Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
Pushing aside all necessary disclaimers about the challenge of grading a draft just days after it occurred, I'm willing to give the Tigers a B- for their efforts this year, and an improvement over last year where they went relatively safe and garnered players with a lower ceiling. The Tigers first two picks come to the organization with impressive upside, and the draft is sprinkled with a few others like them. Beyond that, the draft was mostly a safe one that helped to fill in the lack of pitching from last year's draft, and also looked to add some position player depth that can advance quickly, especially in the outfield. It's tough to hit a home run when 90 picks come before your first shot, so that can't be held against the club. But, without a single player in the class that looks to be a potential star, it's tough to give this draft a grade any better than middle of the road.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
Aside from the general difficulty in grading a draft in the immediate aftermath, this edition of the Tigers draft class is especially difficult because they didn't pick until #91. The Tigers didn't shy away from raw players with upside in second and third rounds, which is always encouraging to see. Going after and signing Thompson and Schotts gives them two players that offer long-term potential. The remainder of the first ten rounds is littered with college players that should move quickly through the system. While the picks lack excitement, they should help correct one glaring weakness in the system. The Tigers system is sorely lacking in talent at the upper levels of the system, and while many of the guys like Jake Stewart, Jordan John, Joe Rogers and Hudson Randall won't wow you with their upside, they should move quickly to Double-A and be able to help fill in the gaps in the system while also offering some level of big league projection. Later picks like Clate Schmidt and Dylan LaVelle are intriguing but several of these could be difficult signs given the bonus pool restrictions in the new CBA. Overall, the draft class isn't sexy but it does offer a fair amount of big league potential. It's early and there is a lot that must still play out, but I would give this draft a fringe "B" or B-minus grade right now.
Chris Vannini, Senior Staff Writer
Considering what the Tigers had to work with, it wasn't a bad draft. Using most of the early picks on pitchers, the Tigers opted for many college arms that are sure to sign. Top pick Jake Thompson fits the mold of what the Tigers like, a big guy with a big arm. Whether or not that's the right way to go is another debate, but the Tigers had a plan, and they followed it. That being said, Thompson was selected much higher than expected, and the projections for some of the top picks aren't spectacular. I'll give the Tigers a C+ for the draft.
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