Tom Greene | June 14th, 2020
The year is 2020. The MLB Draft has commenced. Whether or not we’ll have a season, we do not know, but what’s clear is that the Tigers may have set themselves up for a great future.
Most normally, average fans look at the draft and think, “Awesome! Players we’ll be lucky to see in two or three years!”, but this year is unlike any other. A Pandemic that has forced us farther away, physically, may have brought us even closer… virtually. Let’s take a look at the Highlight from this 2020 Baseball Season so far, the Tigers’ Draft.
As a side note, this is my first time writing an MLB Draft Analysis. Hopefully, my friend Emily Waldon, who covers a lot of these players as well as untold stories of the MiLB, will appreciate this!
Round 1- 1st Overall- Spencer Torkelson
The Tigers’ struggles of the last two years have not only been relief pitching but hitting. Spencer Torkelson delivered a “Home Run” for Al Avila and the Tigers, at least in the Hitting category.
The Arizona State man hit .337 while forking 54 Home Runs as a Sun Devil. The numbers compare to that of Kris Bryant when he was in college. Torkelson can also play multiple positions, can give Miguel Cabrera a day off or two (as Torkelson plays 1st), and can fill in in the outfield from time to time. A no-brainer at one and a great pick.
Round 2- 38th Overall- Dillon Dingler
In a Pandemic-Shortened 2020 season, Dillon Dingler hit .340 in 13 games. In his career, he’s hit .276 at Ohio State. With the loss of James McCann, Detroit has looked for solid catching, and while Jake Rogers is emerging as a future leader, Dingler could potentially back him up. Of course, let’s not forget about Grayson Greiner. He’s still the #1 catcher, for now, ya know?
While pitching is still of great need, catching is just as important. Good pick.
Competitive Balance B- 62nd Overall- Daniel Cabrera
He’s not related to Miguel, but the Tigers may have another Cabrera to cheer for once Miguel hangs it up. Or maybe before.
Last season, Daniel Cabrera hit .285 with 12 Home Runs and 50 RBIs for another Tiger team, LSU. He’s a solid left-handed hitter that can develop power over time. Again, while the Tigers still need pitching, this seems to be a Low Risk-High Yield Investment, similar to that Impractical Jokers scene. Don’t forget the scones.
Round 3- 73rd Overall- Trei Cruz
Trei Cruz has been actively recruited by multiple MLB Teams, and he has roots that have played in the Show- Jose Cruz Jr. and Jose Cruz. Cruz was also drafted by the Astros in 2017 and Nationals in 2019. With that track record, could Detroit lift the Commissioner’s Trophy this year or next? Probably not, but it leaves me wondering!
Cruz turned down both opportunities in ’17 and ’19 to improve his skills and play in College. He hit .307 with 22 RBIs last year in the Cape Cod League. In a Pandemic-Shortened 2020 Season, he hit .328 with eight RBIs for Rice.
As a Switch Hitter, the Tigers have options for if and when he makes the Show. Expectations are high due to his roots, but he stayed in school twice to prepare for it.
Round 4- 102nd Overall- Gage Workman
Like the Detroit Lions’ Draft, teammates are being selected by a parent club. And that’s a good thing.
Gage Workman‘s best season as a Sun Devil, alongside Torkelson, was last season, hitting .330 with eight Home Runs and 43 RBIs. He also played in the Cape Cod League but struggled.
Like Cruz, and many other players, Workman was drafted before, by the Brewers in 2017. This is where he made the choice to play in Tempe. Also like Cruz, he’s a switch hitter. If Torkelson plays 1st, Workman can play Shortstop. But, the risk is strikeouts. Let’s see if he can cut down on that.
Round 5- 132nd Overall- Colt Keith
Coming out of High School, the Tigers selected their only pitcher in this Draft, and he’s multi-talented.
Colt Keith was the 2018-19 Gatorade Mississippi Player of the Year, hitting .527 in High School. He’s also planning on becoming a Sun Devil, just like Torkelson and Workman, so he’ll be a work in progress.
He can throw in the low-90s and can hit from the left side. If he somehow decides to forgo ASU and play in the Majors, the Tigers have a steal. But, there’s no guarantee.
Grade- A+ (if he goes directly Pro, N/A if he goes to College)
Overall Grade- A
Al Avila may have hit a Home Run onto Adams Street himself with this draft. Major League Talent that could be up in two years tops could mean a rebuild is revamped as soon as it seemed squashed.
Avila knows that Tiger Fans aren’t patient with him, but a rebuild requires patience. If these draft picks pan out as projected, Detroit could be a playoff contender come 2022. But, like all things, including this Pandemic, only time will tell. We shall see.
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images