Tigers Draft Recap: Day Two

After a very college oriented first day of the 2005 draft, the Tigers came into the second day looking for steals in rounds 19 through 50. Day two consisted of a little more diversity in their draft strategy, than the college-focused first day, with the Tigers taking several junior college and high school players with a higher upside than your typical collegiate player.

In the 21st round, the Tigers took Florida prep star David Adams, widely considered a significant signability risk. With a strong commitment to replace first-round choice Ryan Zimmerman (Washington) at the University of Virginia, many teams considered Adams an unlikely sign. If not for the circumstances surrounding his college commitment, it is likely David would have been taken somewhere in the second or third round of the draft. Early reports after the draft have indicated that Adams will certainly consider signing with the Tigers, with the determining factor being the signing bonus offered by the organization. Only time will tell, but if Detroit can bring the young shortstop into the fold, it could help make up for the loss of this years second round pick.

After taking Arizona State first baseman Jeff Larish in the fifth round, the Tigers selected two of his college teammates in the 20th and 24th rounds. Right-hander Erik Averill and left-hander Bret Bordes will have to wait to sign their professional contracts until the College World Series is complete, as Arizona State recently advanced to Omaha after knocking out the defending champions, Cal-State Fullerton.

An interesting story to follow will be that of Schuyler Williamson, Detroit's 26th round choice out of Army. Williamson will have a tough decision to make regarding his future as he weighs his commitment to the US Army, and his required service time, against the potential for a future career in professional baseball. Recent changes in policy allow for Williamson to opt for his baseball career while still fulfilling his commitment to the Armed Forces via a reserve role. The Black Knights catcher plays the game as tough as you would expect from an Army grad, and could emerge as a bit of a sleeper for the Tigers.

The Tigers 30th round choice, George Washington first baseman, Ryan Roberson was big in every sense of the word in 2005. The 6-6, 240 pound giant, posted a .426 average with 16 homeruns.

As the draft progressed, the Tigers took an interesting turn, selecting two players with very close ties to the organization. High school third baseman Alex Avila, son of Assistant GM Al Avila was taken in the 34th round, but is more likely to fulfill his commitment to play for the University of Alabama. In addition, the Tigers selected Kiel Renfro from Texarkana Community College. Kiel is the nephew of Detroit scout Dick Egan. Renfro is also unlikely to sign with the organization as he continues his amateur career.

The Tigers drafted another signability risk in the 38th round, when they took Ann Arbor, Michigan native Zach Putnam. Putnam was widely considered a top tier talent in this year's draft, but when his bonus demands became public and his strong commitment to play baseball for the Wolverines came out, his stock dropped quickly. The Tigers took a gamble by selecting the hometown talent, hoping the lure of playing for the team he grew up rooting for would be enough to convince him to sign.

With David Chadd's ties to Wichita State, and his well publicized interest in Shockers pitcher Mike Pelfrey, it was no surprise that Chadd was tuned into some of Wichita's recent recruits. The Tigers selected two players committed to WSU late in the draft, hoping to lure them away from starting their collegiate careers. Colorado catcher Tony Pechek, and left-hander Anthony Capra were taken in the 41st and 49th rounds respectively. While neither of these players are likely to join the Detroit system, establishing a relationship now could prove beneficial down the road.

Overall, the Tigers focused largely on collegiate talent in hopes of stocking their system with polished players who could help the upper reaches of the organizational ladder quickly. In all, the Tigers selected 28 college players against only 12 high school talents. After focusing largely on pitching the last several years, the Tigers aimed their sights on offensive talent in 2005. If the Tigers can persuade players like David Adams and Zach Putnam to sign, along with top pick Cameron Maybin, the organization could see an influx of elite talent to the system this summer.

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