Detroit Tigers will pass on Chase Dollander.
Early on in this draft process, the Detroit Tigers jumped up in the draft order during the inaugural MLB Draft Lottery. In doing so, they grabbed the third overall pick. One of my initial thoughts was that the team would be able to grab Chase Dollander when it was their turn to pick.
He was one of the most dominant arms in college baseball in 2022 and had a ton to like about him going into 2023, with room to keep pumping his draft stock. The Detroit Tigers would surely be in on him come draft day.
However, things were not the smoothest of sailing for the Tennessee Volunteers right-hander. While he's still a top prospect and going to be a first-rounder in 2023, likely in the top half of the draft, he won't be someone the Tigers jump on at no. 3.
The Tigers need to grab one of those top-tier collegiate bats at no.3 and leave Dollander to fall into the latter half of the top 10-15 picks. But here's our MCB Draft Profile on Chase Dollander.
Dollander is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound right-handed pitcher who has been with the Volunteers baseball program for the last two seasons after transferring in from the Georgia Southern Eagles program after a solid freshman campaign.
In 2021, Dollander turned heads with a 2.39 ERA, a 0.80 WHIP, and 108 punchouts over 79 innings pitched for the most hated team in college baseball. The right-handed pitcher came out in 2023, and it felt like he would do more of the same, but he had a bit of a rough go in comparison.
Dollander has made 15 starts in 2023, where he has pitched to a 4.50 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP and has walked 27 while punching out 111 opposing hitters over 78.0 innings pitched. He's gotten hit around a bit more in 2023, but he still has plenty to like about him.
He's got a four-pitch repertoire. The fastball will work in the upper-90s, though in 2023, the metrics on the pitch in terms of vertical and horizontal break were less than ideal than in the past, being a dead zone heater. But, he was able to refine some things and continue to improve his pitchability.
Dollander has a tighter slider in the mid-80s with good shape to it that he turns to often. He's also got an upper-80s changeup in the mix, with an upper-70s curveball with a bigger break to help supplement the four-pitch arsenal.
One of the things that I did not hit on until this portion is his delivery. He has one of the most athletic and repeatable deliveries working down the slope. It's one that has drawn comparisons to Jacob deGrom, including from myself in prior draft content on MCB.
He has a real athletic frame that projects as a pro body that organizations have to be excited about. Dollander moves down the mound with tons of fluidity and can potentially be a top-tier arm for a big-league organization moving forward if things pan out as expected.
The fastball in the upper-90s can be a weapon. the slider paired and tunneled off of the fastball can be a real problem for opposing hitters. The fastball has had some rough outings when team can turn it around, but the slider is real weapon as well.
The Tigers would have to be really cautious if they were to jump the gun and take Dollander at third overall. He's someone who's going to get scooped up later in the first round, with the profile being hard to pass up.
Even with some struggles in 2023 and inconsistency with his fastball struggling to be as lively as in prior seasons. However, there's no debate that Dollander will be a good pick up for someone, even after his numbers regressed in 2023.
Fit with the Detroit Tigers
I mean, he would fit just fine in the rotation. Anyone who's getting deGrom comps should be considered. Yes, deGrom just announced that he needs Tommy John Surgery, but Dollander has the looks to be a big-league starter if all goes as planned.
But if the Tigers are genuinely going to go and grab themselves an arm, it has to be Paul Skenes, provided he is on the board. The focus must be on a bat, settling for Skenes at no .3 if Crews and Langford are off the board.
A few months ago, I would hammer Dollander at no.3, but I have since switched up and would rather see the Red Wings pass on the right-handed pitcher.