(ABOVE) Get your first look at the Detroit Tigers’ first selection in the 2012 MLB Draft, pitcher Jake Thompson.
By James Nahikian
Day number two of the 2012 MLB Draft was really like day number one for the Detroit Tigers, as they were selecting players for the first time this year after they had to forfeit their first round pick to the Milwaukee Brewers as compensation for Prince Fielder. The Tigers selected 14 players today in rounds 2-15.
Their first two selections were high school prep stars from the state of Texas. Their first overall selection (Second round, No. 91 overall) was Jake Thompson, a 6’4″, 235 pound right-handed pitcher from Rockwall-Heath High School in Heath, Texas. The 18-year-old righty has committed to TCU, but is fully expected to sign with Detroit. He has a plus 90’s fastball, but scouts say that his best pitch is his slider. He also has a changeup that needs work, but this is common for high school pitchers, as they normally can just blow away their competition with fastballs. Thompson also said, in an interview, that he throws a sinker as well.
Detroit’s next selection was Austin Schotts, who was picked in the third round with the 121st overall selection. Schotts stands at 5’11” and weighs in at 180 pounds from Centennial High School in Texas. According to his MLB.com profile, Schotts has “one of the more polished prep bats in the draft,” and also has “incredible speed.” He has great range at shortstop, but the Tigers will probably turn him into an outfielder, or possibly a second basemen, due laregly in part to his below average arm. Scouts also point out that he has a nice swing that should allow him to hit for average. Austin is committed to Oklahoma State, but the Tigers are expecting to sign him as well.
The next 12 selections by the Tigers had all played in the college ranks. The 4th round selection was Drew Verhagen from the University of Vanderbilt. Verhagen is a tall 6’6″ righty who attended the same high school as the Tigers’ second round pick, Jake Thompson. Drew played three seasons for the Commodores. Rounds 5-7 also saw the Tigers take pitching.
In round five, Detroit selected Joe Rogers of Central Florida. Joe is a lefty who had the closing duties for the Knights. In round six, Jordan John from the University of Oklahoma was selected. John is also a lefty, who stands at 6’3″ and played three seasons for coach Sunny Golloway in the Sooner State.
In round seven, I believe that the Tigers may have picked up a huge steal in this year’s draft. They selected a right-handed pitcher in Hudson Randall (6’3″- 180 pound JR), another three year player who played his college baseball at the University of Florida, an SEC powerhouse. Although there are other Gators in this year’s draft who are better prospects, it is a high honor to be pitching on Friday nights for one of the most talked about teams in the country, and that is exactly what Hudson did. He has incredible control on his fastball, and he also throws a nice changeup, which is believed to be his best offspead pitch. Randall has an average curveball and slider, but his understanding on when to throw what pitch and his ability to throw any pitch for a strike, really sets him a part from most pitchers in the draft. Scouts believe that his poise and competitiveness, that according to his MLB.com profile, are “off the charts,” will make up for his average stuff and “allow him to succeed at a high level.” Randall has he ability to fly through the minor leagues and fit in nicely at the back end of a starting rotation.
The Tigers then went on to pick a variety of players at different positions, and with their final pick of the day, they selected Jordan Dean, a local kid from Midland who played shortstop for Central Michigan.
The 2012 MLB Draft wraps up tomorrow with rounds 16-40, you can follow each pick live at MLB.com.
The Detroit Tigers’ selections in rounds 8-15:
8- Jeff McVaney (LF, Texas State U, 6’2″- 210 pound SR)
9- Jake Stewart (CF, Stanford, 6’2″- 205 pound JR)
10- Charles Gillies (RHP, The Masters College, 6’2″- 200 pound SR)
11- Bennett Pickar (C, Oral Roberts, 6’2″- 210 pound JR)
12- Julio Felix (RHP, Pima CC, 6’1″- 185 pound J2)
13- Devon Travis (2B, Florida State, 5’9″- 185 pound JR)
14- Hunter Scantling (RHP, Florida State, 6’8″ – 270 pound SR)
15- Jordan Dean (SS, Central Michigan, 5’10”- 170 pound JR)
James Nahikian blogs about the industry of sports. And specializes in articles about the Detroit Tigers, Major League Baseball and Bowling Green State University Athletics. Email him at email@example.com And follow him on twitter @KingNahikian or facebook where you can find links to his articles and updates about future posts.