First Day Draft Recap

The first day of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft saw the Tigers go with a predominant college theme. Each of the first 10 selections were from four-year schools, and 13 of the 18 picks overall were college picks. Read on for a closer look at each selection.

First Round: Andrew Miller, LHP, North Carolina
After having Cameron Maybin fall to the 10th pick last year, the Tigers had another stellar North Carolina product fall to them, as Andrew Miller, the consensus top overall talent in the draft, fell to the Tigers, who snatched him up with the sixth pick overall.

The left-hander was the top prospect in each of the last two years in the Cape Cod League, and can reach the high-90s with his fastball.

Second Round: Ronnie Bourquin, 3B, Ohio State
Bourquin became the highest Buckeye drafted since Nick Swisher went to the A's as a first-rounder in 2002 when the Tigers took him in the second round. Bourquin hit .416 this spring, and has power that hasn't shown itself in games as of yet.

Third Round: Brennan Boesch, OF, California
Boesch is a player who has been well-known to scouts for several years now. Boesch could've gone in the first three rounds as a prep star in 2003, but was strongly committed to school, and slid out of the draft entirely.

Boesch has a huge frame (6-foot-6) and has good tools to go with it. He is very athletic, hits for both average and power, and could have above-average power in time. He also runs well for his size, and if he can stay in center field, the Tigers could have a premium prospect on their hands.

Fourth Round: Ryan Strieby, 1B,Kentucky
Strieby may have the most power of any player taken today by the Tigers. He stands 6-foot-6, weighs 235 pounds, and uses that muscle for good power to all fields. He emerged as the Player of the Year in the SEC after hitting .343 with 20 homers and 77 RBIs this spring. Strieby should be average defensively and has also hit with wood bats after attending Edmonds Community College in Washington. Strieby was also drafted by the Dodgers in the 29th round in 2004.

Fifth Round: Scott Sizemore, 2B,VCU
Sizemore was primed to be a premium pick this spring, after hitting .364 in the spring, and .300 in the Cape Cod League last summer. However, the second baseman slumped this year, largely in part to VCU moving back into its home park, which they share with the Richmond Braves, and is also much bigger than the city park VCU played at in 2005.

Sizemore has a short, compact stroke that makes hard contact when he is on his game. He has to work on his footwork and range defensively, but could be an offensive-minded second baseman if it comes together.

Sixth Round: Jordan Newton, C, Western Kentucky
Like Boesch, Newton is very athletic, and has an enticing speed/power combination. Newton has good arm strength, and is an average defender behind the plate. Newton has good bat speed and can hit to all fields.

Seventh Round: Jonah Nickerson, RHP, Oregon State
The small right-hander has been a big winner with the Beavers, going 18-5 with a great feel for pitching and a bulldog mentality on the mound. Nickerson was 91-92 last year, but was only in the high-80's this spring. His curveball is average, but he has added a cutter and has a good changeup.

Eighth Round: Chris Cody, LHP, Manhattan
Cody made a name for himself be beating both Tulane and Nebraska this year, although he needed 150 pitches to beat the Green Wave. Cody threw an astonishing nine shutouts, and fired a no-hitter against LeMoyne. Cody is a finesse pitcher, as he sits in the mid-80s with a solid curveball and changeup.

Ninth Round: Zach Piccola, LHP, South Alabama
Piccola has a strong frame that produces a fastball in the 88-91 range, with a plus breaking ball, that has Barry Zito-type break. Command has been a big issue (39 in 68 IP), but he could be a nice value if he can find his control.

10th Round: Lauren Gagnier, RHP, Cal State Fullerton
Gagnier has gone 13-4 with a 2.51 ERA this spring as a starter, but profiles in the bullpen with an 87-89 fastball that touches 91 with a rolling curveball. Gagnier is very durable and throws strikes.

11th Round: Hayden Parrott, 2B, Desert Mountain HS (Arizona)
Parrott raked in his senior year with a .491 average, 15 home runs and 49 RBIs. Parrott has played third base in the past, but an injury to his arm pushed him to second base. The Tigers became sold on Parrott after working him out at Comerica Park over the weekend. Parrott has a lot of confidence on the field, and his bat should play well at second base.

12th Round: Joe Bowen, C, Vanguard HS
Bowen has taken a big step forward this spring with a .381 average, and even though he hit only two homers, Bowen has lots of power in his bat. Bowen has great speed for a catcher with 25 steals, and he also gunned down 60 percent of basestealers as well. Bowen has committed to Central Florida, and will be a tough sign.

13th Round: Angel Castro, RHP, Western Oklahoma State
Castro is an older prospect at 23, but touched 95 earlier in the spring by going 9-1 with a 1.38 ERA. He had 90 strikeouts in 65 innings.

14th Round: Brett Jensen, RHP, Nebraska
Jensen has been the closer for the Cornhuskers, and had 29 saves over the last two years. Jensen is a big guy at 6-foot-7, and pounds the strike zone with an 87-90 fastball and wide-breaking slider. He also throws a changeup.

15th Round: Franco Valdes, C, Monsignor Pace HS (Florida)
Valdes had no problem being seen by scouts, as he played with first-rounders Chris Marrero and Adrian Cardenas. Valdes is one of the youngest players in this year's draft, having just turned 17 in February. His tools are also outstanding. He has a very strong body and is tremendous defensively, posting 1.8 pop times. He is a switch-hitter with good power potential at the plate. Valdes has committed to Florida International, but could also windup at Broward Community College, where he would be a premium draft-and-follow next year.

16th Round: Jeff Gerbe, RHP, Michigan State
The Tigers went with a local product, who can touch 94-95 with his fastball, but Gerbe generally sits in the 89-93 range. His secondary stuff is raw, but he has a good frame and a fresh arm.

17th Round: Ben Petralli, C, Sacramento City College
The Tigers made a run to sign Petralli last week as a draft-and-follow, but locked up his rights by selecting him for a second straight year. Injuries derailed Petralli's sophomore season, and he took a medical redshirt this spring. Petralli was committed to Oral Roberts, but is expected to rehab this summer and return to junior college in the fall.

18th Round: Deik Scram, CF, Oklahoma State
Scram hit .363 with a smooth swing that produces gap power. Scram also hit seven homers, and had seven triples this spring. Scram runs well, but may have to stay in center field, where his bat profiles better. He also could be a tough sign as a junior who could increase his stock next year.

Overall, there are some intriguing players that the Tigers selected on the first day, but whether they can some of these players signed remains to be seen.


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