TigsTown MLN: Draft Notebook

As draft day gets closer, the picture for the Tigers with the sixth overall pick gets murkier, as players rise and fall seemingly on a daily basis.

At this stage, no player can be ruled out, because a player could fall into their laps as Cameron Maybin did last year, so you can bet David Chadd will have several contingency plans in place for all possible scenarios.

Kansas City's situation has remained the same throughout the spring. Do they select the consensus top talent in Andrew Miller, or will they try to save money and go with Washington right-hander Tim Lincecum? I wouldn't be surprised if they went with Lincecum, but if they did, it would create some chaos for the teams directly behind the Royals.

Colorado almost certainly would snag Miller and Tampa Bay could also go with a college arm with California's Brandon Morrow and Houston's Brad Lincoln being candidates. I would lean towards Morrow, because he has better size, and has pitched very well against better competition than Lincoln has. Pittsburgh would be very happy with this scenario, as they would scoop up the best college position prospect in shortstop Evan Longoria from Long Beach State, giving them a badly needed bat that can move quickly, which brings us to Seattle.

The M's could go in a number of directions. Texas center fielder Drew Stubbs would cover a ton of ground Safeco Field, and Lincoln would still be available, but Seattle could also look at a high school player, with Texas pitchers Kyle Drabek (RHP) of the Woodlands HS and Clayton Kershaw (LHP) of Highland Park HS in Dallas being at the top of the list.

If Seattle passes on Stubbs, the Tigers will have an interesting decision to make. Stubbs has a world of potential, but several scouting directors aren't sure if he can hit at the next level. Stubbs has struck out 51 times in 198 at-bats this spring, but has also hit 11 homers in a ballpark that is one of the toughest to hit home runs at. This is definitely a storyline to watch as the days toward draft day get shorter.

One thing scouting directors always like to see prospects shine in postseason play. After a tough start, Monsignor Pace third baseman Chris Marrero has heated up, and he smashed a game-winning two-run homer in Pace's 5-4 come-from-behind win over Merritt Island last Thursday. The win puts Pace just one win away from qualifying for the state tournament. Marrero also homered in another come-from-behind win last Tuesday, and teammate Adrian Cardenas went 4-for-4 with two homers and six RBIs in the contest. Cardenas has 17 homers on the year, just two short of Florida's state record.

If you're looking for a player who has raked his way towards the early rounds of the draft, take a look at Matt Sulentic of Hillcrest HS in Dallas. The Texas A&M signee is hitting .676 with 19 homers, 58 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases this spring. Sulentic isn't a big guy at 5-foot-10, but his work ethic is exceptional. Sulentic will be on a bigger stage this week, when he faces the aforementioned Kershaw, also an A&M recruit, in a region playoff series.

After having Justin Verlander go second overall two years ago, Old Dominion has another power arm that could go early in the draft in right-hander Jason Godin. The redshirt junior has gone 8-2 with a 3.82 ERA this year and has racked up 122 strikeouts (third in the country) in 92 innings of work, and is one of the most unlikely players to take a huge step forward after posting 6.95 ERA in his first two years at ODU and sitting out last season after having back surgery.


Tigs Town Top Stories