The Detroit Tigers’ 2022 MLB Draft is in the books
The Detroit Tigers have wrapped up their 2022 MLB Draft, not selecting a single player out of high school. Day 3 featured the Tigers taking a college arm with every pick except their 13th rounder, where they selected Kansas State outfielder Dominic Johnson.
If you missed our recap of picks 8-15 earlier, you can find it here. Below is a recap of picks 16-20.
Round 16 (pick 447)- RHP Quinn Gudaitis, University of Illinois-Springfield
Gudaitis was a fifth-year senior who transferred from Division III Illinois-Weselyan prior to the 2022 season. He was originally a starter for the Titans, but they moved him to the bullpen in 2021 after the shortened 2020 season, where he found some success with a 1.57 ERA and a K/9 of 13.2.
He transferred to Division II Springfield for the opportunity to start again, and the results were mixed. He finished 2022 with a 4.34 ERA in 66 innings, but the K/9 went up a tad to 13.6. He’s always been a high walk guy, averaging about four walks per nine in college.
Gudaitis stands quite tall at 6-foot-7, making him an imposing figure on the mound. He pitches from a low three-quarters arm slot, almost reminiscent of former MLB Cy Young award winner Jake Peavy. He features a heavy fastball/slider combo, which should be no surprise given what the Tigers seem to like since adding Chris Fetter as their pitching coach. This should be another fun arm for Fetter to get his hands on.
Round 17 (pick 507)- RHP Cole Patten, Villanova
Yet another college arm, Patten struggled to find his footing at Seton Hall before transferring to Villanova, where he had a 3.98 ERA in 2022. He struck out 77 batters in 86 innings. Patten also participated in the MLB Draft League this spring, producing a 2.77 ERA over four starts for the Trenton Thunder.
Patten is quite tall as well, standing at 6-foot-4. He pitches from a high three-quarters arm slot. Patten’s younger brother Brett is a 2023 graduate who is committed to play baseball at St. John’s.
Round 18 (pick 537)- LHP Christopher Williams, William Carey University
A native of Woodstock, Georgia (home of Nick Markakis and Drew Waters, among others), Chris Williams was originally drafted as a pitcher by the Cincinnati Reds in the 15th round in 2018. He began his college career as an outfielder at Florida International, but he moved to Chipola Junior College after hitting just .188 in limited action for the Panthers. He didn’t find much luck hitting at Chipola, either, with a .152 batting average over 15 games.
He moved on to Mississippi-based NAIA school William Carey, we he served as a two-way player, though the Tigers drafted him as a pitcher. He had a 3.99 ERA with 88 strikeouts in 90 innings pitched this season. He slashed .333/.438/.508 with six homers at the plate. Below you can see his outing against Middle Georgia State College from April 1st, when he gave up three runs on eight hits over six innings.
Round 19 (pick 567)- Albert Olivia Velez, New Mexico Military Institute
Velez features a fastball/curveball mix with nice speed differentials. Another two-way player, he didn’t have a ton of success at the plate or on the mound, posting a 5.48 ERA in 21.1 innings pitched and slashing .200/.294/.444 with the bat.
Velez is a native of Puerto Rico, and he went to high school at the Carlos Beltran Academy before moving on the NMMI. He doesn’t turn 20 until October, making him easily the youngest member of Detroit’s draft class.
Round 20 (pick 597)- RHP Drew Conover, Seton Hall
Conover has never had a ton of success, posting an ERA above 5.73 in three collegiate seasons, but obviously the Detroit Tigers saw something they liked. He’s always struggled with free passes, but he did strikeout 11.7 batters per nine this season. If he can limit the walks, he could be a nice little find at the backend of the draft.
Conover has been excellent in the Cape Cod League this summer, earning an All-Star spot after posting a 1.35 ERA with 16 strikeouts and just 1 walk in 13.1 innings for the Harwich Mariners. Conover will be transferring to Rutgers if the Tigers don’t sign him.