Detroit Tigers: 5 players they could realistically take in the first round of the 2022 MLB Draft
SS Zach Neto, Campbell
The Tigers passed on their potential shortstop of the future in Marcelo Mayer last year, but luckily they have another chance to get that this year in Campbell’s Zach Neto.
He slashed a gaudy .403/.500/.751 in three seasons with the Camels, and will more than likely become the first player to be drafted in the first round to come out of Campbell. He’s an aggressive player, both with the bat and on the basepaths. He also has quick hands at shortstop.
Neto has a big leg kick that whoever drafts him may need to work on as he sees higher velocity in pro ball. Pipeline has more on all the moving parts in his swing:
"“Neto has an unconventional setup with a huge leg kick that includes a pause and an uphill right-handed swing, but he has the exceptional hand-eye coordination to make it work. He looks to drive balls in the air to his pull side yet makes consistent contact despite his approach. He has at least solid bat speed and constantly gets into good position to do damage.”"
Due to his aggressive nature, Neto has drawn comparisons to current Tigers shortstop Javier Baez. While that may leave a sour taste in fans’ mouths, he has shown much more plate discipline than Baez, walking 39 times this season compared to just 19 strikeouts.
While there would be concerns about the Tigers’ ability to work on Neto’s leg kick, he would still be a welcome addition to their farm system. Getting a shortstop with this year’s first rounder may help ease the pain of last year’s draft.