Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
Given the constraints the Tigers were operating under, I think the Tigers day one approach was a strong one, and very prudent given their opportunities. The selection of Nick Castellanos more than makes up for the lack of a first round pick, as Castellanos was clearly a first round talent, and David Chadd went so far as saying that people would be "shocked" if they knew how highly the Tigers had him on their draft board. While he'll be a tough sign, no question, the Tigers have proven time and time again that they're willing to pay a premium price for premium talent. And while they went safe with their second selection in Chance Ruffin, "safe" shouldn't be confused with "bad". Ruffin has the bloodlines, the performance, the potential, and the polish to move quickly. He may not have the ceiling of an elite closer, but he also projects to be an easier sign, and someone that could be ready to contribute in Detroit as early as 2011, or potentially even this fall if things break right. There were other high ceiling players still on the board, but balancing the high-risk, high-reward selection of Castellanos with Ruffin is a sound move, and I applaud the Tigers for once again coming out with a strong pair after the first 50 picks.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
Things couldn't have fallen much better for the Tigers on day one of the draft, as numerous high end players fell from first round projections, to late in the sandwich round. The Tigers took one of those players in third baseman Nick Castellanos, and while he has a high price tag, the Tigers will almost assuredly sign him away from his Miami commitment. Fans should be thrilled with this selection by the Tigers, and I will follow suit and say I am extremely pleased with this pick. Following that, the Tigers went a bit easier route with Texas closer Chance Ruffin at #48. Ruffin is likely to be a pretty easy sign, has baseball bloodlines, and he could move extremely quickly through the system; so quickly that he could reach the upper minor leagues later this year. In my mind, that's another good pick for the Tigers. The combination of one very difficult signing and one pretty easy signing, is likely a wise strategy by the Tigers, and it will also allow them to continue being aggressive in the next few rounds of the draft. Overall, day one has gone very well for the Tigers, and high-priced talents like Stetson Allie and James Paxton could both continue to slide on day two.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I've got mixed emotions on the Tigers' two selections on Monday night. Obviously, getting Nick Castellanos 44th overall more than made up for not having a first-round pick. If he signs, he has a chance to move quickly thanks to his polished, and he could be a potential fixture on the left side of the infield for years to come if everything comes together. The Tigers had their chance to make a second big splash with the 48th overall pick, but selected Texas closer Chance Ruffin. What makes this pick so interesting is that he really doesn't fit the Tigers mold of being a power-armed reliever, as most scouting reports have him topping out at 95. That being said, Ruffin does have big-league bloodlines, and he fits the closing role well by being absolutely fearless on the mound. While the Tigers certainly passed on bigger names and tougher signs, Ruffin should be able to help the Tigers in short order should they keep him in a relief role. With so many big names from the prep ranks still available, the question for the Tigers for today will be whether or not they go after more signability risks like they did with Castellanos, or will they play things conservatively. We'll find out today.
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