Detroit Tigers RHP Hunter Scantling (right) - Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE
In this 6 part series, I will take a look at the Tigers' 2012 draft class, how they fared statistically in their first professional seasons, and shortly preview what to look for from them in 2013. 33 of the Tigers 39 selections signed with the team.
No. 13: RHP Hunter Scantling-14th Round (454th Overall)-Florida State
Stats (Class A-Short Season-Connecticut): 2-0, 1.23 ERA, 22 IP, 7 H, 6 BB, 21 K, 0.59 WHIP, .100 BAA
Thoughts: The first thing that strikes you about Scantling is his absolutely enormous physical stature. He stands 6'8" and weighs 275 pounds per MiLB.com. That is, simply put: massive. Now, typically you'd expect a guy that big to throw straight gas, but with Scantling, that's simply not the case. His fastball is actually very average, sitting right around 88-91, but some scouts have seen him touch 93. Personally, I think with a body like his, once he works with some professional pitching coaches for an extended period of time, there will be some added velocity in the future. I haven't seen Scantling personally, so I don't have much for you here, but based on the minimal film I've seen, he looks like he has the arm speed for some increased velo as well. I don't know anything about his secondary offerings, so I'll abstain from simply guessing, but as far as a profile goes, I can't see much more than a middle reliever ceiling unless he adds some velocity to his fastball.
2013 Projection: Scantling pitched extremely well at Connecticut in 2012, so I don't think he'll start any lower than West Michigan's bullpen in 2013, unless the Tigers think he can be pushed to Lakeland.
MLB ETA: Again, this is dependent on his fastball velocity increasing., but I don't think we'd be seeing him any sooner than 2015.
No. 14: SS/2B Jordan Dean-15th Round (484th overall)-Central Michigan University
Stats (Class A-Short Season-Connecticut): .200/.269/.262/.531/44 Games. 145 AB, 29 H, 3 2B, 3 3B, 0 HR, 15 RBI, 14 R, 14 BB, 34 K, 11 SB
Thoughts: Now, here's where I can confidently say that I have legitimately scouted someone extensively. As many of you, I work on the Central Michigan baseball staff as an undergraduate assistant. Therefore, I was able to see Jordan Dean in scores of practices and games over the course of fall 2011 through the early summer of 2012. Dean played SS exclusively during the 2012 season, and subsequently led CMU in errors. That's not to say he isn't a good defender, as he does have pretty good range. I like him better at 2B, personally, because I don't think he has the arm strength necessary to make all the throws from SS. He has very quick feet, which increases his range substantially, but I wouldn't call him a "burner" in terms of overall speed. Very, very instinctual in every facet of the game. Excellent base runner, even though his aggressiveness can get him into trouble at times. Smooth actions when fielding the baseball, though his feet can get tangled at times, leading to inaccurate throws. Quite frankly, he's just a baller, folks. Plays with an extremely competitive edge, which I love. He hit either 2nd or 3rd for CMU for a lot of the season, and led the team in batting average, hits, runs, triples, home runs, stolen bases, and slugging percentage. Solid approach at the plate, but he is an aggressive hitter, which got him in trouble a bit in college and inevitably will do so in the pros. Does not profile as having much power in the pros aside from some gap power. One of the hardest workers on the team at CMU. Overall, I think his ceiling is that of a utility player in the major leagues, with the more likely ceiling of a very good organizational player being more likely. Aside from all that, I consider Jordan Dean a friend of mine, and couldn't have been more excited that my favorite team picked him in the draft.
2013 Projection: I think we'll see him in the middle infield rotation at West Michigan, which could also include Devon Travis, Tyler Hanover, and Jared Reaves.
No. 15: LHP Josh Turley-16th Round (514th Overall)-Baylor
Stats (Class A-Short Season-Connecticut): 4-0, 1.06 ERA, 34 IP, 23 H, 5 BB, 25 K, 0.82 WHIP, .193 BAA
Thoughts: Turley is one of those lefties that relies more on deception and command than overall stuff. His fastball is fringy, sitting around 87-89, touching 90 occasionally, but he commands it pretty well and is able to move it around in the zone effectively. Turley DOES have a legitimate plus changeup, that projects as at least a 60 pitch in the major leagues. He throws it with great deception and with the same arm speed as his fastball, which allows the fastball velo to play as average (instead of below average). He was a starter in college, but I'm in agreement with the Tigers in moving him to the bullpen. I see the ceiling of a bullpen lefty due to his projectable command and that plus change up.
2013 Projection: Like Scantling, Turley decimated Class A-Short Season in 2012, so it's inconceivable to me that he start any lower than Class A-West Michigan in 2013.
MLB ETA: 2015
No. 16: RHP Slade Smith-17th Round (544th Overall)-Auburn
Stats (Combined Class A-Short Season-Connecticut and Class A-West Michigan): 2-1, 3.55 ERA, 50 2/3 IP, 62 H, 15 BB, 39 K, 1.53 WHIP, .312 BAA
Thoughts: I really don't know anything about Smith at all. I've heard reports of him having a middle reliever ceiling, and an area scout I emailed said that he has a heavy fastball that generates tons of groundballs, but lacks an out pitch. This report is somewhat legitimized in his stats, as he put up a lot of innings for someone drafted in June, gave up a ton of hits, didn't strike very many people out, but posted a 3.68 GO/AO number. As I said, I really don't know a whole lot about him, so I don't have much for you here. The fact that he was pushed to West Michigan instead of Connecticut or the GCL like other college pitchers chosen by the Tigers tells me that he may be a bit more polished than the other guys, and he more than held his own for his first season of professional baseball.
2013 Projection: I'd assume that Smith heads up to Lakeland since he spent most of 2012 at West Michigan, but the Tigers could very easily keep him in Low-A ball if they see fit
MLB ETA: I'm not convinced that Smith has major league upside, mostly due in part to the fact that I haven't seen him nor have I heard much about him. But with that being said, I'd say 2015 at the earliest would be when we may possible see him.
No. 17: 3B Dylan LaVelle-18th Round (574th Overall)-Lake Stevens HS (Washington)
Did not sign
No. 18: RHP Will Clinard-19th Round (604th Overall)-Vanderbilt
Stats (Combined Class A-Short Season-Connecticut and Class A-West Michigan): 3-2, 2.41 ERA, 37 1/3 IP, 35 H, 9 BB, 39 K, 1.18 WHIP, .243 BAA
Thoughts: As I referenced in the most recent mailbag post, I'm a huge fan of Clinard. His fastball sits in the low 90's with solid late life, but he has a dynamic cutter. I haven't witnessed it first hand, but the scouts I've spoken with (via email) all rave about it's effectiveness. One scout even told me "It acts like a slider at times, that's how much movement it has". For a short innings reliever, a single dynamic pitch like that could skyrocket a prospect through the minor leagues. Clinard also throws a slider that flashes above-average potential, but as you may have guessed, it all comes back to the cutter. I'm very excited to see Clinard pitch, and can only hope he'll get to Erie at some point in 2013 so I can go watch (Lakeland is a bit out of my driving range).
2013 Projection: With the success Clinard had at West Michigan in 2012, I could easily see him starting at Lakeland in 2013, but he could just as easily start back at West Michigan if the Tigers see fit. I'd assume it will depend on how he looks in Spring Training.
MLB ETA: As I said, I believe Clinard can be a fast mover. If he moves like I think he might, he'll finish 2013 with Double-A Erie, and be ready for Detroit by mid-late 2014.