The 2019 MLB Draft is less than a week away, and the Detroit Tigers will have plenty of talent to choose from in the first round with the fifth overall pick.
This coming Monday, June 3rd, is the first day of the 2019 MLB Draft. After having the first overall pick in last year’s draft, the Detroit Tigers will once again have their choice of some of the most premier up-and-coming talent in the game when choosing the fifth overall pick.
Earlier in the day on Tuesday, ESPN’s Keith Law released his latest MLB Mock Draft in which his projection on who the Tigers will select at number five did not change from his first mock draft a few weeks ago.
With the fifth overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, Keith Law predicts the Detroit Tigers will select OF Riley Greene from Hagerty HS in Oviedo, FL. At just 18 years old, the University of Florida commit has received high praise for his offensive prowess.
Greene is the sixth overall player in MLB Pipeline’s list of the top 200 prospects in this year’s draft. Scouts seem to have very few doubts that Greene’s ability to connect at the plate will translate to the next level making him arguably the best high school hitting prospect in the draft.
Drafting high school prospects so high can be seen as a bit risky, but at just 18 years old, Greene will have plenty of time to further develop his game whether he chooses to go and play with the Florida Gators or go into the farm system right away.
Though Greene going to the Tigers has been a popular prediction by many mock drafters, Law also highlights a couple more players that could be on Detroit’s radar. Law has Vanderbilt OF JJ Bleday going to the Miami Marlins at fourth overall, one spot ahead of the Tigers.
Law also mentions how fifth could be the lowest that Cal Golden Bears slugger Andrew Vaughn falls in this draft. Being a tremendous offensive power and the third overall prospect in the draft, the Tigers would be extremely lucky to have Vaughn fall into their laps at number five, yet Law has the Chicago White Sox snatching him up with the third pick.
TCU pitcher Nick Lodolo was also mentioned by Law in connection with the Tigers, saying that Detroit seems to be the team with the highest interest in the lefty. Lodolo is eighth overall on MLB Pipeline’s list, but that makes him the highest ranked pitcher in the draft. The lefty has tremendous potential on the mound with a 3.62 career ERA over three seasons with the Horned Frogs, but this would be a somewhat puzzling decision if the Tigers do go for it considering the amount of pitching talent the team is already currently developing.
Outstanding hitting prospects are something the Detroit Tigers are in desperate need of. Taking a pitcher with the fifth overall pick would not do a whole lot of good for the rebuild given the pitching talent that is already in the farm system. A solid hitter that has the potential to be a future everyday lineup guy like Greene seems like a safe choice for the Tigers in this draft.