Detroit Tigers draft board: 5 prospects to keep in mind for the first 5 rounds
By Tyler Kotila
Detroit Tigers need to consider sneaky good catcher, Kyle Teel.
Perhaps someone to grab with the Detroit Tigers Competitive Balance Round A pick is perhaps one of the more underrated prospects in this draft on the collegiate side, Kyle Teel. The University of Virginia product shines on both sides of the ball and would be nice to add to the organization, as catching prospects have not quite panned out well for the Tigers in recent years.
The Detroit Tigers still have faith in Dillon Dingler, but he is injured and away from the field anyways. He will get his chances, and frankly, adding in Teel does not become a roadblock for him right away anyways.
The investment with Teel is that he can make the jump into affiliate ball and pro ball and hold his own. How he has played in 2023 makes him look like an even more exciting prospect who should be able to accomplish that as he gets drafted and acclimates to an MLB organization.
Teel is a catcher in Virginia's program but also can play outfield, but he also has uber-athletic actions behind the plate with exceptional tools as a backstop, where he will likely stick long-term. He projects as an above-average defender with tons of athleticism behind the dish, but the outfield is a nice back-pocket thing to note.
He's performed exceptionally well in 2023 with a .445/.510/.672 with 11 doubles and six home runs with 33 RBI over 128 at-bats across 32 games. He's been mashing at the plate—a left-handed hitter operating from a 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame with strength and an athletic look.
He's got a compact stroke with quick hands to get the barrel in the zone and do damage. He's also shown the ability to make adjustments as well, being able to use the whole field rather than being, using stuck on a pull-side approach.
Teel's someone who's going to win at-bats, and after all, Harris preaches winning at-bats and dominating the strike zone, and Teel has certainly done that with UVA's program in 2023. If the Tigers want to jump on a catcher who a) has mashed in 2023 and b) fits the mold with a well-rounded profile, Teel is a guy to have near the top of their draft board.
If Teel continues to mash, he might just move up into the first round. The Tigers should consider grabbing him at pick no. 37 if the opportunity presents itself.