Detroit Tigers MLB Draft Player Profile: RHP/SS Bubba Chandler

North Oconee's Bubba Chandler throws a pitch during Game 1 of a GHSA Class 4A semifinal doubleheader in Bogart on Saturday, May 15, 2021. Benedictine won Game 1, 6-5.News Joshua L Jones
North Oconee's Bubba Chandler throws a pitch during Game 1 of a GHSA Class 4A semifinal doubleheader in Bogart on Saturday, May 15, 2021. Benedictine won Game 1, 6-5.News Joshua L Jones /

The team at MCB is covering the draft all month long. Be sure to check back every day for new content related to the 2021 MLB draft and the Detroit Tigers.

Today, our series profiling the potential draft picks for the Detroit Tigers looks at Bubba Chandler, RHP/SS, from North Oconee High School in Georgia.

Bubba Chandler’s Background

Bubba Chandler is similar in some ways to his fellow Clemson multi-sport (football and baseball) commit, Will Taylor. In addition, to staring on the baseball diamond as a two-way player (pitcher and shortstop) for North Oconee HS, he is also the quarterback of the football team. Obviously, given the Clemson scholarship offer, Chandler has a legitimate future in both sports. Like some of the other players MCB has highlighted over the past month, Chandler has seen his stock rise this spring. His stuff has been sharper across the board and, also like Taylor, he has raised his profile to that of a potential first-round pick.

Bubba Chandler’s Scouting Report

Chandler has a pretty ideal build for a starting pitcher. Starting with his 6’3″ frame, featuring a wiry physique, broad shoulders, and long limbs. His frame combined with his athleticism (which jumps off the screen when watching his football highlights) makes it easy to envision Chandler as a future workhorse. His arsenal includes a mid 90s fastball, potential plus curveball, and changeup which all have ticked up this spring. He has also toyed with a slider and cutter recently that according to him (in the excerpt below from Baseball America) has flashed.

“I started throwing a slider this year, really just playing around with it,” Chandler said. “But then I started to get the feel for it and learn how to throw it. It’s been a pretty good pitch, and it’s good when my fastball is dialed in and I can work it off of my fastball, kind of like how (former North Oconee teammate and current Vanderbilt standout) Kumar Rocker does. Whenever he’s really good, his fastball’s working and that makes his slider look a lot better, so really I mimicked him.

“The cutter, sometimes I’ll try to throw it and it doesn’t really do what it needs to do. It will sink, but it will still be pretty fast. But then sometimes I’ll throw it and it will cut eight inches and be 95 or 96 (mph). So I’ve really got to work on that but whenever I get in a system that can really teach me and go over stuff all day with me, it should be a pretty fine pitch.”

MLB Pipeline feels good about the future command profile for Chandler.

“Chandler’s athleticism and clean arm action and delivery bode well for his control and command, though he’s still learning to harness his enhanced stuff. He’s also an intriguing prospect as a switch-hitting shortstop with solid power potential and speed. He’s believed to prefer baseball, though it remains to be seen how Clemson football will affect his signability. ”

Will the Detroit Tigers draft Bubba Chandler?

Chandler is another prospect (like Will Taylor) who falls squarely into the second or third pick picture for Detroit as a mid-first-round value that may fall due to signability. His commitment to Clemson, as a quarterback no less, means his potential bonus demands may price him out for a number of teams picking later in round one (see Will Taylor’s profile for an explanation), especially if they do not have any extra picks. If Chandler were to fall to the Tiger’s second pick (32 overall) Chandler would represent a tremendous value considering many draft publications have him firmly in the first-round contention. The Tigers bonus pool is the second largest in the draft ($14,253,800) so they would have the flexibility to meet the demands of Chandler (within reason, of course).

After apparently striking gold with their second pick last year with the selection of Dillon Dingler, the Detroit Tigers will be in the hunt for another impact prospect. Bubba Chandler has exactly the type of high-end ceiling the scouting staff will likely be looking for when they are on the clock at 32 and 37.