We’re a little over two weeks away from the 2019 MLB Draft and several different experts and insiders are projecting who the Detroit Tigers could take in the first round.
After selecting pitcher Casey Mize with the first overall pick last year, the Detroit Tigers will once again pick in the top five as they hold the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft. Mize has the look of a potential future ace on the mound, and with another top-five pick, Detroit once again will have its choice of some of the top talent the draft has to offer.
In his latest mock draft published on earlier in the day on Friday, MLB.com’s Jim Callis changed his prediction of whom the Tigers will select fifth overall from his original mock draft from a few weeks ago.
In his first mock draft, Callis had the Detroit Tigers picking high school OF and Florida Gators commit Riley Greene with the fifth pick. This time around, Callis has a bit of luck going the Tigers’ way with Cal 1B Andrew Vaughn falling into Detroit’s lap at number five.
Vaughn is currently ranked as the third overall top prospect in this year’s draft class by MLB Pipeline. Detroit has a wealth of young pitching talent developing in the minor leagues already, so adding a prospect with hitting ability like Vaughn’s could be a big plus for the advancement of the rebuild.
A Bay Area native, Vaughn has had a hot bat through his entire three years so far with the Cal Golden Bears in Berkley. In 2018, Vaughn finished his sophomore season with a .402 BA, 63 RBIs, and 23 HRs in 54 games.
So far in his junior campaign, Vaughn has racked up 47 RBIs, 14 HRs and currently holds a .374 BA. His 14 homers currently lead the team and his 1.242 OPS is also a team high for the Golden Bears this season.
The Tigers certainly have much more potential future talent on the mound than they do at the plate currently. Adding a strong bat like Vaughn’s into the system would be great, and he could serve as a potential future replacement for an aging Miguel Cabrera at first base. Being one of the most coveted talents in this draft, however, does mean a bit of luck might have to be on Detroit’s side if they want to end up with Vaughn.