Detroit Tigers draft board: 5 prospects to keep in mind for the first 5 rounds
By Tyler Kotila
Detroit Tigers should consider Alex Mooney (again.)
The Detroit Tigers had a chance to grab Alex Mooney when he was coming out of high school on the Metro-Detroit prep scene in the Catholic League's very own Orchard Lake St. Mary's. He's moved on from OLSM and ended up undrafted in 2021 after he made it clear he would honor his commitment to Duke, to join the Blue Devils program.
Mooney is a draft-eligible sophomore, and he's more than deserving of the Tigers' attention as he has established himself at the collegiate level. He's become a captain of the Blue Devils' infield and is showing off the tools after being a premium prospect at the prep level.
The Tigers should jump on Mooney if he is there. He's got projectable tools that profile well, getting him into an organization, let alone his hometown organization, if the cards fall that way. Mooney has hit .339/.434/.480 with 13 extra-base hits and 23 RBI over 127 at-bats. Also of note, Mooney has 11 stolen bases for Duke.
He's a 6-foot-1, 185-pound right-handed hitting shortstop with tools to drool over defensively. Outside of signability, one of the knocks on him in high school was the strength component. But he has improved the frame by getting into a collegiate weight room and working with the Blue Devils' program.
He's still extremely quick-twitch with defensive instincts that make him someone who can stick at shortstop moving forward, but he could very well translate his tools to second or third base once into a big-league organization.
He's done well at controlling at-bats, being able to execute when the bat leaves his shoulder. It's a compact swing that can drive the ball to all parts of the field. He also does a good job getting the barrel directly to the ball and keeping it in the zone for a long time.
There's a good bit of juice in the bat too. At the prep level, he annihilated opposing pitching with big pop. He only has five home runs at the collegiate level, ten if you add his summer stats in the Cape Cod League.
Even if the pop does not show up as it was on the prep scene, he's got the potential to be a middle infield prospect who has a simple and fluid operation in the batters' box, punching balls all over the field, seeing them down, and using his quick-twitch movements to hustle out extra-base hits.
He projects as a high-upside defender with athleticism and the tools to pair. Offensively he projects as someone who should work to all fields and be someone who grinds out at-bats. There is lots to like about Mooney, and he is someone the Tigers should keep in mind as the draft progresses.