The Detroit Tigers have selected 3B Andre Lipcius with the No. 83 overall pick in the MLB draft. Lipcius, 21, was their first of eight picks on day three of the 2019 MLB draft.
Lipcius, a mainstay in the Vol’s lineup for three years, broke out without warning in 2019. He’s always been able to hit for average, but added a bit of juice to his swing this season. Batting a hearty .307/.406/.600 in 56 games, he swatted a career high 15 doubles and 16 home runs. Only Marlins first-rounder JJ Bleday had more home runs in SEC regular-season play. Lipcius also draws a lot of walks, with a higher percentage of his at-bats this season ending in a free pass than a punchout.
Got this text from someone in-the-know about @tigers 3rd rounder Andre Lipcius of @Vol_Baseball:— Dan Hasty (@ThatDanHasty) June 4, 2019
“Elite cognitive skills. Identifies spin like no one I have seen before. Power to all fields & controls the barrel like a big leaguer. Really good hands defensively.”@RoadtoDetroit
There are also some who question whether his swing, which allowed him to do so well in college, will translate to pro ball. Baseball America praised his bat speed but complains that his swing gets too lengthy and he can only get all of his power if he gets his foot down in time. They rated him the 238th player in the class, which is obviously a long ways down from his draft position. We’ve seen the Tigers reach for guys before, though, and there’s a lot more ambiguity after the top tier of talent comes off the board.
Scouts are divided on whether Lupcius will be able to remain at the hot corner long-term. His lack of range or footspeed are what forced him away from short to start the season, and it may well do him in at third as well. Believers, though, praise his hand-eye coordination, body control, and mention that he has good defensive actions and soft hands required for the position.
The Tigers’ next selection will come in at 112th overall.