Roundtable: Sleeper Draft Prospect

Which Day 2/Day 3 draft pick are you most excited about from the Tigers 2015 draft?

Paul Wezner, Executive Editor

It's not certain they'll be able to sign him as a draft-eligible Sophomore, but I am really impressed with UVA shortstop Daniel Pinero, and hope the Tigers can find a way to lock him down. He might elect to return to school and raise his draft stock for next summer when he'd have another year to develop, but that also present the Tigers an opportunity to jump on a talented player now from a round late in the draft (36th round). He's a really big kid, so he might not stick at shortstop, but with his frame, if he adds more muscle, he could begin to see his power game develop significantly. That's on top of already being a solid hitter and a good athlete.

Mark Anderson, Director of Scouting

It's easy to say I'm excited about Nicholas Shumpert or Grant Wolfram, but I'm not one to take the easy route with these kind of questions. I also tend to be a sucker for projects like Alec Kisena, but I just can't buy in on a big guy like him that has shown limited ability to find more velocity to date. When it really comes down to it, there's two and that really intrigue me going forward; LHP Cam Vieaux and RHP Mike Vinson. Both pitchers are probably retrievers over the long haul, but that doesn't mean they don't have inspired stuff. Vieaux, a Michigan State product can sit in the low-90s from the left side and optimistic scouts believe there is more in the tank if a team can iron out his inconsistent mechanics. Vinson has a broad arsenal and dinner believe he could start, but there exists a large contingent that would like to see his heavy low-90s heater that could play to 94-95 in bursts and his plus cutter play in the late innings. Both prospects need with to smooth out the edges and they need to gain experience, making then the definition of long shots, but arm strength like theirs deserves attention on the third day of the draft.

James Chipman, Senior Correspondent

Alright, so I'm going to cheat a bit and select two draftees. Flamethrower Drew Smith is undoubtedly intriguing. The Dallas Baptist University right-hander was plucked in the third-round, and reportedly has a mid-90s fastball that scrapes the upper-90s. Smith is believed to have late inning, high leverage potential on the big league level. Should the Tigers be able to sign shortstop Nick Shumpert away from University of Kentucky, he could potentially be a top 15 prospect in Detroit's rather shallow farm system. Shumpert's bat speed, raw strength, speed and major league lineage make him a projectable middle-infield prospect.

Neil Weinberg, Senior Analyst

I hesitate to say it, just because I don't know how to pronounce it, but I'm going with Kade Scivicque. I have a well-known catcher bias, but Scivicque has my attention because he is exactly the kind of guy who gets overlooked in the draft. He started his career at a small school and he's a senior. To most people, those are warning signs, but I'm intrigued given the amount we've heard about his improvement as a defender over the course of his career, especially when it comes to blocking balls. He was All-SEC and hit well this year as well. Good defensive catchers aren't falling off trees and the Tigers seemed to have snagged a potentially serviceable backup catcher on day two.

Chris Brown, Staff Writer

The one guy who jumps out to me is Grant Wolfram, the 6'7 left-handed pitcher the Tigers drafted in the 17th round out of Hamilton High School. There's no guarantee he signs instead of attending Central Michigan, but if he does turn pro, the Tigers may have landed themselves a terrific value. Wolfram's high-80s fastball and nascent secondary pitches don't immediately excite, but his size and athleticism (he was a solid hitter in high school, and he also played basketball and tennis) make him very projectable. His frame reminds me of two other recent southpaw Tigers draftees: Kyle Ryan, a 12th rounder from 2010, and A.J. Puk, and unsigned 35th rounder from 2013. Ryan never really gained much velocity, but he has been a valuable replacement starter for the Tigers this year. Puk was hitting the low-90s in high school, but he now hits the high-90s with regularity, and may be the first overall pick in 2016. Asking him to match Puk's development is a bit much, but with Wolfram continuing to fill out his frame, focusing on one sport, and getting professional instruction, it's not out of the question to imagine him sitting in the low-90s in the future. Also, Wolfram is another name for Tungsten, which is an extremely hard and has the highest melting point of any metal. So that's pretty sweet.






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