Detroit Tigers News

Draft Preview: Tigers’ First Round Choice

clarsen
Feb 24, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Justin Upton (8) shakes hands with team owner Chris Ilitch as designated hitter Victor Martinez (right) and relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez and second baseman Ian Kinsler (back left) look on after unveiling the logo in memoriam of the late team owner Mike Ilitch before a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 24, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Justin Upton (8) shakes hands with team owner Chris Ilitch as designated hitter Victor Martinez (right) and relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez and second baseman Ian Kinsler (back left) look on after unveiling the logo in memoriam of the late team owner Mike Ilitch before a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

With the MLB Draft quickly approaching, not just Detroit Tigers fans, but fans from all over are wondering which young phenom will be the next superstar. Let’s see who we should familiarize ourselves with.

June 14-16, 7 p.m. eastern, MLB Network & MLB.com. The date, the time and the location in which Detroit Tigers fans can watch eagerly to see which new talent he or she should be preparing to have stitched on the back of a jersey.

In this season’s draft the Tigers have a first round pick in the 18th spot. As with any sports’ draft there are a plethora of mock drafts released.

Mocks meant to help the fans get an idea of the players available, players expected to be drafted early and potentially the player who may be drafted to their team.

MLB.com released a mock draft as did Bleacher Report. I’ve decided to take both of those mocks and analyze the player listed who is likely to have his name called when Detroit is on the clock.

Fans, introduce yourself to Nick Pratto. Well, maybe. Like I said, it’s a mock draft, anything can happen. For this article’s sake let’s assume we will be seeing Pratto in the navy blue and orange very soon.

More from Detroit Tigers News

Pratto is a six-foot one-inch first baseman out of Huntington Beach, California. Pratto throws left handed and hits from the left side, he also has a commitment to USC to continue his play.

Upside

MLB.com’s mock draft dubbed Pratto’s bat as the following:

"“one of the best in the class”"

That statement will surely excite Tigers’ fans. Bleacher Report seems to agree. The publication wrote:

"“Nick Pratto is arguably the best pure hitter among this year’s prep bats and perhaps in the entire draft.”"

As a smaller first baseman there is a sense of risk surrounding the California native, something Detroit may be able to overlook due to Pratto’s upside.

Per SB Nation’s minorleagueball.com, Pratto’s strength’s at the plate include:

"“above-average bat speed, consistent hitting mechanics, and an exceptional feel for the strike zone.”"

The same website went on to break down Pratto’s defensive skills, writing that he has:

"“soft hands, a strong arm, impressive field awareness, and plenty of polish at first base.”"

A good fit

Detroit is in a tough spot in this upcoming offseason.

If the Tigers fail to make the playoffs fans could see Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Jose Iglesias or J.D. Martinez on another squad come 2018. That reason is exactly why Pratto is a good fit.

Pratto can come in and fill a first basemen void that is currently being held together, thinly, by Cabrera and part-time catcher John Hicks.

If the time comes when Detroit has to ship some stars out and being an official rebuild, Pratto can come in as an 18th overall pick and be a cornerstone to build on; both offensively and defensively.

The Detroit Tigers are in an odd spot in this year’s draft. Too high to have a for sure, safe pick, but too low to be able to snag a top prospect who could come in immediately and make an impact.

Next: #VoteAvila? Alex Avila should be an All-Star

Whomever the team decides to go with, if we hear “Nick Pratto” called in 13 days, it seems as though within a few years the kid will be well known.

facebooktwitterreddit