It didn’t take long for the Detroit Tigers to establish a drafting pattern in the 2021 MLB Draft: pitching, pitching, pitching. The Tigers had 11 picks in the first 10 rounds, and 7 of them were pitchers.
One of the biggest misconceptions about the Detroit Tigers farm system is that it’s loaded with pitching. It is true that in recent years many of their top prospects were pitchers, but the depth has always been lacking. This was exacerbated by the position-player heavy 2019 draft, and the shortened 2020 draft in which the team used all six picks on position talent.
Detroit added three more arms in rounds 6-10. Let’s take a closer look at the players they took:
Detroit Tigers 6th Round Pick – Austin Murr – OF – N.C. State
After that intro about pitching of course we start with a position player. Austin Murr played his high-school ball in Minnesota and began his college career by hitting .440 with 11 HR and 25 SB in 104 games from Des Moines Area Community College. He moved on to N.C. State in 2020, and in 2021 he served as the leadoff hitter and first baseman for the Wolfpack. He’s a 22-year-old lefty bat and a lefty thrower who should save the Tigers a bit of money.
Austin Murr Stats
Detroit Tigers 7th Round Pick – Brant Hurter – LHP – Georgia Tech
Brant Hurter was a potential top-five round pick in 2020, but he went down with Tommy John Surgery in 2019 and didn’t return to the mound in 2020 before the season was canceled. He’s a big-bodied lefty (6’6, 250 lbs.) who hides the ball well, shows three solid-average pitches, and does a good job of throwing strikes. There’s back-end starter potential here, but without a plus pitch he doesn’t have much room for error. He’s another older player who could save the Tigers some money.
Brant Hurter Stats
Detroit Tigers 8th Round Pick – Jordan Marks – RHP – South Carolina-Upstate
Jordan Marks was kind of a classic pop-up arm this year as a small-school starter who posted outstanding stats. He’s originally from Sarnia, Ontario, just across the Blue Water Bridge from Port Huron, Michigan. He landed in the starting rotation for USC Upstate as a freshman, and he struggled for his first two seasons before seeing an uptick in his stuff in 2020. He was terrific in 2021, earning the Big South Conference pitcher of the year award. He stands out most for his above-average control, but he has three solid pitches and could develop into a back-end starter. He’s yet another older player who could save the Tigers a bit of money.
Jordan Marks Stats
Detroit Tigers 9th Round Pick – Garrett Burhenn – RHP – Ohio State
A starting pitcher for the Buckeyes since the moment he stepped on campus in 2019, where he spent two seasons pitching to Tigers catching prospect Dillon Dingler. He had a strong freshman campaign, but got beat up a bit in the shortened 2020 season. This year he showed solid control of a four-pitch mix that was led by a fastball that sits in the low 90s and can reach 97 MPH. He’s another player with back-end starter potential, though he may have some potential as a relief arm.
Garrett Burhenn Stats
Detroit Tigers 10th Round Pick – Austin Schultz – OF – Kentucky
Austin Schultz began his career at Kentucky as their primary shortstop but spent most of the 2021 season playing in the outfield. That’s the position where the Tigers drafted him, and he has some interesting tools. He shows strong contact skills, he’s at least a plus runner with good baserunning instincts, and despite his size (5’9, 200 lbs.) he has shown a little bit of sneaky power.
Austin Schultz Stats