Detroit Tigers 2022 MLB Draft: High School Preview

Tigers infield prospect Izaac Pacheco fields grounders during spring training.
Tigers infield prospect Izaac Pacheco fields grounders during spring training. /
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Detroit Tigers 2022 MLB Draft Options – High School Outfielders

Detroit Tigers
Hamilton’s Gavin Turley listens to head coach Mike Woods. Patrick Breen-Arizona Republic /

This year’s prep outfield class is paced by two phenomenal athletes. Druw Jones is the son of former MLB great Andruw Jones, and he might have five plus-or-better tools once he finishes growing. For now he’s considered the best defensive outfielder in the class, with plus-plus speed, a cannon for an arm, and a good approach and contact skills. Coming in right behind Jones is Elijah Green, whose father was an NFL tight end for ten years. Green’s jaw-dropping mix of size, speed, power, and arm strength is reminiscent of Matt Kemp circa 2008-2011, but there are some real questions about his ability to make consistent contact.

Justin Crawford is another terrific athlete with bloodlines, as his father Carl hit .290 with 480 stolen bases and 568 extra-base hits over his 15-year MLB career. Justin should stick in center field, and he has a ton of upside, but he hasn’t shown much power yet. Henry Bolte is another player whose plus power and speed potential give him tantalizing upside, but some contact issues over the showcase circuit have some scouts worried about his hit tool. Gavin Turley is similar to Bolte, with big-time power and plus-plus speed, but he’s a bit too aggressive at the plate and he currently lacks to instincts to take full advantage of his wheels.

Paxton Kling has a terrific name and a well-rounded set of tools with some projection remaining, though his busy setup leads to some questions about his ability to make consistent contact against premium stuff. Ryan Clifford is the first player on this list who doesn’t have a shot to play center field in pro ball, but he has a good approach, a long track record of performing on the national stage, and he projects to hit for power and average.

We finish with a pair of local kids committed to play college ball at the University of Michigan. Nolan Schubart is another terrific prospect from the loaded Orchard Lake St. Mary’s squad, though at his size he may not be able to stick in the outfield for long. He’s a solid athlete now, but as he fills out he could slow down and grow into substantial left-handed power. Gregory Pace Jr. isn’t necessarily considered a huge draft prospect at the moment, but he showed some loud tools at the Super 60 event last month, including a 6.35-second 60-yard dash, plus arm strength, and a max exit velo over 100 MPH. It’s a line drive swing for now, and he may be better off heading to school, but Pace has enticing potential.

That’s it for the high school draft preview. Be sure to check back in weekly to get more draft updates.

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