So... that was... interesting. I'd say the draft was a disappointment and that I'm bitter, but thanks to the selection of Nick Castellanos, I really can't. But other than that, the draft went as I feared. With lots of relievers. Perhaps I shouldn't be too harsh on DD and David Chadd. They're the professionals, and if they say we need more bullpen pitchers, then we need more bullpen pitchers. It's not like Luis Marte and Zach Simons are sitting in Erie when they should be in Toledo...
Okay, so I'm a little bitter. But who could blame me? I think it's safe to say that the draft budget was lower than it was last year (probably about $6 million when all is said and done, depending on what Castellanos wants) and that resulted in a lot of relievers and fifth-starter types and college bats and... ugh. It's not that I think this draft is bad- I have faith in David Chadd, and there were some really sweet picks (including Chance Ruffin, who I kinda ragged on a litlte bit). But I too got swept up in draft fever, dreaming over guys like Stetson Allie (a Pirate) and Yordy Cabrera (an Athletic).
When you're judging this draft (as I'm about to do), a word of advice. Don't yet dwell on what players we passed up. To me, that's like complaining that you didn't get the shiny new Dreamcast for Christmas. You never know what'll happen in the future. Cabrera and Allie could go bottom up (much like the Dreamcast) and that bike that your parents got you could land up being one of the greatest things ever. Putting aside the laborious metaphor, let's take a look at some of the players drafted by the Tigers and dwell on the positive: namely, we got some sweet new talent!
Supplemental Round: Nick Castellanos, FL HS and Chance Ruffin, Texas
I already doled out scouting reports and the like yesterday, so I won't rehash content. What I will say is that after sleeping on it, I'm glad we got both these guys. Castellanos is a potential impact bat at third, and the biggest knock on him is that he has yet to convert his defensive tools and power into tangible skills. Putting that aside, he's still an impact bat in the making and a potential star at third. I'll take that. Ruffin is also pretty sick- he's drawing comparisons to Huston Street, and his deep arsenal potentially makes him a shutdown relief ace that can come in to pitch out of jams. He may not be considered good enough to close games, but he might make a heckuva fireman, especially due to his great secondary stuff. And who knows, maybe they'll move him back to starting (he started as a sophomore and did well).
Round 2: Drew Smyly, Arkansas
Here's a brief scouting report from Baseball Rumor Mill. It's easy to dwell on what Smyly is not- he's not an ace. But ptichability lefties that are fast-moving and have high floor are hard to find, and especially considering he's signable at slot, he's a good pick for a team on a stricter budget. A nice pick, he may sign early and I wouldn't be surprised to see him start at A+ Lakeland or AA Erie, depending on how fast the Tigers want him to move.
Round 3: Rob Brantly, UC Riverside
I love this pick, and this kid may turn out to be one of my favorite prospects. Baseball Rumor Mill has a scouting report here (if you can't tell, I'm rather fond of them). In a weak draft for catchers, the Tigers got a guy that has potential to be a plus one. The Baseball Rumor Mill report is a tad different than the one I have from Andy Seiler at MLB Bonus Baby, but the important thing is he's a catcher with a potentially game-changing power/speed combo that's reminded some of Joe Mauer. That's a bit of an overstatement of course, and his swing needs a little work. That, and he has questions on defense. It'll be a struggle for him to stay at catcher, but the bat is great, and if he sticks, he's a top 10 MLB starter.
Round 5: Alex Burgos, Manatee Junior College
I can't really find a free scouting report for Burgos, so there's no real link I can send you to. The lack of avaliable (and free) report is probably due to his relative obscurity as a JUCO player- these guys seldom get the respect they deserved. He's another pitchability lefty with an upper 80's fastball and good secondary stuff (above average curve and change) with plus command who projects to start long-term. The good part is that he's only 20. Maybe, just maybe, the coaches in the system can unlock a little extra potential.
Round 23: Dominic Ficociello, CA HS
Dropping a little bit in the draft was Ficociello. A prep shortstop who will probably need to move to third (actually, he is if he goes to Arkansas), he's got a ton of talent for the 23rd round. Here's a scouting report on him. He projects to be a very good offensive player with a good hit/power combination if he reaches his ceiling, and his arm is great. The downside is that he'll cost second round money to sign, but we signed James Robbins in the 30th round last year for about a hundred grand, so it's not out of the question.
Righto, so these are the six kids I'm highest on post-draft. Again, it's easy to dwell on the negative, but it's very possible one or all of these guys could help Detroit in the future. Take some time this morning to dwell on the positive instead of imagining what we could have had. Oh, and Kurt, save the Buzz Killington attitude until next week please. We prospect geeks would like some time to dream.