Archive for the ‘Draft’ category

Tigers sign 3 more draft picks

July 7, 2010

Bryan Holaday (Richard W. Rodriguez / Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

The Detroit Tigers announced Wednesday that they have signed three more of their 2010 draft picks in left-handed pitcher Alex Burgos, catcher Bryan Holaday and second baseman Corey Jones.

Burgos, a left-handed pitcher with good command and pitchability, could be assigned to either Connecticut or West Michigan.

Holaday won the Johnny Bench award as the best catcher in college baseball as a senior at TCU.  Like Burgos, he could be sent to either Connecticut or West Michigan.

Jones will begin his career on the disabled list as he nurses his separated shoulder back to health.  Jones suffered the injury diving into second base on June 12 during NCAA Super Regionals.  He profiles as an offensive-minded second baseman.


Tigers draftees on TV

June 10, 2010

Ten of the Tigers 2010 draftees will be participating in NCAA Super Regionals this weekend and all of the games will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks.  Here are the television schedules for the schools with Tigers draftees and possible future Connecticut Tigers.  All times are Eastern.

Texas (RHP Chance Ruffin, RHP Cole Green) vs. TCU (C Bryan Holaday)

June 11–3 p.m. ESPN2
June 12–1 p.m. ESPN (Green probable starting pitcher)
June 13–4 p.m. ESPN (if necessary)

UCLA vs. Cal State Fullerton (2B Corey Jones, 1B Carlos Lopez)

June 11–10:30 p.m. ESPN2
June 12–7 p.m. ESPN2
June 13–10 p.m. ESPN2 (if necessary)

Clemson vs. Alabama (RHP Tyler White, 1B Clay Jones)

June 12–6 p.m. ESPNU
June 13–7 p.m. ESPN2
June 14–1 or 7 p.m. ESPN2 (if necessary)

Arizona State vs. Arkansas (LHP Drew Smyly, OF Collin Kuhn, RHP Jordan Pratt)

June 12–9 p.m. ESPNU (Smyly probable starting pitcher)
June 13–10 p.m. ESPN2
June 14–7 p.m. ESPN2 (if necessary)

Tigers draft wrap-up: Day 3

June 9, 2010

The third and final day of the 2010 MLB draft concluded Wednesday with rounds 31 through 50.  With the exception of the college seniors, most of the players selected in that range will not sign.

Matt Little/Photo courtesy of

The Tigers drafted two senior relief pitchers on day three in Kentucky’s Matt Little and Southern’s Cody Hall.  Little is a 5-foot-11 right-hander who throws a high 80s two-seam fastball, a loopy slider and a four-seam fastball that occasionally gets into the low 90s according to a blog that follows the Cape Cod League.  Hall is a 6-foot-4 right-hander who throws a fastball that touches 95 miles per hour according to

The Tigers drafted six senior position players in Alabama first baseman Clay Jones, George Mason shortstop Ryan Soares, Valparaiso outfielder Bo McClendon, Trinity International shortstop Pete Miller, Holy Cross third baseman Matt Perry and Tabor College catcher Tyson Kendrick.  McClendon is the son of Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon and Miller is the son of Tigers area scout Marty Miller.

Ben Verlander, the brother of Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, and Ricky Knapp, the son of Tigers pitching coach Rick Knapp, were selected by the Tigers Wednesday, but both are expected to attend college.  Verlander has a commitment to Old Dominion and Knapp has signed a letter of intent to play for Florida Gulf Coast.

Three of the more interesting high school players selected by the Tigers Wednesday include outfielder/right-handed pitcher Nolan Sanburn, right-handed pitcher Blake Bell and shortstop Chris Triplett.  Sanburn is a two-way player with a commitment to play both ways at Arkansas.  Bell is a highly regarded football player who has signed a letter if intent to play quarterback at Oklahoma.  Tripplett is the 17th ranked high school player in the state of Georgia according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  While talented, Sanburn, Bell and Triplett are all unlikely to sign.

A final player of note is 33rd round pick Brennan Smith.  A junior right-handed pitcher for Bowling Green, Smith won Mid-American Conference pitcher of the year in 2009, but has struggled this season with an 8.61 ERA in 77.1 innings pitched.  According to, Smith throws a fastball that touches 94 mph and an above-average splitter.

