It has been a busy week so far for the Detroit Tigers. One day after making a splash by adding some power to their lineup, The Tigers added 25 prospects to the organization on deadline day, Including first rounder Jacob Turner, second rounder Andy Oliver and Sixth round draft pick Daniel Fields.
Turner and Oliver both signed over the slot, and were part of an onslaught of Scott Boras clients looking to sign on deadline day. Fields is a local product that has extreme talent. He will get his oppurtunity to become the shortstop of the future starting with Lakeland sooner rather than later.
In today’s phone conference with David Chadd, Dave Dombrowski, Al Avila and the three draft picks, I came away with this:
- Dave Dombrowski is now committed to building this organization from the ground up. He was asked about the over the slot contracts and he commented on the fact that the Tigers are focused on bringing in the best players possible. Now this has been the strategy for years, but it proves the Tigers will continue to move the organization forward by it’s own talent and building it’s own power. The organization has also shown that they have the ability to convince their top prospects to stay. Jacob Turner was going to UNC, Daniel Fields was an almost lock at Michigan, and Andy Oliver contimplated returning for his senior year at Oklahoma State.
- A lot is going to be put on the shoulders of Daniel Fields. Fields is the son of a former Tiger, and a Detroit native. The Tigers will give him a chance at one of the most advertised positions in baseball. Some will deem him the next Alan Trammell, but those are some big shoes to fill. I asked Fields about his decision to sign professionally or go to college. This was a tough decision for Daniel for a couple reasons. Firstly, his father, former Tiger coach and Outfielder Bruce Fields, really wanted him to take a scholarship and earn an education. Secondly, Daniel fell in love with the University of Michigan and Coach Rich Maloney’s program advances in the Big Ten. Fields said the toughest part was “when I had to call coach Maloney and tell him I wasn’t going to be coming there.” He also called playing for his hometown team a “oppurtunity I couldn’t pass up.” A hometown kid will definitely be fun to watch grow in the system.
- Jacob Turner really seems excited to get started. He says he was persuaded by the Tigers to sign, and that he is ready to get going. He talked about how Todd Worell helped him develop his secondary work. Turner is now the Rick Porcello of the organization and he believes that the Tigers organization is a good way to start his professional career. He seemed geniuine when he said he was excited to play with the Tigers because of the way they have developed talent in the past. David Chadd brought up a good point when he said that adding Turner and Andy Oliver adds an influx of starting pitching to the organiation, just like all the bullpen arms did in the 2008 draft class.
- Andy Oliver seems to have truly developed in the college game. I asked him how his college career and international play helped him as a pitcher and he said the biggest thing was playing in front of large crowds. He will continue to work on his secondary pitches. Part of his issue he said last year was throwing a curve to a slider, meanwhile going in between pitches. His changeup is solid, no doubt about it. He will be start for the Tigers, despite rumors that he would move to a bullpen role in the organization.
I’ll share more on This Week in Detroit Tigers Baseball this week, as well as on 1320 WDMJ Marquette.