It’s that time of year again. In fact, the 2013 MLB draft is just a week away, so it’s time to start looking at some of the guys that could be potential Detroit Tigers in the upcoming draft. I’m not sure how many I am going to get to for you all, but I will do my best to get you as much information as possible.
Disclaimer #1: Between my full time job, and my writing responsibilities at a couple different places which includes watching minor league baseball, I just don’t have time to watch college ball and high school baseball. So I have not seen these kids in person. I have watched video on many of them to get my own impressions, but that leads me to my second disclaimer.
Disclaimer #2: I am compiling these scouting reports by using a variety of sources. One of the things about giving scouting reports on high school kids and college kids is that they just don’t get seen as much as minor leaguers or pro players. With high school pitchers going once a week, sites such as Baseball America might see a pitcher once, and then rely on reports from real scouts in baseball. Since outlets like this have better information than I do, but may have seen a guy on a good or bad day, I prefer to combine multiple sources in order to give you all an overview on these players. Some of the places I will use are my friends and colleagues at Bullpen Banter, Scout.com, Baseball America, and Minor League Ball, but there may be more. Essentially my approach is to combine and condense information, as well as sprinkle in my own thoughts. Hope you enjoy.
Hunter Harvey, RHP, Bandy HS (North Carolina)
Harvey is an interesting kid. He has major league bloodlines. His dad is former big league reliever Bryan Harvey. And Hunter doesn’t appear interested in going to college, meaning he might save the Tigers some money with their first pick so they could save some for later. Harvey has a projectable frame, and has reportedly reached 97 mph with his fastball already, though he sits more in the low 90’s. He shows a feel for both his breaking ball and his change up, but struggles a bit with inconsistency. There is some boom and bust potential here, but in a draft that is peppered with performers that have a moderate ceiling, Harvey is a kid that could take off nicely.
Alex Balog, RHP, San Francisco
Balog is a big sturdy right handed pitcher at 6’5 and over 200lbs. I haven’t heard much about the Tigers and Balog, but he has been a fast mover in the past couple of weeks and is slated to go around where the Tigers pick. There is good reason for that. Balog features a low to mid 90’s fastball with some sink, a curve ball and slider that both flash above average, as well as a change up that reportedly has improved. He is likely going to have to scrap one of the breaking balls and focus on one, but his sturdy frame and solid stuff suggests a middle of the rotation type starter.
Ian Clarkin, LHP, Madison HS, San Diego
Clarkin has a couple of really good things going for him. His fastball is major league average right now, he is left handed, and he has a potentially plus curve ball down the road (it’s really good already). The combination of these things make Clarkin one of the more sought after left handed pitchers in this draft, probably right after Trey Ball and Seth Manaea. However, there are some cautionary things as well. He is pretty much physically developed already, so not much in projection with Clarkin. And he has some delivery inconsistencies as well. Clarkin has an extreme leg kick, and can get off balance from time to time. A team that is confident in being able to smooth out the delivery will likely have no problem taking Clarking somewhere between the mid teens and the mid twenties.
Rob Kaminsky, LHP, St. Joseph HS, New Jersey
I don’t understand why there isn’t a bit more buzz about Kaminsky, especially with the Tigers. Kaminsky is the owner of some of the best present stuff in the draft from a high school pitcher. Yes, he lacks projection because of his size, but his build is athletic, and the stuff is a tick above average now. His fastball sits comfortably in the low 90’s and can bump to the mid 90’s on occasion. His breaking ball is a future plus pitch and is right there in terms of depth with Clarkin’s. Kaminsky has also shown a feel for a change, as well as being known to be a tough competitor on the mound. I have done quite of bit of looking around on Kaminsky, and have struggled to find anyone say much bad about him. The only thing I noticed from video is he might drop his arm angle on occasion, which could lead to some command issues and flattening out of his breaking balls.
Marco Gonzalez, LHP, Gonzaga
Marco Gonzalez is like the collegiate verison of Rob Kaminsky, with a little bit less on his fastball. Gonzalez is a guy that isn’t going to excite prospect watchers out there, but is easily one of the most advanced pitchers in this draft. Gonzales sits in the upper 80’s with his fastball, showing good ability to spot it to both sides of the plate. He has also worked on cutting his fastball in on right handers as well, losing a few mph in the process. His best secondary is a change up which rates as plus by most accounts. Gonzalez also throws an average breaking ball as well to round out a solid repertoire. Gonzalez is that pitcher with the high floor we hear about, and he could move quickly, which could potentially intrigue the Tigers. He isn’t as physical as current Tigers pitcher Drew Smyly, but he does kind of present the same type of feel and repertoire.