Tigers draft wrap-up: Day 2

June 8, 2010

Here is a look at the 29 players the Tigers selected on day two of the 2010 MLB draft.  Connecticut Tigers fans should pay special attention to the college players, many of whom will play at Dodd Stadium this summer.

Drew Smyly/Photo courtesy of

Round 2: Drew Smyly, LHP, Arkansas– Smyly throws a 90-93 mph fastball and has shown an ability to hold that velocity deep in games, hitting 93 on the radar gun in the ninth inning against Georgia on April 16.  According to’s Draft Tracker, Smyly also throws an average curveball, an 84-86 mph cutter and a changeup.  He could be assigned to Connecticut when he signs, but he will be a late arrival because his Arkansas Razorbacks have advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals.

Round 3: Rob Brantly, C, UC Riverside– Brantly has shown the ability to hit with wooden bats as he led the Northwoods League in batting average in 2009.  He should stick behind the plate and has good offensive upside.  Assuming he signs, Brantly is a possibility for the Connecticut Tigers roster, but he may be assigned to a full-season club considering the dearth of catching talent in the Tigers’ minor league system.

Round 4: Cole Green, RHP, TexasBaseball America says Green throws an 88-92 mph fastball, a sinking changeup that is “devastating against lefthanded hitters” and a slider.  Green has been a force for Texas this season as is among the best pitchers in college baseball.  Like fellow Tigers draftee and Longhorns teammate Chance Ruffin, Green is a candidate to be assigned to the Connecticut Tigers, but he will not sign a pro contract until Texas finishes its NCAA tournament run.

Round 5: Alexander Burgos, LHP, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota– Draft expert Andy Seiler says Burgos throws an 89-91 mph fastball, an above-average curveball with sharp break, an above-average changeup and a slider.  He has excellent command of all of his pitches, but his lack of velocity limits his upside.  Burgos will likely be assigned to Connecticut when he signs.

Round 6: Bryan Holaday, C, TCUSeiler says Holaday is an excellent defensive catcher with above-average arm strength.  Offensively, Seiler says Holaday is a gap hitter with below-average power.  He projects as a backup catcher at the big league level and is a candidate to spend time with the Connecticut Tigers this season.

Round 7: Corey Jones, 2B, Cal State-Fullerton– Jones improved his draft stock last summer by hitting well with wooden bats in the Northwoods League and winning the league MVP award.  Patrick Ebert of Perfect Game USA says Jones’ best attributes are his bat speed and his approach to hitting, while scouts question his power potential.  He will likely be assigned to Connecticut if he signs.

Round 8: Patrick Leyland, C, Bishop Canevin HS (Pa.)– The son of Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, Patrick will likely be assigned to the Gulf Coast League if he signs.  If not, he will attend the University of Maryland.

Round 9: Tony Plagman, 1B, Georgia Tech– Plagman is a power-hitting first baseman, but some think he will struggle with the transition from metal to wooden bats.  He should be an easy sign as a college senior and will likely be assigned to Connecticut.

Round 10: Cole Nelson, LHP, Auburn– Nelson has a huge frame at 6-foot-7 and 233 pounds.  Baseball America says he throws an 89-92 mph fastball and a good breaking ball.  He will likely be assigned to Connecticut if he signs.

Round 11: Brian Dupra, RHP, Notre DameEbert says Dupra throws a 91-94 mph fastball, a slider and a curveball.  He will likely be a part of the Connecticut Tigers’ starting rotation if he signs.

Round 12: Kyle Ryan, LHP, Auburndale Senior HS (Fla.)Baseball America says he throws an 87-89 mph fastball that has touched 90 mph and a slurvy breaking ball.  Considering his lanky 6-foot-5 180 pound frame, Ryan should add velocity as he matures.  If he signs, he will probably be assigned to the GCL Tigers.

Round 13: P.J. Polk, OF, Tennessee– Polk is an undersized left fielder at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, but he has been a productive player during his career at Tennessee.  He will likely be assigned to Connecticut if he signs.

