Tigers '04 Draft: 11-15 Selections

One of the biggest problems the Tigers have faced in their farm system over the years is an extreme lack of depth. It's areas like this where the Tigers drafting becomes so important – especially in the later rounds where the Tigers have not done very well in past years. It's with this in mind that we take a look at the 2004's 11th through 20th round selections.

The Tigers got a good start to this group with 11th rounder Josh Kauten. Kauten, a righty starter out of Illinois State, went straight to Oneonta after signing and had a good start to his professional career, going 2-5 with a 3.92 ERA in 12 starts. Kauten wasn't a big strikeout guy, but still struck out far more than he walked, and gave the team a chance to win each time he came out.

Coming into the season, it was thought that Cody Collett was the organization's most promising young catcher. But an injury-filled year coupled with a breakout performance from 12th rounder Cole Miller might have changed that. Miller, who got his opportunity to play with the injuries to Collett, blasted 5 Home Runs in just 130 at bats, proving that he's another one to keep an eye on down the road.

Brooks Colvin, an experienced college player, was next up in the 13th round. Colvin showed fairly well for Oneonta in his first taste of pro ball after a successful career at Southwest Missouri State. Colvin hit .260, albeit with little power, and showed he has the patience to take a walk. Not a breakout player, but was a good showing nonetheless.

In the 14th round, the Tigers continued to build up their depth at Catcher, selecting James Skelton out of West Covina High School. Skelton didn't have quite the year that Cole Miller did, struggling offensively in his first taste of pro ball, hitting just .140. However, it was an extremely small sample size (43 at bats), as the GCL squad had a number of Catchers on the roster, all battling for playing time. Skelton will be another one to watch as he develops in the farm system.

The Tigers moved back to the pitching department in round 15, nabbing Matt O'Brien. O'Brien, who came out of Florida Atlantic University, sat out the pro season after signing with the Tigers. However, the rest was likely due to his heavy workload at FAU (97 innings in the spring), but expect O'Brien to start off his trek toward the big leagues in 2005 in Oneonta as being a more experienced hurler.


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