The Detroit Tigers have selected Arizona third baseman Nick Quintana with the No. 47 overall pick in the MLB draft. Quintana, 21, was their second and final pick of the first day of the 2019 MLB draft.
Quintana’s calling card is his above-average raw power. He hit 34 home runs in three seasons with the Wildcats, and added 17 doubles each year. He batted .346/.469/.630 with 14 homers in his junior season, pushing his way up draft boards as the spring progressed. Scouts have been a bit worried with his high strikeout rates — they have hovered around 20 percent, somewhat high for an advanced college bat — but he upped his walk rate to an impressive 17 percent this year.
There are also questions about Quintana’s ability to hit with a wooden bat. He hit a paltry .230/.312/.423 in two seasons in the Cape Cod League, with a gaudy 38 percent strikeout rate across 69 games. He did add 11 home runs in that span, however, so there was some power to speak of. He also showed some growth in his second summer on the Cape, improving his OPS by over 100 points while improving his strikeout and walk rates.
Quintana was previously drafted by the Boston Red Sox back in 2016, when he was a talented shortstop prospect coming out of high school in Nevada. He has since moved over to third base after bulking up in college, where his quick hands and athleticism should help him become a solid defender. He is a below-average runner, but MLB Pipeline grades him as a potential plus defender with an above-average arm.
Quintana is ranked a bit lower than 47th on most draft boards. MLB Pipeline has him 77th on their list, and Baseball America ranked him 81st overall. However, FanGraphs was higher on him than most, listing him 43rd on their board prior to the draft. Regardless of draft position, the Tigers are hoping to smooth out the kinks in Quintana’s swing and tap into his raw power, giving them a solid run producer at the next level.
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