As promised, I wanted to start bringing all of you some names that the Tigers might be looking at when the 2012 draft comes around. Now, there isn’t going to be any potential over slot guys in these scouting reports. If you want to believe the Tigers have a legitimate shot at Lucas Giolito, that is up to you, but you can find his profile elsewhere. Most of who I am going to be looking at are guys that are going to be ranked in the 70-300 range, and could be considered legitimate picks for the Tigers. Since the Tigers don’t pick til 86, hopefully I will be able to profile a guy the Tigers select.
Either way, hope you enjoy reading them.
Mitchell Traver, RHP, Houston Christian HS
Physically, Traver has no business lasting until the 2nd round, and there is a possibility he wouldn’t. However, I have seen him ranked as high as the 60’s and as low as 110 or so. That falls in the Tigers range, and they have a habit of loving the big physical right handers, and Traver sits at 6’7″ and 235 lbs.
Traver is a three pitch guy at this point, showing a fastball that sits in the low 90’s most of the time. Several reports indicate that he gets a little bit of arm-side run on his fastball from his 3/4 delivery that I have seen on video. His delivery isn’t max effort for a big guy, and with some pro instruction, I could see a guy that moves into a 92-94 velocity range as he matures. I have seen his breaking ball called a curve and a slider, looking more like a slider to me. It sits low 80’s and shows good potential, though he isn’t consistent with it. Traver also throws a change up as well, and some are excited by the potential he shows with the pitch.
Traver could be a tough sign, as he is the type of guy who could improve his stock greatly in college. However, a 2nd round selection might convince him otherwise. Some concerns would be that if he gets even bigger yet, he will struggle with athleticism on the mound, and he could struggle with command, having troubles repeating his delivery. Also, while he is big, it looks like to me he could use some strength in his legs.
Pat Light, RHP, Monmouth
Light is a big right hander as well, and word is the Tigers like him quite a bit. While I have seen him going mostly ten picks or so before the Tigers, there is a possibility he gets there at 86. At 6’6″ and 200lbs, Light has a pretty ideal frame, and there is room to put 10-15lbs of muscle on there.
Light owns three pitches, a fastball, slider, and a change. His fastball is his best pitch, living anywhere from 90-96 mph, and there might be a little more in his frame as he adds a little muscle. He throws from a 3/4 arm slot, and repeats his delivery well, allowing him to command the pitch to both corners. Light throws strikes, and has shown an ability to get stronger as the game goes on, starting off in the low 90’s early, and then hitting the mid 90’s in the middle frames. His slider can be good at times, however, he doesn’t get on top of it often enough, causing it to flatten out. I’ve seen conflicting reports on his change, where some think it has potential, and some think it’s completely unusable.
Here is the thing. Light has an intriguing frame, and a quality fastball with above average command. I would expect that an organization would try him as a starter, but if that doesn’t work, he could be an ideal late inning reliever. In short stints, his fastball might play up to the upper 90’s, where his lack of an above average secondary might not matter as much. If a team can get an average slider and change out of Light, he could easily work well in the middle of a rotation.
Carson Fulmer RHP, All Saints Academy, Lakeland, FL.
Sitting in the Tigers backyard in Lakeland, should mean that Fulmer is on the Tigers radar. But there are many reasons for being on their radar that exist beyond his location. Fulmer is one of the more physically strong, and powerful high school right handers in the nation. His height isn’t ideal at 6’1″, but he does have thick, strong legs, that he uses well in his over the top delivery.
Fulmer possesses a three pitch mix, and all of them have the opportunity with some fine tuning to be above average pitches. He currently sits 92-94 with his fastball, and despite the smaller frame, generates his velocity from a quick arm and a strong lower half. In general he repeats the delivery and commands well, despite a high leg kick, and a head whip that pro instruction would have to work to fix. His breaking ball, that I have seen called a curve and a slider, shows good late breaking action, and could be an above average pitch down the road with some consistency. His change also has potential, and currently sits in the low to mid 80’s with some fade right now.
Fulmer is an exciting young pitcher. His biggest drawback is his delivery. It’s pretty max effort, and the head whip is pretty pronounced. Teams might be scared off by what may be seen as a lack of projection, and he does have a Vanderbilt commitment. However, many believe he is signable.
Damien Magnifico, RHP, Oklahoma
Tigers fans might not want to hear this one, but Magnifico is exactly the type of guy I expect the Tigers to look at. One, the Tigers always have a strong scouting presence in the middle of the United States. Two, Magnifico has the power arm that the Tigers tend to covet. Problem is, and this is what Tigers fans don’t want to hear, that Magnifico looks like a bullpen guy all the way.
Magnifico is the owner of a plus-plus fastball. His fastball generally sits 96-98, and has been known to touch 100 plenty. He owns an athletic pitchers frame with strong legs, and uses them well in his delivery to help him generate his velocity. His command of the fastball is just okay, and it tends to be straight, with hitters often see the ball well out of his hand. He is a starter for Oklahoma, so he has worked on cutting the fastball, and is working on a two seamer as well. His secondaries aren’t really worth talking about in the sense that I believe they would ever develop enough to be a starter. His curve flashes as an above average offering once in a while, but not nearly enough.
This profile reminds me of another former Tigers reliever, Ryan Perry, and Perry might have had better secondary stuff.
Eddie Butler, RHP, Radford
There are some real issues with Butler, but in general, there is enough upside here that most people view him as a 2nd to 4th round pick. Butler is in need of some meat and potatoes first and foremost. At 6’2″, he is at just 165lbs, and not very strong at all. However, what that does mean is there is a good amount of projection on Butler, as he begins to add some mass and some strength. Right now, he has difficulty repeating his delivery, and he has difficulty commanding his stuff. As a starter, he has a tendency to wear down, though that isn’t likely to be a big problem if he adds mass in the future.
Butler, technically throws three pitches at this point, though his offerings beyond his fastball are a work in progress. His slider lacks a little bit and consistency, though it does flash as a usable pitch at times. His change lags way behind, and if a team wants to use Butler as a starter, they are going to have to develop the pitch with him. That brings us to his fastball, and the reason that Butler is intriguing.
Butler uses quick arm action from a low 3/4 arm slot to generate a low to mid 90’s fastball with above average sink and movement. He owns what scouts like to call a heavy ball, that could generate a ton of ground balls. If he continues to add strength, the projection here could be a guy that sits mid 90’s with heavy sink. There is a good chance Butler ends up in the bullpen, but if a team thinks they could improve the secondaries enough, they will probably try him as a starter first.