Leif Mahler, a former St. Charles Preparatory School baseball standout and a four-year starter at Michigan, spent June 5-6 hoping to receive a call saying he had been selected in the Major League Baseball draft, but the call never came.

Leif Mahler, a former St. Charles Preparatory School baseball standout and a four-year starter at Michigan, spent June 5-6 hoping to receive a call saying he had been selected in the Major League Baseball draft, but the call never came.

Despite not being drafted, Mahler, a middle infielder whose family lives in Upper Arlington, still could receive a minor-league contract offer from a Major League organization. Mahler, who served as a team captain in his final two seasons with the Wolverines, believes that is unlikely. As a result, he has all but closed the door on playing professionally.

"My passion for baseball is still there and playing professional baseball was a goal of mine, but I've got to move on past college into the real world," Mahler said last week by phone from Ann Arbor, Mich. "I had an opportunity to play semi-professional (with the Traverse City, Mich., Beach Bums of the Frontier League), but I chose not to do it. Not a lot of guys get picked up playing semi-professional, and a lot of guys who do get picked up are pitchers."

The Frontier League is an independent league, meaning the teams and its players are not affiliated with any Major League organizations.

Mahler, a 2003 St. Charles graduate who earned an economics degree from Michigan, was not surprised that he was not drafted. As the draft drew near, he considered himself to be a longshot, even though he had a solid career with the Wolverines.

As a senior last season, Mahler had a .305 batting average with 42 RBI, 51 runs, 17 doubles and three home runs in 60 games as the Wolverines finished 46-14 and captured their third consecutive Big Ten regular-season championship and their second Big Ten tournament championship in three years. In 219 career games, he batted .307 with 106 RBI, 138 runs, 37 doubles and four home runs.

As a shortstop and second baseman, he had a .950 fielding percentage for his career.

"Before the season, certainly," Mahler said when asked if he thought he would be drafted. "But as the season went along, not really. I didn't hit well enough for it to be warranted. But I had a good five years at Michigan. I got to play on a great team, with great players. Of course, when you show up (to college), your goals are big, your expectations are high. I hoped to be drafted. Other than that, my career was what I hoped for."

In 29 games as a senior at St. Charles, Mahler hit .553 with 40 RBI, 40 runs, 10 doubles, eight triples and five home runs and had a .962 fielding percentage as the starting shortstop. He was named first-team all-state and all-district in Division I and made first-team all-CCL as the Cardinals went 21-8 and won the CCL championship.

Early into his freshman season at Michigan, Mahler moved into the starting lineup at shortstop. In 41 games that season, including 29 as a starter, he batted .306 with 17 RBI and 19 runs and had a .974 fielding percentage. He won the team's Ted Sizemore Award as its top defensive player.

"As soon as Leif got in there, he didn't come out (of the starting lineup)," Wolverines coach Rich Maloney said.

Injury forced Mahler out of the lineup after his junior season, however. He sat out the 2007 season as a medical redshirt after undergoing hernia surgery.

"Leif battled through injury," Maloney said. "He showed his wherewithal. He was a team captain and paid his own way to travel on the road with the team that year. I think he made all but one trip. Just think how hard that must have been for him. He wasn't able to play, but he wanted to be there to support his teammates."

Given the fact that Mahler's replacement at shortstop, Jason Christian, whom Maloney called "a pro prospect," had returned for the 2008 season, Mahler was moved to second base. Mahler quickly adapted to the switch as he had a .967 fielding percentage and helped turn 42 double plays. He received the Ted Sizemore Award for the second time.

"It was a new challenge because I had never played second base before this year," said Mahler, who was named third-team all-Big Ten as a senior and made all-academic Big Ten in 2005, 2006 and 2008. "That's why it was rewarding to win the defensive award.

"(Moving to second base) worked out really well. It's an easier adjustment going from shortstop to second base than it is going from second base to shortstop. Playing second base was a lot of fun."

Maloney would like to see a Major League organization take a chance on Mahler. But if that doesn't happen, he said Mahler should walk away from the game knowing that he had a successful career with the Wolverines.

"Leif not only was an outstanding player for us, but a two-year captain," Maloney said. "I think the greatest thing about Leif is that he was a true team player who matured and developed into a leader. He also was an excellent student."