Prep Baseball Report

Draft Forecast: Detroit Tigers

Nathan Rode
National Supervisor


TEAM: Detroit Tigers
PICK: 1 (Slot: $8,096,300)
POOL: $12,414,800

2017: Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida (18th overall)
2016: Matt Manning, RHP, Sheldon HS, CA (9th overall)
2015: Beau Burrows, RHP, Weatherford HS, TX (22nd overall)
2014: Derek Hill, OF, Elk Grove HS, CA (23rd overall)
2013: Jonathan Crawford, RHP, Florida (20th overall)

HISTORY: The Tigers have a reputation for taking power arms out of the Southeastern Conference, but Faedo in 2017 was the first one they had taken with their top pick since Crawford in 2013. They do, in fact, target those arms with high picks, but they're also not afraid to roll the dice on high school prospects with upside in the first round.

FORECAST: This is the Tigers' first time No. 1 overall since they took Rice RHP Matt Anderson in 1997. Early on, the prospects in the mix at the top fit their M.O. RHPs Casey Mize (Auburn) and Brady Singer (Florida) LHP Ryan Rolison (Mississippi) are SEC arms with front-of-the-rotation potential, but Mize has easily separated himself from the pack. If you're looking for dark horse candidates, don't count out OF Jarred Kelenic (Waukesha West HS, WI), LHP Matt Liberatore (Mountain Ridge HS, AZ)—who could be the high upside guys Detroit likes to roll the dice on—or 3B Jonathan India (Florida). Kelenic and Liberatore would also serve as money-saving picks.

Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
PBR Draft Board: 1
FB: 60/60            SL: 50/55            CH: 70/70            CT: 60/70
Easily the best pitcher with the best stuff I have seen on the amateur level for quite some time. He's a power pitcher who generated repeated swing/miss with four different pitches while commanding all of them throughout his start. He kept hitters off balance with a four-pitch arsenal: fastball, split changeup, cutter and slider. He knows how to mix them up/down, in/out and back/forth. (David Seifert)

Find Mize's full report in the Draft HQ.

Brady Singer, RHP, Florida
PBR Draft Board:
FB: 55/70            SL: 50/60            CH: 40/55
At 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, Singer has strength throughout a long, lean frame, especially in the lower half. He worked with an up-tempo pace, a lot of moving parts with a rocker step toward first base and a high front side after separation. He throws from a 3/4 slot, but high front side creates not only tilt to the fastball, but also natural late, sinking action. The fastball worked 93-94, touching 95 mph early, before settling in around 88-92. After a first inning where the fastball was up, he made an adjustment and worked more consistently down in the zone, attacking with the pitch. (Doug Freeman)

Find Singer's full report in the Draft HQ.

Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge HS, AZ
PBR Draft Board: 3
FB: 50/60            CB: 60/70            CH: 50/60
While this wasn't his best outing, Liberatore's body of work and projection makes him a sure fire first rounder and candidate to go first overall. He pitches with an average fastball that tends to sit around 90 after the first inning, but has touched some big numbers early in outings. I am comfortable projecting a plus fastball and wouldn't be shocked if he makes a big jump to a 70 fastball due to the combination of projection in his body and athletic delivery. The curveball is his best pitch at present, often showing plus with tight rotation and late downward break. (Jordon Banfield)

Find Liberatore's full report in the Draft HQ.

Jonathan India, 3B, Florida
PBR Draft Board:
40/55            POWER: 40/55            SPEED: 60/60            DEFENSE: 50/60            ARM: 55/60
India is a complete player who possesses an unmatched combination of tools, skills and instincts of any college infielder in this year’s draft. Jeremy Eierman may have bigger tools and Nick Madrigal more skills, but India has both. He is a plus athlete with good body control and an above average to plus arm. He is a pus runner underway and has very good bat speed. He shows above average raw power in batting practice and got to that power in the game with his ability to recognize pitches and consistently get his best swing off each at-bat. (David Seifert)

Find India's full report in the Draft HQ.

Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha West HS, WI
PBR Draft Board: 6
50/60            POWER: 40/50            SPEED: 70/70            DEFENSE: 50/60            ARM: 60/70
At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Kelenic has advanced strength and rock-solid muscle throughout his frame. He’s an overall explosive, polished and quick-twitch athlete, a true five-tool prospect. He has a polished offensive approach, as he is extremely balanced, quiet, consistent and explosive at the plate. He consistently makes hard contact, driving the ball to all fields and is strong through contact, generating advanced bat speed. (Sean Duncan)

Find Kelenic's full report in the Draft HQ.

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