It’s too early to tell how the last couple of drafts will turn out, although the Tigers have seen a lot of their recent picks get high praise from scouts.
The first round pick in 2013 by the Tigers was right-hander Jonathon Crawford. Crawford went 8-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 2014 with Single-A West Michigan, before getting traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with Eugenio Suarez for Alfredo Simon. Crawford has struggled mightily in Cincinnati. He went 0-10 with a 5.65 ERA at High-A ball last year. He struck out 44 and walked 79. It likely won’t be long until he is out of baseball for good.
2014 first rounder Derek Hill has disappointed in his minor league career thus far, only hitting .246 and barely reaching High-A. However, he’s only 21 and still has blazing speed, having swiped 100 bags in his career.
Third rounder Grayson Greiner, eighth rounder Artie Lewicki, tenth rounder Paul Voelker and fifteenth rounder Mike Gerber all figure to see the major leagues in the next year or two. Voelker was recently named one of our four “under the radar” prospects to pay attention to.
Beau Burrows is considered one of Detroit’s top prospects, and many scouts feel he will be a dynamic starting pitcher in the major leagues. In fact, MLB pipeline named him the 85th best prospect in the MLB, one of four Tiger pitchers on the list.
Second rounder Christin Stewart is a power-hitting prospect that has struggled defensively, but figures to make his big league debut next season. Cam Gibson, son of MLB legend Kirk Gibson, was taken in the fifth round as well.
Matt Manning checked in at number 61 on MLB pipeline’s list. The first rounder from 2016 is still just 19 years old and has the potential to be a frontline starter in the major leagues.
Second rounder Kyle Funkhouser is another right-handed pitching prospect that the Tigers are really high on.
You can read about Alex Faedo’s dominant performance in the College World Series here. There is a reason he checked in as the number 66 prospect despite never having thrown a professional pitch. The kid has explosive stuff and is one of the most exciting prospects in a rapidly improving Tigers farm system.
The Tigers, like most teams, have had mixed results atop the draft. Not every player the Tigers take will become a superstar. But, if they can get a healthy mix of talent from the draft in the next few years it will expedite their rebuild and bring the team back into contention.