Detroit Tigers draft board: 3 prep favorites & 3 college favorites
By Tyler Kotila
Detroit Tigers should grab collegiate standout Nolan Schanuel.
He may not be a hidden gem or a diamond in the rough, but the Detroit Tigers should try and pick up Nolan Schanuel, who is having one of the most impressive seasons amongst all collegiate hitters in 2023.
Schanuel has been an anchor in the Florida Atlantic (FAU) Owls lineup and is someone the Detroit Tigers need to target. He's putting up video-game-like numbers and deserves to be on the Tigers' draft board if they can grab him.
One of the players I've grown more fond of in recent weeks is Nolan Schanuel. The first basemen from the FAU Owls program have been putting up similar numbers to Dylan Crews and even better in some respects. It's not to say that Schanuel deserves to go 1:1, but he deserves of his credit too.
Schanuel has hit .455/.602/.911 with ten doubles, two triples, and 14 home runs with 43 RBI over 123 at-bats. He's also drawn 35 walks and been hit 12 times throughout the season. I also saw Schanuel during a midweek game recently; while the results were not insane, it was easy to see why he's having so much success.
Schanuel is an elite hitter with tons to like. He's got a unique stance with the hands super high set and the front toe pointed out in front. The feet start slightly open as he gets into a big leg lift and works through the zone. He's able to get the barrel to the zone quickly and has a clean path through contact.
He murdered two balls foul that showed off the pop. He's done it all year, and the contact was loud. When he's on the barrel, the ball jumps. He fits the phrase "hitters hit," and that's the best way to put it. Schanuel packs a punch in the Owls' lineup and has truly gotten it done. The left-handed bat has the ball jump off the barrel, with a ton of hard-hit contact, and works counts deep; it's a great combination.
On top of the immense strength and pop upside, he will dominate the strike zone, as Scott Harris has ranted and raved about. He will have a ton of takes, working counts deep, and being super disciplined. Plus, if you watch Schanuel's approach at the plate and his setup, he's right on top of the plate, which is part of the reason for his high-HBP tally.
He makes good turns and has a good eye for the zone. The approach and tools at the plate are exceptional, which makes him a fascinating prospect. He's become one of my favorites in this draft class on the collegiate side.
If the Tigers are able to land Schanuel, its going to bring a huge boost to the farm system in terms of a collegiate hitter who can rake. He's a first baseman/outfielder but could very well let his bat carry him through the ranks of the farm system. He's worth considering in the 2023 draft for sure.