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Detroit Tigers Draft Review

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More from the AL Central, with the Detroit Tigers.


Detroit Tigers Draft Review
1S) Nick Castellanos, 3B, Florida HS: A first round talent who fell due to signability, Castellanos won't be cheap to ink but the Tigers won't let that stop them if past history is any indication. He has a strong bat, should hit for power and average, and can be a good defender at third.

1S) Chance Ruffin, RHP, University of Texas: Very polished with a great breaking ball and decent heater, Ruffin was overwhelmingly successful as a college closer this year and won't take long to reach the majors, though it may be more as a middle man. He draws comparisons to Huston Street at the same stage.

2) Drew Smyly, LHP, University of Arkansas: Lefty can hit 93 MPH on his best days, has good cutter, changeup, curveball, usually has good control. Solid pick in the second round.

3) Rob Brantly, C, UC Riverside: Best features are plate discipline and defensive athleticism, but scouts don't think he'll hit for power. He should get to the majors, though, at least as a backup.

4) Cole Green, RHP, University of Texas: Average-to-mediocre stuff, but a great feel for pitching and a successful record in a top college program. May be a fifth starter or long reliever and won't need much minor league time.

5) Alex Burgos, LHP, State JC of Florida: Burgos has average stuff but an excellent performance record, but lacks the projection for his velocity to increase. He's interesting, but a slight overdraft in my view.

6) Bryan Holaday, C, Texas Christian University: A senior, Holaday is a very good defensive catcher with a strong arm. He also has power in his bat, though not everyone agrees that this will translate against higher level pitching. But I do like the pick as an affordable player with a good shot at reaching the majors.

7) Corey Jones,2B, Cal State Fullerton: Second baseman with some pop, good speed, and a more-than-adequate glove up the middle.

8) Patrick Leyland, C, Pennsylvania HS: Decent catcher with offensive potential, but raw. Perhaps a courtesy draft since his dad is the Tigers manager, but most nepotism picks usually aren't in the single-digit rounds.

9) Tony Plagman, 1B, Georgia Tech: Another senior, has strong power in his bat but lacks tools.

10) Cole Nelson, LHP, Auburn: Big guy at 6-7, throws 90-92, has a good breaking ball, inconsistent. Might be a nice reliever someday.

FOUR OTHERS OF NOTE: 11-Brian Dupra, RHP, Notre Dame; 14-Patrick Cooper,RHP, Bradley; 17-Drew Gagnier, RHP, Oregon; 23-Dominic Ficociello, SS, California HS.

COMMENT: The Tigers made a big splash with Castellanos, but went conservative with the rest of the class, focusing on solid college players with limited upside but good performance records. Most of these guys could be useful role players and there was an interesting focus on catching. Ruffin, Smyly, and Green should all reach the majors quickly but aren't likely to be stars. The success of the draft will ride a lot on Castellanos.