Round 14: Patrick Cooper, RHP, Bradley– Cooper’s arsenal includes a fastball, slider and changeup.  According to the Bradley Braves Examiner, Cooper’s fastball was 90-93 mph last summer in the Cape Cod League, but his velocity regressed to the high 80s this spring.  He could be a tough sign, as he may want to return to Bradley for his senior season to improve his draft stock.  If he signs, Cooper will probably head to Connecticut.

Round 15: Collin Kuhn, OF, Arkansas– Kuhn has been surging lately, as he was named MVP of the Fayetteville Regional after going 7-for-17 with four home runs over the weekend. If he signs, he will be a late arrival to a minor league team as Arkansas has advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals.

Round 16: Jordan Pratt, RHP, Arkansas– Another Razorback, Pratt is a relief pitcher who will probably be assigned to Connecticut when Arkansas’ season ends.

Round 17: Drew Gagnier, RHP, OregonAccording to The Baseball Northwest Blog, Gagnier throws a fastball that gets up to 93 mph and a splitter.  He is an important part of Oregon’s bullpen and is the younger brother of L.J. Gagnier, who is a pitcher with the Toledo Mud Hens.

Round 18: Josh Ashenbrenner, 2B, Lewis-Clark State

Round 19: Jeff Rowland, OF, Georgia Tech– Rowland is a left-handed hitter with leadoff skills.  He is also a good defender in center field.

Round 20: Tyler White, RHP, Alabama– Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard told that White throws his fastball between 90 and 94 miles per hour.  He is a relief pitcher.

Round 21: James Meador, OF, San Diego– Meador led San Diego in multiple offensive categories this season, but missed the NCAA tournament after fracturing his left hand.

Round 22: Jake Hernandez, C, Los Osos HS (Calif.)– Hernandez is an excellent defensive catcher, but there are questions about his bat.  ESPN’s Keith Law ranked him the fourth best catcher in the draft, but it will be tough to pry him away from his college commitment to USC.

Round 23: Dominic Ficociello, SS, Fullerton HS (Calif.)– Like Hernandez, Ficociello will be difficult to sign.  Baseball America says he has excellent bat speed, which allows him to generate power despite his skinny frame.

Round 24: Tyler Clark, RHP, MissouriThe Columbia Daily Tribune says Clark throws his fastball in the low 90s.

Round 25: Shawn Teufel, LHP, LibertyBaseball America says Teufel “has a solid four-pitch mix and can run his fastball up to 90-91 at times.”  He is the son of former major leaguer Tim Teufel.

Round 26: Jeff Ferrell, RHP, Pitt CCA scout told Star News Online that Ferrell has a good changeup.  He is a relief pitcher with good size at 6-foot-3.

Round 27: Les Smith, OF, St. Louis CC Meramec

Round 28: Jack Duffey, LHP, The Heritage School (Ga.)

Round 29: Chris Joyce, LHP, Central Arizona College– Joyce was the tenth round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008.

Round 30: Logan Hoch, LHP, Wichita State– Hoch is a senior lefty reliever who should be an easy sign.

Tigers draft 3B Nick Castellanos and RHP Chance Ruffin

June 7, 2010

Texas closer Chance Ruffin was drafted #48 overall by the Tigers

The Detroit Tigers drafted third baseman Nick Castellanos and right-handed relief pitcher Chance Ruffin with the 44th and 48th overall picks in the 2010 MLB draft.

Castellanos is a high schooler from Florida with a commitment to attend the University of Miami if he chooses not to go pro.  He was ranked as a top 20 draft prospect by both Baseball America and Perfect Game, but fell to number 44 because of his reportedly high signing bonus demands.  Draft expert Andy Seiler says Castellanos’ best tool is his bat, as he is a switch-hitter with plus power potential and hitting ability.

Castellanos will probably not play minor league baseball in 2010 as his contract negotiations will likely drag out until the August 16 draft pick signing deadline.

Ruffin could play for the Connecticut Tigers this season, but it will not be until his college team, the University of Texas, is eliminated from the NCAA tournament.  Texas is a serious contender for the College World Series championship, so Ruffin might not report to Connecticut until early July or later.  As an advanced college arm, Ruffin may skip Connecticut and debut in West Michigan or Lakeland.

Seiler says Ruffin throws a 91-93 mph fastball that touches 95 mph, a plus slider, a solid-average curveball and a fringy changeup that might be dropped in pro ball.

