TigsTown Roundtable: The 2005 Draft

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: Since it's so tough to grade a draft right after it happens, let's go back in time. What grade would you give the Tigers for their 2005 draft?

Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
Now that we've seen what we've gotten, it's hard to argue with the results the Tigers have from the '05 Draft. The centerpiece of course was Cameron Maybin, who was the key piece that fetched Miguel Cabrera. Regardless of how Maybin turns out, his quick development and lofty prospect status enabled the Tigers to acquire one of the top players in the game in Miguel Cabrera. Matt Joyce emerged as a potential everyday corner outfielder, and in turn produced the Tigers #2 starter, Edwin Jackson. Burke Badenhop, Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett were all solid prospects that were used in trades as well - with Badenhop and Claggett already making it to the big leagues, and Whelan still a well-regarded prospect with the Yankees. Jeff Larish and Clete Thomas have already proven to be valuable bench contributors, and Larish especially has the potential to be an everyday player. Add to that group Mike Hollimon and Casper Wells, both of whom could be big leaguers as well, and there's plenty to write about this group. This draft indirectly produced Edwin Jackson, played a big part in landing Cabrera and Sheffield, and still has a few guys left that can be big leaguers. Given that you hope to get one and maybe two big league ballplayers out of a draft, this draft deserves a resounding A.

Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
The 2005 draft was one the Tigers should be very pleased with. It is often overlooked by fans, but it has done well for the organization. Jeff Larish and Clete Thomas have both contributed the last two years, and likely will continue to contribute in Detroit as at least part time starters over the next few years. Cameron Maybin was the centerpiece, and Burke Badenhop a part of the deal with Florida to get Miguel Cabrera. Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett were two pieces used to acquire Gary Sheffield -- who despite his downturn, was productive prior to the shoulder injury. Matt Joyce was used to get the suddenly dominant Edwin Jackson. Will Rhymes, Ryan Roberson, and Michael Hollimon have all reached Triple-A, with both Hollimon and Rhymes really having a chance to be bit players in Detroit. Brendan Wise just keeps trucking along as a quality bullpen arm with a devestating sinker. And that is all without mention of the emergence of Casper Wells as a bonafide prospect. While there hasn't necessarily been a ton of direct contribution to the Tigers to date, that draft class has reaped great rewards for the organization; turning into a superstar hitter yet to enter his prime, a guy with the potential to be an excellent starter for several years, as well as several players still with a chance to become and/or remain contributors in Detroit over the next several years. I think most organizations -- if speaking in a moment of honesty -- would be very, very pleased with a draft of this nature, four years later. Overall, I give the 2005 draft a very solid B+ right now, and if one of the Larish, Thomas, Hollimon, Rhymes, Wells crew becomes a regular in Detroit, it likely becomes an A-.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
Several months ago, I did a story highlighting grades of past Tigers drafts, and I gave David Chadd's first effort with the team an A. Most teams are hopeful to just have a couple of major leaguers or at least have enough prospects develop into potential trade chips, but the Tigers got both. The Tigers' 2005 effort has seen seven players reach the big leagues, and Chris Robinson and Kevin Whelan could very well make it nine if they get called up to the Cubs and Yankees respectively. Both were used in trades (Neifi Perez and Gary Sheffield), along with first-rounder Cameron Maybin (for Miguel Cabrera), Matt Joyce (for Edwin Jackson) and Anthony Claggett (also a part of the Sheffield deal). Fifth-rounder Jeff Larish and sixth-rounder Clete Thomas have seen time with the Tigers, and Casper Wells could also get a shot in Detroit. To have that many players make it to the big leagues and be able to use several of those guys to make three trades to help the team is unprecedented. Despite not having a second-round pick, the Tigers did very well, and I'll keep the grade the same as I had before: A.

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