Detroit Tigers: Early Look at 2023 MLB Draft
The Detroit Tigers are going to have a high pick in 2023.
Well, the book on the 2022 MLB Draft is closed for the Detroit Tigers. They spent most of the first two days of the draft adding intriguing college infielders like Jace Jung, Peyton Graham, and Luke Gold. And then on day three they went heavy on pitching.
Now we turn our attention to the 2023 MLB Draft. The Tigers 2022 season has gone south in a spectacular way, which means the team is likely to have another top ten draft pick. The Tigers currently own the sixth worst record at 37-55.
In the past that would suggest a potential sixth pick in next year’s draft, but the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement instituted a new draft lottery that looks like this:
The Tigers won’t be making the playoffs, so there’s a chance they could land the #1 overall pick. Right now they have a 7.5% chance of that happening, but they are close enough to a bottom three record (up 2 games on the Reds) or picking outside the top ten (5.5 games behind the Rockies) that it’s far too early to guess where they’ll actually pick.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look at some of the best players in the class. We did this last year, and that list is a good reminder of how much things can change in one year. Only one of the college pitchers we named was taken in the first round, and we didn’t even mention Jackson Holliday, this year’s first overall pick.
We’ll try to do better this year, starting today with some of the best college options for 2023:
Detroit Tigers 2023 MLB Draft Options – College Pitchers
Ryan Bruno spent 2022 as Stanford’s bullpen ace, making 30 appearances and putting up dominant stats (2.72 ERA, 71 strikeouts) over 39.1 innings. If he joins the Cardinal rotation and throws more strikes he has first-round potential. The talented Seminoles rotation forced Jackson Baumeister into relief work this year, where his numbers weren’t great (5.60 ERA), but he has the size and stuff to go in the top 20 picks if it all comes together for him.
Chase Dollander has all the ingredients to be the first pitcher off the board next year, with good size (6’3, 195), outstanding results (2.39 ERA, 108K, 13BB, 79 IP), and electric stuff. Rhett Lowder is one part of an impressive 1-2 punch for Wake Forest. He offers a classic three-pitch mix, and was named the ACC Pitcher of the Year. His teammate Teddy McGraw is a sturdy right-hander with a mid-90s sinker and two quality secondary offerings.
Patrick Reilly worked out of Vanderbilt’s bullpen this year, but he has the stuff and delivery to start if he can work on his command. Will Sanders is another candidate to be the first pitcher off the board, with an ideal three-pitch mix and room to grow into more velocity. Paul Skenes is one of the most talented two-way players in the country, but he figures to be a pitcher at the next level, though his service academy status clouds his future.
Hurston Waldrep has one of the most electric arms in the country, with a fastball that has reached the upper 90s, and a nasty 12/6 breaking ball. Jaxon Wiggins is another tall righty with a plus fastball, and he could be a top 20 pick if he shows more progress with his secondary stuff next year. Tanner Witt is something of a wild card, as he was a top-100 prospect in the 2020 draft and showed an impressive fastball/curveball mix this year before going down with Tommy John surgery in March.