Pick #44 – Nick Castellanos – Third Base
Castellanos was widely considered a first round pick heading into the spring, and his talent still warranted a selection of that nature on draft day. Fortunately for the Tigers he fell to the supplemental round where despite the knowledge that he would still command first round money, the Tigers popped him with the 44th pick. The second the his signature is on his first professional contract, Castellanos becomes not only the top third base prospect in the system, but one of the top three prospects overall. As of now, he could slot in either ahead of, or behind current #2 Andy Oliver, and he gives the Tigers a very legitimate position prospect; something they have craved.
Pick #48 – Chance Ruffin – Right-handed Pitcher
Big time college relievers have a history of moving quickly through the minor leagues, and Ruffin could follow that same path, with some rumblings having him with an outside shot at the big leagues this year if the Tigers need his arm in the bullpen. He doesn't provide the wow factor that some big time relief prospects do, but Ruffin has great makeup and enough stuff to succeed in a late inning role. Once signed, he will vault into the top ten in the rankings, and could land as high as #6 behind second baseman Scott Sizemore.
Pick #68 – Drew Smyly – Left-handed Pitcher
Smyly is a bit tougher sign for the Tigers, as he was a draft-eligible sophomore this season, and he retains some extra leverage in negotiations. All indications from those inside and outside the organization are that he intends to sign in the next two weeks, and if he does, he would also vault straight into the top ten. Smyly has a chance to start and has more projection than Ruffin, which may enable him to rank slightly higher, despite their relative draft locations. Whether just ahead, or just behind Ruffin in the rankings, Smyly will land somewhere in the top seven prospects.
Pick #133 – Cole Green – Right-handed Pitcher
A very polished junior right-hander Green lacks the projection of many higher round picks, but some scouts also believe he's almost a sure fire big leaguer in some capacity. The fact that he lacks raw stuff now, and doesn't project to find a ton more down the line, means he drops down quite a ways in the rankings, relative to the three players listed above. Like sixth rounder Bryan Holaday out of TCU, Green's lack of projection limits him, but he still maintains a very real shot at some big league role; meaning he would likely slot into the mid-20s upon signing his contract.
Pick #343 – Brian Dupra – Right-handed Pitcher
A bit of a sleeper in the Tigers draft, the 11th rounder out of Notre Dame has flashed a plus fastball in the past, and some scouts believe a permanent move to the bullpen could see a tick up in his overall stuff. At present, there doesn't seem to be much hope of him signing, as contract talks have not progressed, and Dupra has begun exploring the possibility of returning to South Bend for his senior season. Even if Dupra signs, he does little to factor into the Top 50 rankings, but may sneak into the Top 100 depending on how his stuff plays as a reliever against wood bats. Dupra's decision on whether or not to sign could come down to the final days before the deadline.
Pick #463 – Collin Kuhn – Outfield
Kuhn's signing status is a bit of a mystery right now, but most smoke signals indicate he is destined for a return to campus this fall. His 15th round draft status doesn't do him justice, as he's a tooled up kid with power, speed, defense, and a bit of an arm. He also stands in well and has a very strong understanding of the strike zone. Some scouts continue to nail Kuhn for his arrest a couple of years ago, marking him as a bad makeup guy, but by all accounts inside the Razorbacks program, he's legitimately a pretty good kid. Kuhn will likely require a six-figure bonus to sign, and if he does put his name on the dotted line, he could easily fit into the Top 50 prospects in the system, and could shoot into the Top 30 if he performs with a wood bat quickly.
Pick #673 – Jake Hernandez – Catcher
Hernandez is lauded as a premium defender behind the plate, with the tools and work ethic to continue improving back there. Unfortunately, for all the love his glove receives his bat is at the opposite end of the spectrum; leaving most scouts wondering how much he'll actually hit in the end. He has a firm commitment to USC, and he would definitely require a very sizeable bonus to sign; which seems extremely unlikely at this point. If somehow the Tigers were able to convince him to turn pro, he would likely play right around the back end of the Top 50, but might not actually make it in when push comes to shove.
Pick #703 – Dominic Ficociello – Shortstop/Third Base
The selection of Ficociello almost seems to serve as insurance for the Tigers, just in case negotiations go south with supplemental pick Nick Castellanos. Ficociello has good power from both sides of the plate, though some scouts believe there will always be quite a bit of swing and miss in his game, and they wonder if that could eventually catch up with him. He will likely move off shortstop as a pro, and could easily land at third base. Signing Ficociello is speculated to require a mid- to high-six figure bonus, and is an extreme long shot just two weeks from the deadline. If signed, Ficociello would easily slide into the Top 50 in rankings, and could factor squarely into the middle to bottom part of the Top 30.