Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Luring Undrafted Free Agents To Comerica

LAKELAND, FL - FEBRUARY 18: Detroit Tigers Vice President and Assistant General Manager Al Avila watches the action during Spring Training Workout on February 18, 2011 at Tiger Town in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
LAKELAND, FL - FEBRUARY 18: Detroit Tigers Vice President and Assistant General Manager Al Avila watches the action during Spring Training Workout on February 18, 2011 at Tiger Town in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Tigers have scouted over 600 players so they have an idea of who they want. With just $20,000 for anyone who is not drafted in the first five rounds, the plan to get talent to Detroit is a relatively simple one. A chance to play sooner than anyone else.

This week, MLB announced plans for the amateur draft. From all accounts, Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila has an idea of where he wants to go in the draft and rebuilding of the ballclub. Per the article by Lynn Henning of the Detroit News on the team’s direction:

“We had this thing going right where we wanted to go,” “Now, for so many guys — pitchers and hitters — you’ve got a lost year of development.”

So, what is Al Avila’s direction?

Let’s start the Detroit Tigers possible journey on draft day

Per Jeff Passan’s report on ESPN, the MLB draft will be held on June 10 and 11 via video conference. The first 37-picks plus the competitive balance picks on the first day and the next day rounds two through five.

For the undrafted portion as reported by Jon Heyman, teams can begin contacting players who were not drafted on June 14. They have until August 1 to complete deals and they can sign for only $20,000 or less.

The slot value for the top pick for the Detroit Tigers as reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic at $8,415,300, the same value for the top pick last year.  The difference is as Rosenthal states are that bonuses will be deferred with 50 percent coming July 1, 2021, and the other 50% coming on July 1, 2022.

With all that being said, our own Jay Markle discussed last month that after the rumored selection of Spencer Torkelson, Avila, and Director of Scouting Scott Pleis are reportedly open to taking more pitching. Jay mentions some of the names he likes from this draft class that could benefit Detroit and Chris Brown of the Tigers Minor League Report did an entire mock draft for the Tigers.

Sell me on playing in Detroit

The strategy behind every draft is to pick the best player available, not by need. But as I pointed out earlier in the week about the team’s depth chart, Detroit would be the ideal place to get to the majors quickly for a few positions:

-The Tigers’ development of pitchers continues to be recognized by the likes of Fangraphs and the recent hiring of Dan Hubbs, the new director of pitching development and strategies incorporating the latest technology for pitchers, an undrafted free agent college player could benefit with the proper toolage.

The Tigers’ farm system starting pitching wise, is top-heavy at the moment. Any player who feels they can reach the majors soon could find themselves rising through the prospect rankings quickly. 

-Detroit’s 2019 infielder crazy draft helped the Tigers restock a system that needed depth but there is room for more. The recent international signings are still young to come up and make an impact. A college junior or senior has the potential to go through the system quickly that has little depth at third and second that is ready to come up to Comerica Park. 

The Tigers player development skills will be on display here for this draft which judging by the track record, it can cause fans anxiety.

This draft being five rounds is no doubt, a blow to the Tigers because they lose the ability to draft first in the rounds but this is their opportunity to change people’s perspective that they are changing with the times and they are on the right track for player development.

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