Who will the Tigers select with their first round selection in the 2016 MLB Draft?
Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
The fun part about the MLB Draft is that there's rarely much consensus among talent evaluators, so variability is already high. Add in the implications that came about when MLB implemented the bonus pool that has locked in teams to what they can spend (or be penalized), and the picks can be all over the board. A month ago, the Tigers appeared dialed in on Puerto Rican infielder Dalvin Perez and Kansas prep right-hander Riley Pint, and now Perez's stock is plummeting due to off-the-field concerns, and Pint is being discussed as a possibility for the first overall selection. So, to know who the Tigers might end up with, not only do you need to know who the Tigers have been in on, but you need to know the inclinations of every other organization selecting ahead of them to have a good idea of which way they're going. So, if Pint somehow still falls to the Tigers, they'll take him, but it's unlikely he'll be there, and so the Tigers need to look elsewhere. Other names are being passed around, but the one that keeps popping up on my radar is Mississippi State righty Dakota Hudson. At 6-5, Hudson's frame meets the prototypical Tigers draftee, and his 96 MPH fastball is in alignment too. He probably doesn't possess the same ceiling as others that will be taken around him, but is well-liked in the Tigers organization and appears to be a fit at #9.
Mark Anderson, Director of Scouting
There's quite a bit of uncertainty at the top of the draft this year, with the Phillies reportedly still seriously considering several players in the final days before their selection. How the Phillies decide to move out, as well as the status of top players such as Delvin Perez and Jason Groome has resulted in something just a little shy of chaos as the draft approaches. The Tigers could go several directions this year, with their hope being prep right-hander Riley Pint slips to the #9 pick. As unlikely as that is, the Tigers have to prepare for other scenarios, including looking seriously at fellow prep right-hander Matt Manning, college righties Dakota Hudson and Justin Dunn, and Tennessee third baseman Nick Senzel. It's hard to imagine one of the most consistent college bats in the draft in Senzel, lasting until the ninth pick, and without a second or third round pick as a result of signing Jordan Zimmermann and Justin Upton during free agency, the Tigers need to hit with their first rounder. While recent trends might suggest Manning is the more likely pick, and Dunn has a ton of helium thanks to strong performances down the stretch, I think the Tigers go with the safety of Mississippi State righty Dakota Hudson, and the hope that he can cruise through the minor leagues and fill a mid- to back of the rotation spot in Detroit in short order.
Chris Brown, Staff Writer
This is such a strange draft year. The top-tier talents all have warts, and multiple teams have enough bonus pool money to pull shenanigans and float good players into the supplemental round or later. When I represented the Tigers in the Scout network mock I took Tennessee 3B Nick Senzel, and in my personal Tigers mock I took Kansas prep right-hander Riley Pint. It now appears neither of those players will be available with the ninth pick, so I'm going to go with Dakota Hudson, RHP from Mississippi State.
I spent a lot of time trying to make someone else fit here, because Hudson is such a prototypical Tigers pick that he almost feels boring. There's also a nagging thought that he could turn out to be the second coming of Jonathon Crawford. But the more I think about it, the more Hudson just makes sense. He has an ideal pitcher's frame, he has a mid-90s fastball and a wicked 88-92 mph cutter, he's a relatively low mileage arm because he worked as a reliever in his first two college seasons, and he performed well in both the Cape Cod League last summer and as a starter in the SEC this year. It seems like a very solid mid-rotation profile, and I think fans should be happy if the Tigers take him.
John Moore, Associate Scout
In the first round of the draft this year I expect the Tigers to draft Riley Pint of out St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Kansas. Pint is a stereotypical Tigers draft pick because he is a hard throwing pitcher. Pint has a mid-90's fastball that he has gotten up to 101 on a couple occasions this spring. He also features a good breaking ball and a change-up that has the potential to be another pretty good pitch.
Jack Wagner, Associate Scout
In a perfect world, The Tigers would select Riley Pint with the 9th pick. I just don't see Pint sticking around long enough for that to happen. With questions in Groome's signing demands, I see the Tigers selecting Dakota Hudson, RHP from Mississippi State. Hudson carries a big frame, matched with a hard fastball and gets raving reviews from his cutter/slider. Questions about his performance have for the most part been silenced with his junior year performance as Mississippi State. His curveball and changeup will need more work to be effective on the professional level, but with a smooth delivery and good pitching mechanics he should be able to develop his offerings with little issue. It would be a safe pick for the Tigers to take Hudson, and I feel they will