The 2023 MLB draft is finally in the books, and the Detroit Tigers selected 21 players in total. We’ve already covered the first half of those picks, but 10 more selections came in on Tuesday as the draft finished up.
Before we talk a look at each of the players, it’s important to note the money situation here. Those drafted in the first 10 rounds have a suggested slot value, but teams can go over or under to sign them as long as they stay within their bonus pool (Detroit’s is $15,747,200).
Starting in the 11th round, players can be offered contracts worth up to $150,000. Anything over that amount takes away from the bonus pool. High schoolers drafted in these rounds tend to get the extra money more often than college players simply because a college commitment provides more leverage than a player nearing the end of his collegiate eligibility.
With that said, let’s get on to the draftees.
11th Round — SS Jim Jarvis (Alabama)
Jim Jarvis spent four years at Alabama and put together his best offensive season as a senior in 2023. He slashed .273/.379/.418 from the left side with six home runs and 30 runs batted in, but his glove stood out the most.
Jarvis won an ABCA/Rawling Gold Glove for his work at shortstop. He posted a fielding percentage of .974 in his final year at ‘Bama, recording 102 putouts and 156 assists with just seven errors.
Scott Harris must have been giddy to see Jarvis fall to the 11th round. He doesn’t strike out a ton (12.7%) and walks often (11.0%). Age is the only concern here. He’ll turn 23 before next spring, which is really when his career will begin. Results might need to come quick.
12th Round — RHP Andrew Dunford (Houston County HS, Georgia)
Andrew Dunford is the first of five pitchers drafted by Detroit on Day 3. He has a super projectable frame at 6 foot 7 inches and 235 pounds with broad shoulders. Dunford’s fastball has already clocked 95 mph and sits anywhere from 91 to 93 mph. His slider is in the upper 70s and tops out around 81 mph but is still developing.
Andrew Dunford (‘23 GA) bringing it to start here for @hocobaseball. Sat mostly 92-94, touched 95 & sinking it heavy, has gone to a solid SL a few times (clip), big power profile. #Mercer commit. #PGShowdown #PGDraft @PG_Georgia pic.twitter.com/hrKElrPGsp— Perfect Game Scout (@PG_Scouting) March 3, 2023
“I would say, with Andrew, it was a really good job by our area scout, George Schaefer, who saw him early and identified him,” said Tigers director of amateur scouting Mark Conner, according to the Detroit News. “We had a lot of eyes on him throughout the year. Later in the year we had him at our workouts and were able to spend some time around him.”
The hope is that Detroit will be able to sign Dunford away from his Mercer commitment and get to developing what looks to be a plus-power arm. The Tigers may have to overpay to get him, but the front office appears high enough on Dunford to pull the trigger.
13th round — OF Brett Callahan (Saint Joseph’s University)
Brett Callahan is another left-handed college leadoff bat (Jarvis batted first for Alabama) that Detroit is taking a chance on late in the draft. He slashed .344/.435/.615 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs in 2023. While he did spend some time in center field at St. Joseph’s, Callahan is more likely to stay in left field at the next level.
Callahan’s power numbers have crept up over the years and he also lowered his strikeout rate as a junior. It’s easy to see why Detroit’s new front office likes him, but now he has to continue progressing against better competition.
14th Round — 2B David Smith (UConn)
David Smith was one of the team captains at UConn this year, playing some second base and some outfield. While he’s not exactly positionless, the Huskies often moved him around to keep his bat (and legs) in the lineup. Smith hit .304 with a .893 OPS last season. He stole 39 bases as well.
#23 UConn is taking it to Boston College as it leads 10-1 after this 2-run double off the bat of David Smith. Smith is an igniter at the top of the Huskies' lineup and plays with his hair on fire. Would be a nice bounce back win for Coach Penders' crew. pic.twitter.com/cokhjwrPmX— Peter Flaherty III (@PeterGFlaherty) April 19, 2023
The speed tool is clearly the most attractive part of Smith’s game, but the bat should also be fine through the lower levels of the minors. A move to left field might be on the horizon, but some time at second base as a rookie can’t hurt.
15th Round — C Brady Cerkownyk (Connors State College)
Brady Cerkownyk didn’t get a ton of buzz out of high school in Toronto. Perfect Game listed him as a Top-1000 follow and No. 411 among catchers in 2022, but he ended up at Connors State College, a JUCO in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Cerkownyk dominated over 55 games with the Cowboys. He slashed .470/.555/.985 and belted 27 home runs. Cerkownyk also drove in 107 runs at Connors State, which led all NJCAA players. His performance dipped in the MLB Draft League, though, as he hit .243 over 12 games.
Defensively, he should stay at catcher for a while. Detroit has evaluated him as a “plus-arm” and likes what he can do behind the plate.
