Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
While it's important to note that it's very difficult to grade a baseball draft this early after it's complete, the Tigers in typical fashion did a good job. You can make a legitimate argument that just by grabbing Rick Porcello with the 27th pick (when he was in reality a top five talent), the Tigers deserve an 'A' for their efforts (assuming they get him sgined). However, after their top pick, the Tigers used their next handful of picks mostly on pitchers despite having more of a need in the field, and arguably reaching to grab a number of players that could have been available in later rounds. The Tigers have proven to be excellent at identifying their top pick, but haven't done as well in the following rounds in securing top talent, and I'm not certain the Tigers have done much to change that mantra this year. Of course, high ceiling guys like Casey Crosby and Londell Taylor (if signed), could change that quickly. But without a guarantee of signing, it's hard to etch that in stone. For that, I give the Tigers '07 draft a 'B'.
Mark Anderson, Associate Editor, Minor Leagues
Grading a draft only days after its completion is extremely difficult. On pure talent and tools alone, the Tigers draft matches up with anybody in the league, and likely garners an 'A' rating. They have tons, and tons of incredibly talented players; players with seriously high ceilings and great work ethics. Along with that, they appear to have a good idea of what it is going to take to sign many of these perceived 'tough signs;' guys like Londell Taylor, Casey Crosby, Rick Porcello, etc. If they are able to pull a rabbit out of a hat, and sign a large majority of their high school and JUCO draftees, this draft could be among the best I've seen by this organization in a very long time. There is a lot of risk associated with a lot of picks, but then again the current front office crew hasn't exactly shied away from risk; which gives me hope. I'm not normally quick to jump on a draft class' bandwagon, but its hard not to this time around; I give them an 'A' based on approach, talent, and perceived understanding of signing needs.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I would give them an A. To get one of the top five talents in the draft with the 27th pick, that is a coup. The Tigers also restocked their pitching depth, particularly left-handed, with the selections of Brandon Hamilton, Luke Putkonen, Charlie Furbush, Casey Crosby, and Manny Miguelez in the first 10 rounds. They also added some potential lethal bats with Dominic De la Osa, Londell Taylor, and Kody Kaiser.
Obviously, this grade could take a serious hit should the Tigers fail to sign Porcello and don't get any of their other signability picks signed, but every indication is that the Tigers not only could wind up with Porcello, they could add Crosby and a several of their later-round picks as well, which would give the Tigers a potentially huge haul. This was a draft where the Tigers needed to add impact players to their system, and they took the first step in drafting them. The only question that's now remains is will they be able to finish things and
get them signed.
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