While it is probably a little premature to rate any draft after only 4 months, this is especially true in baseball. In many cases drafted players haven’t played in a league type setting, or if they have the experience has been limited to short season ball. Still, Baseball America likes the early returns for the Detroit Tigers in this year’s amateur draft.
BA rated the Tigers as having the 3rd best draft behind the Nationals and Rangers. Detroit ranked ahead of the Giants and Yankees who rounded out the top 5. The full article is premium content, so I’ll just hit the highlights.
The Tigers draftees received some individual accolades on a variety of top 5 lists including:
- Danny Worth – 4th best defensive player
- Rick Porcello – 2nd best fastball
- Rick Porcello – 4th best secondary pitch
- Colin Kaline & Cale Iorg – 3rd and 4th most intriguing backgrounds
- Rick Porcello – 5th closest to the majors among high schoolers
There was also a draft all star team selected based on performance and level of play. No Tigers made the team.
In terms of early returns I’d have to say that Charlie Furbush (61 2/3 innings, 2.35 ERA, 69K, 14 BB at GCL and West Michigan) and Danny Worth (251/325/363 in High A ball) had the strongest debuts. While Worth’s numbers weren’t dazzling, he gets extra credit because he debuted at such a high level for a new draftee.
Of course the strength of the Tigers draft was in the players who signed late and haven’t yet competed outside of the instructional league. In addition to Porcello, players like Casey Crosby, Iorg, and Matt Hoffman are who helped earn the Tigers such a high overall ranking. They are also the players who will hopefully make for an entertaining minor league season.