider), 8th in strikeouts (72, between Tim Stahlmann and Justin Erasmus), 3rd in wins (after Stahlmann and Massingham), 3rd in K:BB ratio (after Roemer and Massingham), 3rd in WHIP (0.96, after Massingham and Roemer), 4th in opponent average (.211, between Voechting and Erasmus), 3rd in opponent slugging (.272, trailing Stahlmann and Massingham), 3rd in OBP (.259, after Massingham and Erasmus) and 2nd in opponent OPS (behind only Massingham).

Mike was dominant against Russia in the 2016 European Championship, with no hits or walks in five shutout innings (two players did reach on error) while he fanned five. Orlando Yntema took over and lost the no-hit bid but Bolsenbroek got the victory for the game. The Netherlands took the Gold. He was also very good in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, blanking Taiwan for three innings. His 0.00 ERA in 3 1/3 IP led the Dutch staff (Tom de Blok was next at 0.00 in two innings).

He was 1-0 with a save in the 2017 World Port Tournament, allowing four unearned runs in 3 2/3 IP. He shut down ASD Rimini for 7 innings in the 2017 European Champions Cup before Nico Garbella hit a two-run homer; he lost to Jose Rosario. He then lost in the 7th/8th place game to the Mainz Athletics when Kevin Kotowski and Max Boldt hit two-run homers. For the round-robin phase, he was 6th in ERA (between Diegomar Markwell and Hidde Brocken), 5th in opponent average (.207) and 5th in IP (7 2/3).

He fell to 3-4, 3.48 for the 2017 Legionäre, finishing 9th in ERA (9th, between Jonathan Eisenhuth and Niklas Stephenson) and opponent OPS (between Erasmus and Stephenson). He allowed three runs in five innings in the 2018 Haarlem Baseball Week. In the Bundesliga, he was 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA and 76 K in 62 IP. He was second in ERA (.65 behind Michael Click), 7th in whiffs, tied Jan Tomek for 3rd in wins, was 8th in IP (between Duncan Izaaks and Antonio Horvatić), led in K:BB ratio (10.86:1, 1.78 ahead of Click), had the lowest walk rate, was 2nd in WHIP (.17 behind Click) and was 2nd in OPS (117 behind Click). In the 2018 Super6, he made one appearance for the champion Netherlands. He relieved Lars Huijer in the 3rd against Italy with two on, one out and a 4-2 deficit. He got out of that jam by fanning Leonardo Zileri and Drew Maggi. After the Netherlands tied it in the bottom of the 3rd, he began the 4th by walking Garbella. Alex Liddi reached on an error and Chris Colabello hit into a force. Giuseppe Mazzanti doubled in one run and Robel García hit a sacrifice fly for a 6-4 edge. Bolsenbroek retired Alessandro Vaglio to end the inning. In the 5th, he went 1-2-3 against Alberto Mineo, Zileri and Maggi (fanning Maggi again). Tom Stuifbergen took over in the 6th and the Netherlands rallied to win the game.

The Apeldoorn native moved to the Heidenheim Heideköpfe and shut down the Montigny Cougars in the 2019 CEB Cup (8 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 9 K); Erasmus completed the whitewash. Heidenheim won the event; he tied Lowuin Sacramento for the ERA lead and tied Elvis Gomez and John Hussey for 7th in strikeouts. In the 2019 World Port Tournament, he pitched 3 2/3 shutout innings and teamed with Kevin Kelly and Kaj Timmermans on a shutout against Taiwan.

In the '19 season, he was 6-2 with a 1.86 ERA for Heidenheim and 4-0, 1.01 in the postseason as they won the title. His 4.91 ERA was the highest on the Netherlands in the 2019 European Championship entering the Gold Medal Game. In the Gold Medal Game, he relieved Stuifbergen in the 7th with a 5-1 lead against Italy. He retired Vaglio then gave up singles to Federico Celli and Erick Epifano. He got Maggi to line out but walked Sebastiano Poma on four pitches to load the bags. Kelly relieved and escaped the jam; the Dutch would get the Gold.

The Netherlands then moved on to the 2019 Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier. He was excellent in his lone outing. Relieving Donny Breek in the 3rd with a 2-1 lead against South Africa, he went 1-2-3 against Kyle Botha (K), Jonathan Phillips and Brandon Bouillon. After the Dutch added four more runs, he again went in order in the 4th against Hein Robb (K), Brett Willemburg and Rowan Ebersohn (K). The Netherlands got him another run and he finished his cruising through the order by fanning Kyron Bibis and getting Benjamin Smith and Anthony Phillips on flies. Shurendy Valeriano relieved and Bolsenbroek got the win, but the Netherlands finished second in the event to avoid locking up a spot in the 2020 Olympics.

He also fared well in the 2019 Premier 12. Against Team USA, he relieved Markwell in the 7th with a 7-0 deficit. He retired Drew Waters and got Jo Adell looking. Andrew Vaughn doubled but Bobby Dalbec grounded out. Jim Ploeger relieved him in the 8th. He also pitched against Bronze Medal winner Mexico, succeeding Lars Huijer in the 6th with a 7-0 deficit. He retired Armando Araiza, Phillip Evans and Humberto Sosa in order, getting Sosa swinging. Orsen Josephina then replaced him.

Signing with the Brisbane Bandits for the 2019-2020 Australian Baseball League, he struggled in limited time (2 1/3 IP, 4 H, BB, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 K). The German season for 2020 was reduced in length due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He went 6-0 with two saves and a 2.40 ERA and fanned 50 in 30 innings. He tied Tomek for the win lead, was 4th in K, was second in saves (one behind Sven Schüller) and had the best ERA of anyone with 30+ IP (Roemer was next at 3.60). He was 2-1 in the playoffs and was named finals MVP as Heidenheim defended their title, beating the Bonn Capitals.