Draft rumblings

In a podcast uploaded on May 14, Baseball America suggested left-handed pitcher James Paxton, infielder Garin Cecchini and right-handed pitcher Peter Tago as possible draft targets for the Tigers.

James Paxton/Photo courtesy of The Canadian Press

Paxton is a big hard-throwing lefty who flashed excellent stuff as a junior at Kentucky in 2009.  He was drafted in the supplemental first round of last year’s draft by the Blue Jays, but elected to return to Kentucky for his senior season.  Unfortunately for Paxton, he was suspended indefinitely by Kentucky this spring after his affiliation with agent Scott Boras was publicized.  Paxton decided to leave Kentucky and sign with the Grand Prairie AirHogs of the independent American Association, but since the American Association’s season did not begin until mid-May, scouts have not had many chances to see Paxton pitch this spring.  Combine that with his Boras affiliation and it is easy to see Paxton slipping in the draft to the Tigers at pick #44, despite his considerable raw stuff.

Garin Cecchini is a high school infielder from Louisiana who underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL on March 19.  Prior to his injury, Cecchini was regarded as a possible first round pick thanks to his raw power.  While he played shortstop in high school, he will probably switch to third base when he turns pro.

Peter Tago is a projectable high school pitcher from California whose fastball has been clocked as fast as 96 mph according to Patrick Ebert of 5 Tool Talk.

All three of these players would make excellent additions to the Tigers minor league system, but I am not sure any of them would play for the Connecticut Tigers this season.  Paxton should be a difficult sign, meaning his professional debut might have to wait until next season; Cecchini is still recovering from his surgery and likely will not be ready to play until next year; and Tago would likely start in the Gulf Coast League.

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