With the passing of the trade deadline and less than 50 games remaining on the schedule, it has come time for rebuilding teams like the Detroit Tigers to start thinking about the season ahead. 2018 was never meant to bring playoff contention to the Motor City, and much like the previous year, the biggest prize will come the following June.
A sharp slump at the end of 2017 boosted the Tigers all the way to the top of the 2018 MLB Draft order, where they were able to snag consensus top prospect Casey Mize. While Detroit will not be the first team on the clock in next year’s draft, they have a great shot at selecting another highly-coveted prospect.
As of Thursday morning, Detroit sits sixth in the draft standings, but they have a game in hand over the fifth-place Marlins. Baltimore and Kansas City are both 10 games ahead and probably untouchable, but the Tigers could see themselves as high as third come the end of the season.
MLB Draft Standings
At just 5.5 games behind the White Sox and only 2.5 games behind the Padres, the Tigers are well within striking distance to jump up the draft order. Over the past month, these teams have performed quite similarly: Miami and Chicago are 12-18, Detroit is 10-20, and San Diego is 8-22.
The final standings will likely come down to who wants it more (or less). The Giants famously won their final game last season, gifting the No. 1 overall pick to Detroit. Whether the Tigers are intentionally losing or are simply too bad to win even if they wanted to is a different question, but either method will get the job done.
This season has been rough on Tigers fans, but the end result might make it worthwhile. Another top draft pick could go a long way in helping the rebuild come along, and there will almost certainly be another quality prospect coming to Detroit next June.