I feel bad that here it is the night before the draft, and I’ve yet to mention anything. The current Tigers have been interesting enough to keep me busy. Plus, I just don’t know that much about the players except what I read from Baseball America.
The Tigers appear to have locked in on two players, Texas outfielder Drew Stubbs and high school pitcher Clayton Kershaw. However, in the latest Baseball America mock draft the Tigers are slated to pick righthander Luke Hochevar. Now mock drafts are historically inaccurate, but BA nailed the early portions of the first round last year so it is worth a look.
Here is some paraphrasing on each of the likely candidates from BA’s premium content:
Stubbs is considered to be the best athlete in college baseball. He is 6′ 4″, 201lbs and has gold glove centerfield potential with power. He also has a propensity for striking out with 205 in 204 college games. Baseball America ranks him as the 2nd best position prospect in the draft. He was born the day before the Tigers clinched the AL pennant in 1984.
Kershaw is ranked as the best high school prospect in this year’s draft and the 6th overall talent. The 6′ 4″ southpaw throws in the low to mid 90’s and has a legitimate curveball as well. In his senior year he fanned 109 in 46 innings. Seeing as the Tigers have some legitimate pitching prospects at each level, they can afford to take some time with a high school pitcher.
Hochevar had the talent to go in the top few picks last year, but as a Scott Boras client signability issues pushed him to the Dogers in the supplemental round. After a messy agent custody battle he failed to sign with LA. This year he has been playing in the independent leages trying to regain his form. That form includes a fastball that touches 97 and a slider that can double as a curve/change-up. He’s got the stuff but makeup is a concern.