16th Round — RHP Donye Evans (UNC Charlotte)
Donye Evans, a right-hander, spent two seasons at Vanderbilt before transferring to Charlotte for his junior year, and the change of scenery did him good. After working limited innings for the Commodores (17 2⁄3 innings over two seasons), Evans got to pitch regularly out of the bullpen for the 49ers in 2023. He struck out 64 batters over 46 innings, but his 4.70 ERA was still on the high side.
Donye Evans continued to roll in the Cape lowering his ERA to .75 with 5 scoreless (2BB 4K). He mixes an FB, cutter, sinker, and slider. The slider and cutter have 3 mph of difference and play well together. He attacks the zone and gets a lot of ground outs. Here’s a full AB pic.twitter.com/5M9zrSoJVG— Daniel Garcia (@danielpgarcia01) July 4, 2022
Evans’ hands are massive. He can touch all his fingers together with the ball in his palm. It’s not surprising to find out that he’s 6 foot 6 inches. Throwing downhill, Evans’ fastball comes in anywhere from 92 to 96 mph. His slider sits in the mid-80s and his cutter is a bit faster.
17th Round — LHP Bradley Stewart (Cooper City HS, Florida)
Okay, this one’s a bit cool to write about because he’s from my neck of the woods. Bradley Stewart is a left-hander out of Cooper City High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that is just returning to the mound from Tommy John surgery.
I actually got to see him during his first outing back on April 19. Things went a bit rough that day, but he returned to form over three more appearances to end the season. His final high school performance was a three-strikeout inning of relief against one of the top teams in the region. The slider is his out pitch, but his fastball is getting stronger now that he’s back on the mound. Perfect Game had him at 90 mph as a sophomore.
Just found some shots of Detroit's 17th-round pick, LHP Bradley Stewart out of Cooper City HS in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.— David Rosenberg (@DavidRosenbergg) July 12, 2023
Not my best work, but it's a dark field. This was Stewart's first game in over a year after undergoing surgery (I believe TJ).#Tigers pic.twitter.com/jAYpKrQON0
Detroit will have to write a decent check to get him away from his Eastern Kentucky commitment, but he appears signable.
18th Round — 3B Ethan Farris (Cypress Woods HS, Texas)
Ethan Farris was the final position player taken in the 2023 draft class for Detroit, but going in the 18th round doesn’t mean he lacks talent at all. In fact, Farris might be one of the high schoolers with the highest upside in Detroit’s class.
Long gone— ✭Five Tool Texas✭ (@FiveToolTexas) April 15, 2023
Ethan Farris (@22Ethanfarris) connects on the pitch and mashes a 3-run home run over the wall in left. The Wildcats take a commanding 9-2 lead. #FiveToolPower @cywoodsbaseball (TX) 2023 · @TxStateBaseball signee
Profile: https://t.co/wYfFqxehW7 pic.twitter.com/81IPuixzaK
He’s got good size at 6 foot 5 inches and 215 pounds, and he can clearly hit for power (see video above). He hit seven home runs in 20 games as a senior. There will always be questions about a prep third baseman's ability to stay at the position, but Farris has a decent arm and is still growing. He’s more than worth the contract.
19th Round — RHP Blake Pivaroff (Arizona State)
Blake Pivaroff never posted an ERA below 4.35 across three years at Arizona State, but the right-hander is committed to pounding the strike zone recently and has seen improved results. Most notably, his walk rate plummeted from 18.0% as a sophomore to 8.6% in 2023.
BLAKE. PIVAROFF.— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) April 23, 2023
Inherits the bases loaded with one out and OSU's 2 and 3-hole hitters to bat and he strands 'em.
To the stretch we go, all knotted at 7. pic.twitter.com/jQ3Otr2VC1
Harris likes a pound-the-zone kind of guy, and that’s what Pivaroff is. He’s not blowing anyone away with a 93-mph fastball, but he pitches to contact well.
20th Round — RHP Jonathan Rogers (Tupelo HS, Mississippi)
Finally, Tupelo High right-hander Jonathan Rogers rounds out the list. The Louisiana-Lafayette commit has a fastball that’s topped out at 94 mph and has good movement. At age 18 there’s a lot of potential for that pitch to grow, and Detroit’s scouts are willing to take a chance on him.
Jonathan Rogers (‘23 MS) with some special traits to the FB. Ran it up to 94 mph and sat 88-93 with 10-15 in. of horizontal consistently and 23-2400 rpm. #RaginCajuns commit #PGWS pic.twitter.com/6YHopIDLH6— PG Deep South (@PG_DeepSouth) July 5, 2023
The question will be whether Rogers is willing to take a chance on the Tigers. It all comes down to money, and Detroit has a few high schoolers to woo away from their commitments.