Detroit Tigers draft board: 3 prep favorites & 3 college favorites
By Tyler Kotila
Detroit Tigers need to consider grabbing Liam Peterson.
It's another prep arm out of Florida, but the Detroit Tigers need to make sure they pick up some investment pieces for the future. There's no better gamble than grabbing a prep arm, hoping he can pan out and be something down the road.
Liam Peterson has the tools and makeup that is worth spending a later pick on. He could provide value to the organization down the line, so he's a prep player that the team should have on their draft board heading into this summer's draft.
Peterson is another prep arm that I've had the chance to see progress and continue to develop. He's a 6-foot-5, 200-pound right-handed pitcher who attends Calvary Christian in Tampa, Fla. He's committed to playing for the Florida Gators, but there's little to no chance he will end up on campus.
The right-handed arm starts square to the plate as he toes the slab from the windup, with a side-step before getting into his leg lift around the letters tucked under the hands. He extends well, moving down the slope as he strides. His front side moves exceptionally well.
Peterson works from a three-quarters arm slot with trunk tilt through release and a quick & whippy arm stroke. He's been dominant in his outings and gets the job done for his team. Peterson's fastball has been up to 96 mph and works the mid-90s with plenty of late arm-side run to it.
He pairs the heater with a slider that works the upper-70s and can get up to 80 mph at times. It's a pitch that has good wrinkle with lateral movement and some tilt. It's a pitch that could be fine-tuned, but he can snap off some good ones around 79-80 mph that will miss barrels and do the job. Plus, the spin rate on the slider can get up above 2,700 RPMs often, which is outstanding.
He also has a really good changeup. He turns it over well, and the pitch will disappear on hitters with great depth, working up around 80 mph with great depth. He can throw the pitch and cause some uncomfortable at-bats for opposing hitters.
When it comes to Peterson, the makeup to be a pro arm is there when it comes to Peterson. The task will be progressing him through the ranks of an organization. He has the stuff to do so, but some tweaks and developmental changes over time are what could transform him into a real threat for a big-league rotation.
Peterson's one of my favorite under-the-radar arms from this draft class, especially seeing the tools he has to offer here on the prep circuit and summer showcase circuit. He's got loud stuff; seeing how it pans out for him once he joins a pro organization will be interesting. The Tigers should consider grabbing Peterson if they have the chance to do so.