With the 2019 MLB Draft now under a month away, experts and insiders are beginning to make their projections on who the Detroit Tigers and other clubs will select in the first round.
For the second year in a row, the Detroit Tigers will be picking in the top five in next month’s MLB Draft. Last year, the Tigers selected Auburn pitcher Casey Mize with the first overall pick, and he is already looking like a potential future ace.
For the 2019 draft, the Tigers move down to the fifth overall pick, but will still have their choice at some of the best young talents the game has to offer. With baseball experts from around the internet starting to put together mock drafts, let’s take a look at who those experts think could end up being picked by Detroit.
Detroit Tigers- OF Riley Greene
The most popular pick among some of the biggest MLB mock draft experts is OF Riley Greene from Hagerty HS in Oviedo, FL. MLB.com has the University of Florida commit ranked sixth overall in their top 50 draft prospects, with scouts praising him as possibly the best pure high school hitter in the draft class.
Mike Axisa of CBS Sports, ESPN’s Keith Law, and MLB.com’s Jim Callis all project the Tigers to select Greene at number five in their respective mock drafts. Axisa offers high praise especially for the lefty’s strong bat, stating that Greene has proven his ability to hit at the next level through strong showcase performances against other top talents. In his MLB.com mock draft, Jim Callis points out that some scouts have compared Greene to LA Dodgers lefty power hitter Cody Bellinger.
Greene’s abilities at the plate are much more heralded by scouts than his abilities in the field, but the potential to add a powerful lefty bat to the list of Tigers prospects is enticing. With a college commitment already in place, Greene would have to make the choice between further developing his game in the NCAA or in the Tigers farm system. Either way, Greene seems like one of the best bets Detroit could have at adding a future slugger.
Detroit Tigers- OF JJ Bleday
Though Riley Greene is the most popular player amongst the more notable experts, some other mock drafts around the web have the Tigers possibly going in a different direction. The folks at 2080 Baseball have Detroit selecting Vanderbilt OF JJ Bleday with the fifth pick. The Florida native is currently in his junior year with the Commodores and led the team with a .368 batting average in 2018.
Bleday has followed up his impressive sophomore season with an equally solid junior campaign proving he is worthy of his fifth overall ranking in MLB.com’s top draft prospects list. In 48 games in 2019, Bleday boasts a .349 average with a team-high 61 RBIs and 23 homers.
It may take a bit of luck for the Tigers to end up with Bleday, however. Both Mike Axisa and Keith Law have the Marlins selecting Bleday just one spot ahead of Detroit with the fourth overall pick. Bleday would be another much-needed offensive addition to the list of Detroit Tigers prospects, but with his rocket arm and abilities in the field receiving higher praise than those of Riley Greene, Bleday could be considered a reach for the Tigers.
Who would you like to see the Tigers end up taking with the fifth overall pick? Feel free to let us know in the comments section down below.