Q and A with draft expert Andy Seiler

MLB draft expert Andy Seiler was kind enough to answer some questions about the upcoming draft for Connecticut Tiger Den.  He is the author of MLB Bonus Baby, a great resource for anyone interested in the draft.

San Diego State pitcher Addison Reed/Photo courtesy of David J. Olender/The Daily Aztec

Stephen Hamel: The Tigers have a tendency to use their top draft picks on power arms.  Who in this draft fits that description and might be available when the Tigers are on the clock with the #44 and #48 picks?

Andy Seiler: There are a good number of arms in the second tier who will be available at those picks. I could see them getting an arm like San Diego State’s Addison Reed in that range, and if they really want to go with a high school arm, they’ll go with someone like DeAndre Smelter out of Georgia or Tyrell Jenkins out of Texas. Each of those guys has a powerful arm that fits in with Detroit’s philosophy when it comes to the draft.

SH: Which first round talents might slip to the Tigers in the supplemental first round because of signability concerns?

AS: Though it’s a bit too early to tell, I can see a few guys slipping that could be picked in that area. Austin Wilson, a high school outfielder from California, is a prime candidate if his Stanford commitment scares off enough teams in the first round. Others could include Stetson Allie, a power arm out of Ohio with a North Carolina commitment, and Nick Castellanos, a third baseman out of Florida with a Miami commitment.

SH: What is your gut feeling on Clemson outfielder Kyle Parker’s signability?  Could he end up playing minor league ball this summer and return to Clemson in the fall to play football like Dennis Dixon did with the Braves?

AS: It’s clear that Parker wants to continue playing football. He missed a baseball game just to get back to Clemson to play in their spring football game. I don’t think he’s unsignable, but it will take more than with an average college outfielder, and there are enough questions not related to signability to scare some teams off early. I do think that if a team invests an early pick in him, they’re going to want him staying off the field. Either way, if he wants to maintain his eligibility for the fall, he can’t take any bonus money, so a team is protected in that area.

SH: Do you think West Virginia’s Jedd Gyorko will hit enough to justify being a high round selection?  What position will he play?

AS: I think he’ll hit just fine. I think the problem is that he won’t hit enough to hold down third base, and you don’t want him playing second if he doesn’t have the hands or range for it, just so that you can justify having his bat in the lineup. I see him settling in at second in the long run, though that’s basically due to wanting his bat maturing without him worrying about hitting for power. A team with a good roving infield instructor could turn him into something solid defensively.

SH: Barret Loux was drafted by the Tigers when he was in high school.  Any chance he is still available at pick #44?

AS: Yes, there’s a pretty solid chance he’s around. He’s sitting around that range right now, but with every outing he seems to be improving his draft stock. It could be that he turns out to be this year’s Eric Arnett, who shot up draft boards during his junior year to go #26 overall to the Brewers. If Loux continues to pitch well and stays healthy, the odds go down that the Tigers can reach him.

SH: Who is the best college left-handed pitcher after Drew Pomeranz and Chris Sale?

AS: I think it’s a two-way race with a third darkhorse candidate. Sammy Solis of San Diego and James Paxton, now an Indy league pitcher, are the two well-known candidates, but Rob Rasmussen of UCLA is coming on fast. Solis and Paxton have question marks of their own, and while Rasmussen doesn’t have prototypical size, he has quality stuff, and he continues to shut down decent offenses.

SH: What is your take on Connecticut natives Matt Harvey, Jesse Hahn and Mike Olt and where do you project them to be drafted?

AS: Harvey and Hahn look like solid first-round arms in the middle of that round right now. They’re both improving with almost every look, and the main difference between the two might be asking prices, as Harvey’s still with Scott Boras and Hahn’s not. Olt is looking like a 3rd-5th round bat, as he hasn’t had the best season. He still has above-average raw power and good defensive tools, but he’ll need to cut down on his swings and misses to become a prospect at the next level.

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