With the 37th overall selection in the 2023 MLB draft, and the second draft selection by the Scott Harris administration, the Detroit Tigers selected middle infielder Kevin McGonick out of Monsignor Bonner High School (PA) on Sunday evening.
McGonick joins No. 3 overall selection Max Clark (Franklin High School, IN) as the second prep bat selected by the Tigers in the president of baseball operations Scott Harris’ first MLB draft. Clark was a bit of a surprise selection by Detroit, given the pre-draft buzz around three top collegiate prospects — LSU starting pitcher Paul Skenes (No. 1 to Pittsburgh), LSU outfielder Dylan Crews (No. 2 to Washington, with the highest signing bonus in the draft), and Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford (No. 4 to Texas).
Like Clark, Kevin McGonigle’s number-one calling card as a prospect is his hit tool. FanGraphs, who ranks McGonigle as their No. 19 prospect in the draft (Clark No. 4), projects McGonigle as a “high-probability big leaguer, perhaps more likely to play some kind of big league role than any other high school player in the 2023 class”.
Both McGonigle and top selection Max Clark share a question mark in their long-term power projection. Compared to Clark, however, McGonigle lacks some of the speed, arm, and fielding present in the top-five selection’s profile. Nevertheless, MLB Pipeline calls McGonigle a “high baseball IQ” player with an “aggressive nature” that aids his defense and baserunning. At the high school level, McGonigle batted .498 with 24 career home runs over 73 games.
Like Clark, McGonigle committed to playing SEC ball (Clark with Vanderbilt, McGonigle with Auburn) prior to the 2023 MLB Draft. It is very much possible that the Tigers will have to pay over slot at No. 38 for him, given his No. 19 FanGraphs ranking and No. 33 ranking from MLB Pipeline. Regardless, the two prospects, both of whom will enter their first full-time minor league at age-19 in 2024, could make it to the big leagues as soon as 2026 should they follow the same timeline as the Tigers’ 2019 No. 5 overall selection, outfielder Riley Greene.