The MLB Draft starts tomorrow and the Detroit Tigers have the ninth pick in the first round. While no one knows exactly who the Tigers will pick, there are plenty of needs that the Tigers could fulfill with it and the ones that follow.
In the past few years, the Detroit Tigers have done well with their draft picks. In 2015, the Tigers chose Beau Burrows, Christin Stewart, and Matt Hall along with 37 other young men. These three have been performing well in the minor leagues. Stewart was a part of the Midwest League Champion West Michigan Whitecaps in 2015. Burrows was fresh out of high school and Hall was just named to the Midwest League All-Star Game.
The ninth pick is the highest the Tigers have had since they nabbed Verlander in 2004. His history with the team proves how important a high draft pick can be, so it is vital that the Tigers choose wisely. Since there are eight teams picking before the Tigers do, they may not get the young man they really want.
Fortunately, there are plenty of good picks this year and half of the top-20 picks are pitchers. Every team can benefit from selecting an outstanding young pitcher and the one who is getting all of the buzz is an 18-year-old right-handed pitcher from Kansas named Riley Pint. He has committed to Louisiana State. The young pitcher throws his fastball between 93-97 MPH and he has reached speeds over 100.
Currently, the Tigers do have a strong crop of young pitchers who are working their way through the minor league teams. They do have a plethora of young outfielders like Steven Moya, JaCoby Jones, and Wynton Bernard as well as Christin Stewart and Mike Gerber who would love to get a crack at the Big Leagues.
What the Tigers have not been collecting over the years are infielders. Very few of minor league infielders had time in Lakeland during spring training other than Dominic Ficociello, Dixon Machado, and JaCoby Jones (who can play a variety of positions). The Tigers could benefit from nabbing a few infielders, especially those with big bats. The current big bats, like Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera, will eventually need to be replaced (I know – I hate to admit it, too). They do have a few more years in them, but there is nothing wrong with starting the search so the Tigers can begin grooming young prospects.
These are a few names to watch:
- Dakota Hudson (RHP) from Mississippi State
- Nick Senzel (SS) from Tennessee
- Zack Burdi (RHP) Louisville
The MLB draft is quite different than the NFL and NBA drafts because so few people watch college baseball and even fewer watch the high school players outside of their own locales. The Big League teams tend to avoid picking high school players, simply because they are so young and many of the high school players who get drafted choose to go to college instead.