RHP Brock Porter, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s High School (Michigan)
If the last scenario didn’t trigger you, then surely this one will. Naturally, the Tigers have been linked to Porter all throughout the draft process, and it makes sense. A local kid with good stuff, big velocity and 6-4 208 lb frame sounds almost too good to be true.
But Tigers fans could not take the team selecting another high school arm in the first round. They would riot. He might be the best prep arm in the class, but fans likely won’t be having any of that.
Fangraphs offers the following profile on Porter, comparing him to former All-Star Ubaldo Jimenez:
"“The super loose, lanky Porter has significant physical projection even though he’ll be 19 on draft day, and he has among the best present arm strength in the high school class, sitting 93-96 with explosive life in short outings. He also has a tailing, plus changeup that induces embarrassing swings from high school hitters trying to cheat to catch his fastball. While his breaking ball seems to deceive hitters out of the hand, it doesn’t have consistent finish and often sails on Porter. Its shape is promising, though. Breaking ball polish will give Porter a mid-rotation starter’s repertoire. He shares some mechanical similarities with Ubaldo Jiménez, especially his stride direction, and this creates some relief risk. But while his delivery is intense, it also makes it clear just how flexible and athletic Porter is, and we’re more optimistic about him starting than most pitchers who exhibit this level of mechanical violence and effort.”"
The delivery is a slight concern, as it could easily lead to injury, but hopefully the Tigers could fix that should they take a flyer on him. His athletic ability makes him just as intriguing as his stuff.
Porter is still being linked to the Tigers as of yesterday, when MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo mocked him to them. He also lists several other names that the Tigers have been linked to, including three other players on this list.
The Detroit Tigers are in a position to let the best player available fall to them. The key for them is going to be making sure the correct player is the best one.