Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
There were quite a few pleasant surprises among the '09 draft class, from John Murrian behind the plate to James Robbins' power display in the week he or so that he was playing official games. Anytime you go into the draft you hope to hit with your top few selections, and then find a diamond in the rough or two later on in the draft. The Tigers have done it before, landing guys like Joel Zumaya and Mike Hollimon after the tenth round. And they might have just done it again with 11th rounder Adam Wilk, a lefty from Cal-State Long Beach. Wilk split his time evenly between Oneonta and West Michigan, and was equally impressive at both stops. In 37 1/3 innings in Oneonta, he posted a 1.45 ERA with 34 strikeouts, while in 36 1/3 innings for the 'Caps, he posted a 1.49 ERA with 33 strikeouts. Talk about the model of consistency. Wilk doesn't have over-powering stuff with a fastball that only reaches the high 80s, but the crafty left-hander has shown he can get hitters out at a very impressive rate thus far, and shows the potential to continue that run.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
I can play nice and toe the line by saying the signing and limited performance of James Robbins was spectacular and a great surprise. Or I can do the same for the solid performances from Adam Wilk, John Murrian, and Rawley Bishop. But if we're being honest as a part of this exercise, then there is really only one answer; the signing of right-hander Jacob Turner. The Tigers earned themselves a top ten pick with an unfortunate 2008 season, and the fact that the top prep righty (yet again) fell to them at the eighth pick in the draft, is bordering on insane. Turner has stuff, polish, and projection, three things that are not always spoken when speaking of recently drafted high school prospects. The Tigers successful drafting and signing of Turner is the biggest minor league suprise of the 2009 season. Turner has everything necessary to quickly ascend to the level of one of the top pitching prospects not just in the organization, but in the game of baseball. When you are picking eighth in the draft, while you may expect a top talent, you don't expect someone like Turner; and that is the best surprise of all.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
Lost in the hoopla of the Tigers' signings on deadline day, John Murrian and Rawley Bishop had solid campaigns at Oneonta. However, 11th-rounder Adam Wilk was simply dominant by going 4-1 with 1.47 ERA between Oneonta and West Michigan. In 73 2/3 innings, he walked only seven and fanned 67. A left-hander, Wilk showed outstanding pitchability, but he also has some projection left on his frame. If his stuff gains a tick, the Tigers could have found themselves a solid prospect that could be a quick mover through the system.
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!