The Tigers have selected Kyle Funkhouser with their fourth-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. Funkhouser is a right-handed senior pitcher from the University of Louisville who went 9-3 with a 3.86 ERA in the 2016 season.
Funkhouser was the 35th pick of the 2015 draft, but he turned down a $1.7 million dollar offer from the Los Angeles Dodgers to return for his senior year. By returning, he was able to graduate from college, although it will likely cost him in bonus money after he struggled with command with Louisville this year (4.53 walks per nine innings).
The right-hander has three pitches -- a low-90s fastball, a slider that has been described as his best pitch, and a changeup that he throws in the high 70s to low 80s. Command has been his biggest issue with all three pitches, and he’s going to need to work this out. Despite this, he still seems like a relatively safe bet to make the majors as a starting pitcher in a few years, and his college history means he can be fast-tracked to the MLB.
The Tigers may use this selection to save money for first-round pick Matt Manning. As a senior, Funkhouser has very little leverage, since he can’t turn down the offer to play college ball anymore. Therefore, he’s looking at most likely taking a bonus under the slotted allotment for fourth-round picks.