Might the Tigers select Jonathon Crawford, Tim Anderson, Eric Jagielo or Robert Kaminsky in the 2013 MLB draft? Those are four names that appeared on five recent mock draft boards I found. (The names are linked to the mocks, some require a subscription. Go ahead and browse to your heart's content -- we'll wait.)
So who are these guys? A mixture of infield help and pitchers, actually.
Crawford (scouting report) is a right-handed pitcher out of Florida. (He's the only one to appear twice, as both ESPN's Keith Law and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo picked him for Detroit.) Anderson (scouting report) is a shortstop out of East Central Community College. Jagielo (scouting report) is a third baseman out of Notre Dame. Kaminsky (scouting report) is a high-school left-hander from New Jersey.
Want even more profiles? SB Nation gathered information on all 33 likely first-round picks.
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2013 marks the first time since 2010 the Tigers will actually have a first-round pick. In recent years, they were willing to trade their first round pick (in the former of compensation) in order to sign a free agent in the offseason. This year they not only have the 20th pick in the draft, they actually have the 37th as well.
That's because for some reason the MLB included them in the competitive-balance lottery, which allowed them to add an additional second-round pick. As part of the deal that brought Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit in exchange for Jacob Turner and Rob Brantley, the Tigers and Marlins swapped competitive-balance picks, allowing the Tigers to move into the first round and pushing the Marlins back to the 66th spot. (Make sense? Hope so. I rewrote it three times.)
Detroit's most recent first-round picks were infielder Nick Castellanos and right-hander Chance Ruffin (compensation pick) in 2010. Ruffin has since been traded. Before Castellanos, the Tigers were a pitcher-happy organization in the first round. From 2006 (Andrew Miller) to 2009 (Jacob Turner), every first-rounder and compensation pick went to a pitcher. A lot of other picks went to pitchers, too. You can never have enough pitching, the saying goes. (You can never trade enough pitching: The Dombrowski Corollary.) In the past two drafts, the Tigers have taken both a pitcher in the second-round (Jake Thompson in 2012) and a catcher (James McCann, 2011.)
"We're going to take the best player," vice president of amateur scouting David Chadd told MLB.com. "It's not going to be a matter of finances or draft pool [for signing bonuses]. We'll take the best guy and then we'll worry about how the pool comes in after that."
So, might the Tigers revert to their olden ways? Will they address the lack of capable infield prospects? Or will they find some other position allows them the best bet? Only time will tell.
The first 73 picks of the draft will be shown beginning at 7 p.m. ET on MLB Network Thursday. (Coverage begins an hour earlier, and you can follow along at MLB.com). Rounds 3-10 will be held Friday, with coverage by MLB.com beginning with a preview show at 12:30 p.m. Rounds 11-40 will be streamed on MLB.com beginning 1 p.m. Saturday.