College players previously drafted by Tigers

May 23, 2010

If a team likes a player enough to draft him once, they might like him enough to draft him a second time.  Here is a look, in alphabetical order, of some of the several players in the 2010 draft class that have been drafted by the Tigers in the past.

Craig Fritsch, RHP, Baylor: The strong-armed right-hander was selected by the Tigers in the 8th round of the 2009 draft as a draft-eligible sophomore.  Despite inconsistent results, Fritsch was an intriguing selection thanks to his low-to-mid 90s fastball.  This season, he has a 3.59 ERA in 52.2 innings pitched and 40 strikeouts as Baylor’s Sunday starter.

Chris Hernandez, LHP, Miami: Hernandez was selected by the Tigers in the 14th round of the 2007 draft, but he elected to honor his commitment to Miami rather than sign a professional contract.  He is a finesse left-hander with excellent command and pitchability.  In 82.2 innings pitched this season, Hernandez has a 2.94 ERA and 91 strikeouts.

Barret Loux, RHP, Texas A&M: Loux was drafted by the Tigers in the 24th round of the 2007 draft, but chose to attend Texas A&M.  With a fastball that touches the mid 90s and good command of four pitches, he has a chance to be a first round pick this season.  Loux has 119 strikeouts and a 2.53 ERA in 89 innings pitched as Texas A&M’s Friday starter.

Kevin Rhoderick, RHP, Oregon State: Rhoderick was selected by the Tigers in the 18th round of the 2007 draft.  He has excelled this season as Oregon State’s closer, posting a 3.71 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched.

Matt Thompson, RHP, San Diego: Thompson was selected by the Tigers in the 12th round of the 2009 draft.  He decided to return to San Diego for his senior season, where he has been a key cog in the Toreros’ bullpen, recording 52 strikeouts in 38 innings pitched.  As a college senior, Thompson should be a fairly easy sign for the team that drafts him this year.

Nepotism and the draft

May 20, 2010

Every year as the draft winds down, the Tigers select a few relatives of people connected to the organization in the later rounds.  Recent drafts have seen the Tigers select, among others, Joel Zumaya’s younger brother, Rick Porcello’s younger brother and Gene Lamont’s son.  Here is a list of players who might get selected by the Tigers in this year’s draft because of their family connections:

Andrew Allen, 1B: Broadcaster Rod Allen’s son Andrew is a sophomore at Central Arizona College.  Andrew was previously drafted by the Tigers in the 43rd round of last year’s draft.  He has appeared in 8 games this season and is hitting .235.

Nick Avila, RHP: The nephew of assistant general manager Al Avila and the cousin of Tigers catcher Alex Avila, Nick is a junior at Nova Southeastern University.  He was previously drafted by the Tigers in the 42nd round of last year’s draft.

Yordy Cabrera, SS/3B: The son of Gulf Coast League Tigers manager Basilio Cabrera, Yordy is a senior at Lakeland High School in Florida.  He is a very talented player with a chance to be a first round pick.  If he is selected by the Tigers, it will be because of his talent, not his family connection.

Colin Kaline, INF: The grandson of Tigers legend Al Kaline, Colin is a junior at Florida Southern College.  He was previously drafted by the Tigers in the 25th round of the 2007 draft.  He has appeared in 47 games this season and is hitting .286.

Ricky Knapp, RHP: The son of Tigers pitching coach Rick Knapp, Ricky is a senior at Port Charlotte High School in Florida.  He has signed a letter of intent to play college baseball at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Patrick Leyland, C: The son of Tigers manager Jim Leyland, Patrick is a senior at Bishop Canevin High School in Pittsburgh, Pa.  He has signed a letter of intent to play college baseball at the University of Maryland.

Bo McClendon, OF: The son of Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, Bo is a senior at Valparaiso University.  He has appeared in 17 games and is hitting .273.

Jonathan Roof, SS: The son of Tigers roving instructor Gene Roof, Jonathan is a junior at Michigan State University.  His older brothers Shawn and Eric are currently in the Tigers minor league system.  Shawn is an infielder for the Erie SeaWolves and Eric is a catcher for the West Michigan Whitecaps.  Jonathan has appeared in 50 games for the Spartans and is hitting .313.