It sounds like the Tigers and Cody Satterwhite have parted ways, making it so the first 3 out of 4 top picks of the Tigers 2008 draft are no longer with the organization. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering that Satterwhite, at one time a very hard thrower, had suffered multiple setbacks with shoulder troubles. Reports had him sitting in the mid to high 80′s with his fastball, and that just wasn’t going to work for a guy that lacked ideal command.
In what I refer to as the great reliever draft of 2008, the strategy in which the Tigers deployed that season has really backfired at this point. The only pitcher in the top 4 still left in the organization at this point is reliever Scott Green, and he also has had injury trouble that has stunted his growth. In fact, the Tigers drafted 7 relievers with their first 10 picks, and starter Jade Todd has been converted making it 8. The only reason the draft can be considered salvaged at this point is the 5th round selection of Alex Avila, and the 8th round selection of Andy Dirks.
In Avila, the Tigers look like they have their long term solution for a starter at catcher. In Dirks, it looks like they have a very capable 4th outfielder at least.
That being said, 2008′s draft is a perfect example of why you don’t focus a draft on college relievers. First of all, as we all know, the value of relief pitching win wise is really pretty low. Secondly, if they are a reliever in college, that should’ve been a sign that they don’t have fully developed repertoire’s to begin with. If they did, I can almost assure you that they would be starting at the college level.
No greater example of this was with the Tigers first round pick of 2008 in Ryan Perry. Whether you believe he was rushed or not, or should’ve been developed as a starter, no longer matters. It was a wasted pick from the get go value wise the minute the Tigers made him a reliever.
Brett Jacobson, the Tigers 4th rounder in 2008, did at least provide something on the trade market for the Tigers. He was part of the Aubrey Huff trade that helped kill the Tigers playoff chances in 2009. Along with Jarrod Washburn that season, the Tigers deadline deals contributed to them letting a good lead slip away to the Minnesota Twins. While we couldn’t necessarily foresee that at the time, Jacobson has nonetheless gone on to be uninspiring as a reliever in the minors. He is now part of the Minnesota organization, as are many of the Tigers minor league toss-a-ways.
Still, despite my distaste for the 2008 draft, I do lament the fact that it was Satterwhite that suffered the most devastating injuries of the bunch. He had the most explosive stuff in my opinion, and unlike Ryan Perry, I thought he would be able to close games out for the Tigers. But alas, it was not meant to be for the young man. Good luck to him in the future in whatever he decided to do.
Hopefully the Tigers scouting department has lived and learned.