Detroit Tigers 2022 MLB Draft Profile: Brock Porter
By Jacob Boes
The Detroit Tigers could stay in the state of Michigan in the first round with RHP Brock Porter
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, located in West Bloomfield, MI, has become a baseball powerhouse not only in the state but nationally. The club is 43-0 and littered with college commits up and down the lineup and on the mound. Of their 43 wins, only four of their contests have been within three runs or fewer according to Max Preps–and a big reason for their success is their ace, RHP Brock Porter. Many wonder if the Detroit Tigers should take the Lions’ route and take the hometown kid in the first round.
Porter was recently named the 2022 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year and it’s easy to understand why. Porter has made nine appearances; boasting an 8-0 record with a 0.41 ERA on the season. In the state semifinal on Friday, Porter threw a no-hitter in a 9-0 final.
The right-hander has starred on the mound, where he will play professionally, but Porter has gotten some opportunities to hit for his high school club, too: 32 AB, a .500 batting average, and four home runs. He has committed to play for Clemson in 2019 but barring a signing bonus issue or injury, it’s a safe bet that Porter will forgo that commitment to play professionally.
MLB Pipeline draft analyst Jim Callis praised Porter for his efforts on and off the field in response to winning National Baseball Player of the Year:
"Brock Porter is such a deserving winner of the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year Award. He’s the best high school pitcher in the country, potentially the first pitcher to be selected in the 2022 draft, and a driving force on one of the best high school teams in the nation. He also stands out with his work in the classroom and by helping others."
According to MLB Pipeline, Porter is currently ranked as the 10th-best draft prospect in 2022 and the top-ranked pitcher.
Porter’s fastball is among the best in the draft–certainly the top among high school pitchers. Porter sits mid-90’s and several have reported he has hit 100 mph with his heater. He does feature the full four-pitch assortment and MLB Pipeline believes his curveball is average, his slider is above-average, and his changeup is plus; with a double plus grade on his fastball.
In addition to his results, Porter also features the type of build many teams look for in a workhorse-type starter, which is what teams will be looking for when drafting a prep arm early. It’s a long frame with room to add strength throughout; long limbs with a high waist, but a surprising athlete given the 6-foot-4 length.
As is the case with any prep arm, command of Porter’s secondary pitches and his consistency within the movement profile of those offerings could be improved. He’s able to generate swings and misses with his slider and changeup while freezing hitters with his curveball that remains looser than desired for the pro ranks.
Porter’s stuff, additionally, is understandably overwhelming to the average high school hitter. With that in mind, his sequencing, especially when ahead, is incredibly predictable. As he ascends through the pro ranks and faces hitters that can touch the mid-90s heat and spit on his slider down and away, he’ll need to be more crafty with setting those pitches up to get his whiffs.
The good news is both of those concerns are fixable with pro instruction. There is a caution to drafting prep arms that throw hard early in the draft too, but those are not weaknesses with Porter himself as much as it is a risk with the position group itself.
Fit with the Detroit Tigers
Porter would continue to replenish a Detroit Tigers system that was very briefly position player-heavy before the club invested high draft picks with pitching in 2021. He’d join the likes of Jackson Jobe, Ty Madden, Dylan Smith, and Reese Olson as young arms with high-end upside. In terms of developmental track, he likely takes a similar path as Jobe; debuting in 2023 and spending the majority of the season with the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
MLB Pipeline’s most recent mock draft has Porter landing with the New York Mets one pick before the Tigers’ selection. Prospects Live has Porter going 25th overall to the Yankees in their mock draft from January.