Detroit Tigers: MLB Draft Preview

SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 5: Commissioner Allan H. Bud Selig announces the fifth overall pick of Nick Gordon by the Minnesota Twins during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 5: Commissioner Allan H. Bud Selig announces the fifth overall pick of Nick Gordon by the Minnesota Twins during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The 2019 MLB Draft begins this coming Monday, June 3rd, and the Detroit Tigers will have the fifth overall pick.

After selecting first overall in last year’s MLB Draft, the Detroit Tigers will once again have their choice of some of the top talent this draft has to offer when picking at fifth overall. The MLB Draft may not seem all that exciting to the casual fan, but since the Tigers have a top-five selection, there is the chance that whoever GM Al Avila decides to pick could be a potential future star in the old English D.

The MLB Draft is a long process, and since the Detroit Tigers are picking in the top five, we’ll be mainly focusing on the possible outcomes of the first round for the Tigers. So, without further ado, here is everything you need to know concerning the Tigers before the 2019 MLB Draft.

Detroit Tigers- Best case scenario

Coming into this year’s draft, it seems pretty clear who the first and second overall picks will be. Most likely, the Baltimore Orioles take Oregon State’s Adley Rutschman with the number one pick and then Kansas City scoops up Texas high school SS Bobby Witt Jr. at second overall.

After the top two, however, things might get interesting. Rutschman and Witt Jr. are ranked first and second overall respectively on MLB Pipeline’s list of top draft prospects. Number three on that list is University of California first baseman, Andrew Vaughn.

Some experts think Vaughn will fall right into line and be picked third overall by the White Sox, but others believe he could fall to Detroit at number five. In fact, the latest mock draft from FanGraphs has this exact scenario working out in the Tigers’ favor.

A first baseman with tremendous talent in the batter’s box, Vaughn could serve as a youthful replacement for an aging Miguel Cabrera in Detroit. This year for the Golden Bears, Vaughn has a stellar .378 BA and a team-leading 49 RBI in 50 games, helping lead Cal to an NCAA Tournament berth.

Vaughn somehow falling to number five is what I believe would be the best case scenario for the Detroit Tigers in this draft. Vaughn, along with Rutschman, is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, essentially the Heisman of college baseball. An absolute beast at the plate, Vaughn is the ideal hitting prospect the Tigers need to add to further the rebuild.

Detroit Tigers- More realistic scenarios

Vaughn falling into Detroit’s lap at number five would be a great scenario, but it also would require a lot of luck. So, to be safe, let’s look at some other outstanding prospects that are more likely to be available to the Tigers when they go on the clock.

Probably the most popular player projected among mock drafters to go to the Tigers at fifth overall is OF Riley Greene from Hagerty HS in Oviedo, FL. Another talented hitter, some scouts even tough Greene as the potentially the best non-NCAA batting prospect in the draft class. Committed to the Florida Gators, Greene seems to be a solid, safe option for Detroit to snatch up at fifth overall to start accumulating high-level hitting talent in the farm system.

Another potential option that is not as quite of a reach as Vaughn is Vanderbilt OF JJ Bleday. Bleday has 26 HRs, 67 RBI, and a .357 BA so far in his junior season with the Commodores. However, Bleday’s draft stock rise could now make him another reach for the Tigers.

ESPN’s Keith Law now has Bleday going fourth overall to the Marlins in his latest mock draft earlier this week. After being named a Golden Spikes Award finalist, Bleday might also be a player that Detroit might need to run into a bit of luck in order to get.

Detroit Tigers- Why hitting should be the Avila’s priority

I already wrote an entire blog about this last week, but it is an important point to rehash. The Tigers have plenty of extremely talented pitching prospects such as Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and Alex Faedo developing currently in the minor leagues. What the Tigers still need are more standout bats for the future.

If GM Al Avila does decide to yet again go with pitching, then the pick would almost certainly be TCU left-hander Nick Lodolo at number five overall. Lodolo has a 2.48 ERA and 125 K’s in 15 starts for the Horned Frogs in his junior year this year and will be playing in the same NCAA Regional as Andrew Vaughn and the Cal Golden Bears.

Lodolo is a very talented pitching prospect, the highest ranked pitcher in MLB Pipeline’s prospect list, but I still think that Detroit should prioritize hitting. With a top-five pick in a draft that has some very talented hitters slated to go in the top ten.

Next. Is Willi Castro Ready For The Big Leagues?. dark

Detroit is in an interesting position at number five overall. Riley Greene is a solid talent and seems to be the one player with the best guarantee to be available when the Tigers go on the clock, but Vaughn and Bleday are two of the best college players in the nation and one of them could end up falling into Al Avila’s lap. We have to wait until Monday night to find out who the next potential Detroit sports star could be.

Coverage of the MLB Draft begins Monday night at 7 pm on MLB Network. Make sure to follow Motor City Bengals on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute draft updates concerning your Detroit Tigers.