The Detroit Tigers grab another college bat in the second round
Graham had first round grades by some scouts and analysts. He was projected around this spot early in the season, but a strong showing with the national runner-up Sooners in 2022 that included 20 homers and 34 stolen bases had him fly up draft boards. But the Tigers were still able to nab him at 51.
We highlighted Graham last month as a part of our draft prospects to watch in the College World Series Final article. He wasn’t heavily recruited, but he burst onto the scene with a strong freshman season. He played third base his first two years, but moved to shortstop this season. Scouts believe a move back to third could be in order.
Here’s what MLB Pipeline has to say about Graham:
"““Though Graham has good feel for the barrel, he has gotten more aggressive with his right-handed swing as his college career has progressed and he doesn’t make consistent contact against anything beyond fastballs. He did show signs of settling down some in the second half of the college season and has the bat speed and projectable strength to develop into a solid power hitter without swinging for the fences. He’s also a plus runner who can steal a few bases.”"
The Tigers have drafted this kind of hitter before: a guy who can barrel the ball up, but struggles against offspeed pitches and is generally undisciplined at the plate. Keith Law from The Athletic reported that Graham changed his swing about halfway through the season, so he’s already shown the ability to make adjustments.
Graham also runs pretty well, as evident by the 34 steals this season. Pipeline gives him a run grade of 60. Whether Graham sticks at short or moves back to the hot corner, he’ll be valuable to the Detroit Tigers if he can keep working on his swing.
The Detroit Tigers don’t pick again until the fourth round, where they will have the 117th overall pick.