The MLB Draft doesn't receive nearly the same amount of attention as the drafts in the NFL or NBA, and Detroit Tigers fans have had plenty of reasons to ignore it in recent seasons. The previous front office had a poor record in the draft, and they weren't opposed to sacrificing picks to sign established free agents. Even when the few prospects they had started to climb the steps of the minor leagues, they were often traded away for major league talent.
It was a strategy that worked well for the big-league club for years, but it also resulted in general apathy among the fanbase towards the draft and prospects in general. But this season is different: this season, you should pay attention.
2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft
Day one, rounds 1-2: 7 p.m., June 9
Day two, rounds 3-10: 1 p.m., June 10
Day three, rounds 11-40: 12 p.m., June 11
Media: MLB Network, MLB.com, and the video feed below
For one, this will be the first draft under the Tigers' new front office. Former vice president of amateur scouting David Chadd, previously the head of all drafting decisions, has moved into the assistant general manager role. Scouting Director Scott Pleis has taken his place in the draft room.
Secondly, the Tigers have the highest pick since they selected Jacob Turner ninth overall in 2009. In the three drafts following Turner's selection, the Tigers never picked higher than 39th overall, and had only four top-90 picks total. When combined with a win-now philosophy at the top, this stretch decimated the farm system.
But the Tigers have been gradually rebuilding it, and the silver lining from last season's collapse is an influx of young talent. The trades made at the deadline went a long way towards dragging the Tigers up from the dredges, and they have an opportunity now to add another top-level player to the system.
Who might they take at #9?
Predicting the MLB draft is impossible, even for just the top 10 picks. Most experts are leaning towards southpaw pitcher A.J. Puk to go to the Phillies with the first pick, but even that's subject to change. After that, chaos reigns. But we've profiled a number of prospects that may be available, and that the Tigers may be interested in:
- Riley Pint: A big righty with high-90's heat in high school. Ranked as the fourth-best prospect by Baseball America, the Tigers probably won't pass on him if he drops to #9. Recent rumors suggest the Rockies are very interested at No. 4, though.
- Dakota Hudson: A big righty with mid-90's heat and a hard, biting slider out of Mississippi State.
- Connor Jones: A big righty with mid-90's heat out of Virginia.
- Matt Manning: A big righty with high-90's heat in high school. I'm getting deja vu.
- Jason Groome: A big LEFTY with mid-90's heat out of high school. Groome was originally projected to be taken in the top few picks, but recent concerns about his maturity may force him down the board.
- Blake Rutherford: a well-rounded outfielder with a solid bat and enough defensive ability to potentially stick in center field.
- Kyle Lewis: a power bat projected for a corner outfield spot, he'll probably go in the top five picks, but a small slide is certainly possible.
Why do the Tigers only have one pick today?
The Tigers lost their second and third-round picks with the signings of Jordan Zimmermann and Justin Upton, respectively, so they'll only be making one pick on the first day. Their next pick will be in the fourth round, the 115th overall pick, on Friday afternoon. We'll be updating this thread with the Tigers' picks as they happen, so make sure to check in from time to time.
- ESPN's Keith Law ranks his top 100 draft prospects
- MLB Pipeline ranked their top 200 draft prospects
- Baseball America ranks a bazillion draft prospects
- MLB Trade Rumors has a comprehensive draft primer, including slot bonus pools
- MLB Daily Dish averaged all mock draft rankings
- SB Nation's MLB sites have put together a boatload of draft coverage to keep you busy throughout the work day
Draft Order (picks will be updated as they happen)
|1||Philadelphia Phillies||Mickey Moniak||OF||La Costa Canyon HS (CA)|
|2||Cincinnati Reds||Nick Senzel||3B||University of Tennessee|
|3||Atlanta Braves||Ian Anderson||RHP||Shenendehowa HS (NY)|
|4||Colorado Rockies||Riley Pint||RHP||St. Thomas Aquinas HS (KS)|
|5||Milwaukee Brewers||Corey Ray||OF||University of Louisville|
|6||Oakland Athletics||A.J. Puk||LHP||University of Florida|
|7||Miami Marlins||Braxton Garrett||LHP||Florence HS (AL)|
|8||San Diego Padres||Cal Quantrill||RHP||Stanford University|
|9||Detroit Tigers||Matt Manning||RHP||Sheldon HS (CA)|
|10||Chicago White Sox||Zack Collins||C||University of Miami (FL)|
|11||Seattle Mariners||Kyle Lewis||OF||Mercer University|
|12||Boston Red Sox||Jason Groome||LHP||Barnegat HS (NJ)|
|13||Tampa Bay Rays||Joshua Lowe||3B||Pope HS (GA)|
|14||Cleveland Indians||Will Benson||OF||The Westminster Schools (GA)|
|15||Minnesota Twins||Alex Kirilloff||OF||Plum HS (PA)|
|16||Los Angeles Angels||Matt Thaiss||C||University of Virginia|
|17||Houston Astros||Forrest Whitley||RHP||Alamo Heights HS (TX)|
|18||New York Yankees||Blake Rutherford||OF||Chaminade Prep HS (CA)|
|19||New York Mets||Justin Dunn||RHP||Boston College|
|20||Los Angeles Dodgers||Gavin Lux||SS||Indian Trail Academy (WI)|
|21||Toronto Blue Jays||T.J. Zeuch||RHP||University of Pittsburgh|
|22||Pittsburgh Pirates||Will Craig||3B||Wake Forest University|
|23||St. Louis Cardinals||Delvin Perez||SS||Individualized Education School (PR)|
|24||San Diego Padres||Hudson Sanchez||SS||Carroll Senior HS (TX)|
|25||San Diego Padres||Eric Lauer||LHP||Kent State University|
|26||Chicago White Sox||Zack Burdi||RHP||University of Louisville|
|27||Baltimore Orioles||Cody Sedlock||RHP||University of Illinois|
|28||Washington Nationals||Carter Kieboom||SS||Walton HS (GA)|
|29||Washington Nationals||Dane Dunning||RHP||University of Florida|
|30||Texas Rangers||Cole Ragans||LHP||North Florida Christian School (FL)|
|31||New York Mets||Anthony Kay||LHP||University of Connecticut|
|32||Los Angeles Dodgers||Will Smith||C||University of Louisville|
|33||St. Louis Cardinals||Dylan Carlson||OF||Elk Grove HS (CA)|
|34||St. Louis Cardinals||Dakota Hudson||RHP||Mississippi State University|