In case you have been living under a rock for the past six months, the Detroit Tigers have the No. 1 pick in the upcoming MLB draft. Those who have paid even a modicum of attention to the Tigers recently know that Auburn righthander Casey Mize is the heavy favorite to go 1-1. Any other selection would represent a major surprise at this point.
But the Tigers have 39 draft picks after that one. Not all of them are worthy of the same attention and scrutiny, but a few of them (particularly those in the top few rounds) are still likely to turn out major league players. We’ll continue to profile individual draft prospects over the final days leading up to the draft, but we wanted to introduce a few of the players that may be available when the Tigers are on the clock again with the No. 44 overall pick.
As you will notice, this list is relatively bat-heavy. The Tigers are reportedly interested in a hitter with their second round pick, and according to FanGraphs’ Kiley McDaniel and Eric Longenhagen, are targeting a number of high school outfielders.
OF Parker Meadows, Grayson H.S. (GA)
The brother of Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Austin Meadows, Parker was one of the first names mentioned by FanGraphs as a potential second round target for the Tigers. We profiled him more in-depth earlier this week, but the quick-and-dirty is that Meadows is a lanky, athletic outfielder who has enough speed to stick in center field. He is still growing physically, and is expected to develop plus raw power as he gets older. If, for whatever reason, he slows down and can’t play center, his above-average arm will make him a solid right fielder. The big question is his hit tool; his swing is a little long right now, though he has reportedly made adjustments to correct this flaw throughout the season.
OF Griffin Conine, Duke
If I had my way, I’d like the Tigers to grab Conine with their second round pick. Griffin is the son of former big leaguer Jeff Conine, but might have more star potential than his dad. He had a monster sophomore season for the Blue Devils and made a name for himself with an excellent summer in the Cape Cod League, but he has struggled with strikeouts during his junior year at Duke. Some believe he’s just selling out for even more power right now, but those mechanical issues could also represent deeper flaws not easily corrected by professional instruction. If he pans out, he’s a first round talent that could be a bargain pick at 2-1, and one that will arrive in the big leagues a lot earlier than a prep player.
OF Mike Siani, William Penn Charter (PA)
FanGraphs also mentioned Siani by name as a potential option in the second round for Detroit. The Virginia commit has a similar profile to Meadows, but is a better defender who MLB Pipeline described as “one of the best defensive outfielders in the Draft class, one who will no doubt play center field long term.” He also has a plus arm that will play in any outfield position. Offensively, Siani is more of a project. He has solid pop from the left side, but is still fairly raw — as cold weather prospects tend to be — and might struggle to adapt to the pro game. He’s a risk, but a talented one that some expect to be gone before the Tigers even get a crack at him.
RHP J.T. Ginn, Brandon H.S. (MS)
The Tigers weren’t scared off by size when they drafted prep righthander Beau Burrows in the first round a few years ago, and Ginn fits that same mold. Ginn has a similarly big fastball, one that sits in the mid-90s fastball and has touched as high as 99 miles per hour. He commands it well, and pairs it with a “wipeout slider in the mid-80s.” It’s first round stuff, but some scouts are concerned about his size and delivery. He’s an older prep prospect, and will be 19 years old by the time draft day rolls around.
1B Seth Beer, Clemson
I mean, do we need to explain why we want Seth Beer? Name aside, the Clemson outfielder has been described as one of the “most polarizing prospects in the class.” He’s a true middle-of-the-order thumper, with above-average hit and power tools. He draws walks, hits for average and power, and will almost surely be a productive hitter in the pro ranks. The problem? Beer runs like he’s full of beer. MLB Pipeline gave his run tool a true 20 grade, along with below-average grades for his arm and glove. He has also struggled in wood bat showcases before.
SS Nander De Sedas, Montverde Academy (FL)
De Sedas was once considered a potential top overall pick, but has slipped because of an inconsistent senior season. He does a bit of everything well, and has displayed plus raw power from a slender 6’1 frame. He’s trying to become a switch-hitter, but the left-handed swing is still raw; though, as Pipeline notes, “the skills are there to hit for average and tap into that raw power.” He also might have to one day move to third base, but should still stick at short for a while.
OF Nick Decker, Seneca H.S. (NJ)
Decker hasn’t been mentioned as a potential option for the Tigers in the second round, but was the No. 43 pick in FanGraphs’ most recent mock draft. If he falls one more spot, the Tigers could be tempted to grab the power-hitting outfielder. Decker isn’t as toolsy as some of the other players listed here, but has a strong enough arm that he could fit in either right or left field. He doesn’t have a ton of projection remaining — he already stands a sturdy 6’1 and 200 pounds — but has the requisite raw power teams will covet from this draft spot.