Detroit Tigers’ second-rounder Peyton Graham could be the sleeper of the 2022 draft class.
The Detroit Tigers went bat-heavy in the early picks of the 2022 MLB Draft, scooping up Jace Jung with their first-round pick and pairing that selection with another collegiate bat in the second round.
With the No. 51 draft choice, the Detroit Tigers took Peyton Graham, a middle infielder out of the University of Oklahoma. He was a primary shortstop with Oklahoma but has been shifted around when needed.
He has played shortstop, third base, and center field for the Sooners and profiles to play on the left side of the infield at the next level. Graham has a 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame which could morph into a third base build as he continues to add strength and get on board with a big league strength and conditioning program.
There’s a lot to like about what Graham brings to the table. He’s an investment for the Tigers who needs some polish on his tools. However, the long game with Graham is going to be where he holds his value.
Detroit Tigers draftee Peyton Graham has a lot to like moving forward.
While he was a shortstop with the Sooners, he is going to benefit by being with a pro organization. He has shown that early on and Graham is only going to continue to get better. In his first summer in the Tigers organization, he was able to log 100 at-bats with the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
He slashed .270/.345/.370 with five doubles, a triple, and a home run with the Tigers Single-A affiliate. He starts with slightly open feet in his stance. He closes up the front side in his load and uses either a larger leg kick or a quicker toe-tap in two-strike counts.
As he loads onto the back leg he gets his hands back and then is able to get them through the zone on a good path. He has shown the ability to control the barrel better than he did while with the Sooners at the collegiate level.
The swing itself could produce some power and be the build of a corner infielder down the line. Adding in strength to a wiry frame could help him fill out a bit and develop more of that third-baseman look.
However, I will say, there are several clips of Graham on Twitter showing really smooth actions as a shortstop. The lankier-built infielder has snatchy hands and makes good throws across the field. It’s a smooth operation over there at short.
He’s got plenty of reasons to have the Tigers excited about him moving forward. Whether the future is at shortstop or third base, the bat is going to play well. If he continues to hit and comes back with a strong 2023 campaign in his first full summer in the big leagues, it could raise his stock even more.
Graham is one of those players who has a high ceiling and the Tigers should be excited about him moving forward.