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MLB Draft 2018: Sifting the Tigers late round picks for potential surprises

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You’ll never hear about most of these guys again, but even at this level of pick, someone is liable to make it to the show.

Colorado Rockies v Miami Marlins Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Once the 2018 major league draft hits Day 3, things get weird. Teams will certainly pull an eventual big-leaguer from time to time. But the picks get ever more obscure until teams reach the “friends, family and future” portion of the draft beyond the 30th round. The young relatives of coaches, players and others related to the organization make for fun stories. Sometimes this is a pathway to coaching. Sometimes it’s just a fun moment for a player to see his little brother drafted. And, here and there, teams will draft good, but currently unsignable talent, usually high school players, to begin to develop a future relationship.

However, there usually aren’t too many guys that turn out to be notable. Even a Mike Gerber, for example, who most fans would look at as a player rising from total obscurity, was still a 15th round pick out of Creighton. So, with all these caveats applied, BYB’s draft expert takes a look at a few guys beyond the 10th round who have an outside chance to develop into a usable major league player someday.

Notable Selections

LHP Kacey Murphy, 11th (315th overall) - Murphy is a touch-and-feel starter who doesn’t offer much in the way of upside or excitement, but he does have a solid floor and seems like a decent pick. He thrives off a high-80s fastball that occasionally breaches 90 miles per hour and an average curve and change. He gives up homers on mistakes, but, as Baseball America points out, he doesn’t make many mistakes.

OF Avery Tuck, 17th (495th overall) - A switch-hitting corner outfielder from the JUCO ranks, Tuck slashed .385/.477/.721 with 11 home runs in 2018. Thanks to good bat speed, he has plus raw power projection as a professional. Unlike Reynaldo Rivera, another recent JUCO performer the Tigers recently drafted, Tuck has a solid chance to stick in the outfield. His odds of filling out this profile are probably quite slim, but there’s more potential here than most 17th rounders can say for themselves.

SS Kelvin Smith, 20th (585th overall) - Yet another athletic player who shows glimpses of potential, Smith was one of the final guys the Tigers took from high school on the night. He’s a shortstop with some power and above-average speed who should stick up the middle. It remains to be seen, however, if he will sign with Detroit.

3B John Valente, 21th (615th overall) - There really isn’t anything remarkable about Valente from a scouting standpoint, but he had a remarkable stretch of games while playing at St. John’s. Stringing together a 59-game on base streak, this diminutive player only hit 5 home runs but slashed .356/.398/.477 and walked 2.81% more often than he struck out in the final year of his very successful college career.

Near the end of the draft, the Tigers selected prep RHP Henry Cole and 2B Cory Acton. Both young men were rated among the end of the Top 200 Draft Prospects list. This is no coup, in fact, it is a regular occurrence for every team. It is highly unlikely either of these players will sign, and instead, will go to their respective college programs.

Day 3 Selections

Round Pick Player School Position Bats/Throws Year Vitals
Round Pick Player School Position Bats/Throws Year Vitals
11 315 Kacey Murphy U Arkansas Fayetteville P L/L 4YR JR 6' 0 190lbs DOB: 01/21/97
12 345 Reece Hampton UNC Charlotte (NC) CF S/R 4YR JR 5' 10 170lbs DOB: 07/19/96
13 375 Chris Proctor Duke (NC) C L/R 4YR JR 6' 1 180lbs DOB: 03/08/97
14 405 Luke Sherley Texas St U SS R/R 4YR SR 6' 1 190lbs DOB: 05/07/96
15 435 Nick Ames U Nevada Las Vegas 1B L/R 4YR JR 6' 3 240lbs DOB: 11/25/96
16 465 Dayton Dugas Wichita State (KS) CF R/R 4YR JR 6' 3 230lbs DOB: 06/09/97
17 495 Avery Tuck New Mexico JC (NM) OF L/R JC J2 6' 4 195lbs DOB: 12/28/97
18 525 Ethan DeCaster Duke U RHR R/R 4YR 5S 6' 3 190lbs DOB: 10/27/94
19 555 Angel Reyes U Science & Arts Oklahoma RHR R/R 4YR JR 6' 2 200lbs DOB: 10/17/97
20 585 Kelvin Smith Redan HS (GA) 3B R/R HS SR 6' 1 185lbs DOB: 10/30/99
21 615 John Valente St Johns U 3B S/R 4YR 5S 5' 11 190lbs DOB: 06/23/95
22 645 Mark Conger Vanderbilt U P R/R 4YR JR 6' 3 200lbs DOB: 06/28/96
23 675 Jordan Verdon San Diego State (CA) 3B L/R 4YR JR 6' 3 190lbs DOB: 01/07/97
24 705 Zach Malis Grand Canyon U 3B L/R 4YR JR 6' 4 190lbs DOB: 11/07/96
25 735 Chance Kirby U Texas San Antonio P R/R 4YR SR 5' 11 165lbs DOB: 07/19/95
26 765 Garrett Hill San Diego St U RHS R/R 4YR SR 6' 0 175lbs DOB: 01/16/96
27 795 Stevie Ledesma UC Santa Barbara RHS R/R 4YR SR 6' 5 195lbs DOB: 11/22/95
28 825 Daniel Reyes Miami (FL) LF R/R 4YR JR 6' 1 200lbs DOB: 09/07/96
29 855 Jeb Bargfeldt Miami (FL) LHP L/L 4YR SR 6' 0 175lbs DOB: 10/13/95
30 885 Jared Tobey Wayne St U LHS R/L 4YR SR 6' 4 225lbs DOB: 03/11/96
31 915 Jayce Vancena U Michigan P R/R 4YR SR 6' 5 225lbs DOB: 04/25/96
32 945 Clark Brinkman Creighton U CF R/R 4YR SR 6' 2 195lbs DOB: 03/06/96
33 975 Justin Childers Ohio Dominican U 1B R/R 4YR SR 6' 2 210lbs DOB: 10/27/95
34 1005 Vinny Esposito Cal St Sacramento LF R/R 4YR SR 5' 11 200lbs DOB: 03/10/96
35 1035 Chavez Fernander Polk State College (FL) RHP R/R JC J2 6' 3 205lbs DOB: 07/07/97
36 1065 Yasin Chentouf U Pittsburgh CF R/R 4YR JR 5' 9 170lbs DOB: 06/18/97
37 1095 Matthew Jarecki Benedictine Col LF R/R 4YR SR 6' 2 205lbs DOB: 05/12/96
38 1125 Cole Henry Florence HS (AL) RHP R/R HS SR 6' 4 195lbs DOB: 07/15/99
39 1155 Cory Acton American Heritage School (FL) 2B L/R HS SR 6' 1 165lbs DOB: 03/22/99
40 1185 Kevynn Arias Montreat Col C R/R 4YR JR 6' 0 215lbs DOB: 02/11/97