TigsTown Roundtable: Grading the Draft

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff on some of the hot button topics of the offseason? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: What grade would you give the Tigers' draft?

Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
I'd say the draft was strictly an average one for the Tigers, so I'll follow with an average grade and give them a C+. They followed what appeared to be their plan, that being go out and snag a lot of guys that have had their share of struggles, but have high potential. But for a team in desperate need of re-stocking a farm system that has been depleted over the past two off-seasons, I'm not certain this draft accomplished that. That doesn't mean this draft won't be able to produce any big leaguers - on the whole, I like the strategy on focusing on high risk, high reward in a weaker class. I'm just not certain this was the right time when we're in a valley when it comes to talent level at the minor league level.

Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
The Tigers draft has two distinct camps, and I haven't really been able to place myself in one or the other quite yet. On one hand, you have a bunch of failed college starters and very little raw high school talent to really project out into the future with. On the other hand, you have a lot of big, fresh, hard throwing college kids with multiple pitches and a chance to start. The latter case is where I typically lean, and that's hardly a bad place to be as an organization. With the first four picks, you have guys that were projected first rounders entering their 2008 college seasons. Following that, you have a bunch more good arms with potential to fill multiple roles. If the Tigers really give Perry, Satterwhite, Green, and Jacobson a chance to start, then this draft has the makings of becoming a very nice class. All-in-all, I give this draft a B+ for taking a philosophy and executing it regardless of what happened in the draft, and for replenishing the system with plenty of power pitching and a few good ball players at the positions.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I'll give the Tigers' effort a B. Each of their first four picks were potential first-rounders at the start of the season, so they certainly got guys with high ceilings. However, Kentucky's Scott Green (3) and Vanderbilt's Brett Jacobson (4) went backwards and found themselves in the bullpen, although Jacobson pitched well as a closer. Mississippi's Cody Satterwhite (2) has teased scouts with his ability, but has never put it all together. I do like the senior relievers selected on the second day. Robbie Weinhardt (10), Tyler Conn (14), Mark Sorensen (32), Steve Gilman (36) and Nick Cassavechia (37) all either have power arms, or in Cassavechia's case, he has a great track record from his stint on the Cape last summer.

The Tigers also made it a point to strengthen the middle of their infield selecting 10 players who were listed as either a shortstop or a second baseman. Of this group, six should sign with Brandon Douglas (11), Adam Frost (21), and Brent Wyatt (26) among the shortstops that should sign, and Alden Carrithers (15), Mike Gosse (23), and Carmelo Jaime (24) are the second basemen. Prep shortstops Brett Anderson (12) and Zach MacPhee (22) could join that group if they sign, with the former being the better bet to sign. Tyler Grimes (43) and Alan Avila (47) are headed to college.

The only part of the draft I wish the Tigers would've done more with would've been to take a few more fliers on some tougher signs to take a run at over the summer. With signability being terrible for this prep class, and the Tigers in need of signing a large volume of players, they must've felt they would've been just wasting their time on following guys that likely would've wanted seven-figure signing bonuses to turn down college.

As it is, they do have a several guys to watch in prep right-hander Scott Weismann (18), Missouri outfielder Kyle Lollis (20), Quinnipiac left-hander Chris Gloor (39), junior college right-handers Bryan Bingham (40), and Eric Broberg (41) being the top players. Prep players Paul Hoenecke (42), Bryan Wheeler (44) and Canadian left-hander Nathan Linseman (45) are three intriguing names, as is junior college catcher Billy Nowlin (25). Hoenecke and Nowlin are better known for their hitting ability, while Wheeler has interesting tools, and Linseman is a left-hander with upside.

As I've said, this is very much a boom or bust draft for the Tigers. If first-rounder Ryan Perry becomes a dominant pitcher regardless of his role as a starter or reliever, and Satterwhite, Green, and Jacobson show the vast upside they have, the Tigers could be looking at a stellar top of the draft, not to mention which players (if any) from the later rounds are able to make significant contributions.

The downside is quite vast though. Perry could become a second Matt Anderson, Satterwhite may continue to be just a tease, and Green and Jacobson aren't locks to sign, plus Jacobson may stay as a reliever. Fifth-rounder Alex Avila could fail as a catcher and be a DH, so the Tigers could be left with a lot of relievers and position players that don't profile as everyday players.

Perhaps the most valuable player from this draft may not be a draftee, but pitching coordinator Jon Matlack, who will be entrusted to get the early picks on the right track.

Have your own opinion on the issue? Ready to talk about it? State your opinion on the Detroit Tigers Open Message Board and go head to head with the experts!


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