2011 Draft Report Card: Detroit Tigers





POSITION PLAYERS

QUICK TAKE
When targets such as righthander Tyler Beede didn't fall to them, the Tigers went the conservative route, signing just three high school players. They ranked 29th in spending and hope college bats produce.
Bonus Spending: $2.9 million
BEST PURE HITTER:  OF Tyler Collins (6) led NJCAA Division I in hits (105), home runs (19) and doubles (34) in the spring, then .310/.357/.510 en route to being the Texas Collegiate League's No. 1 prospect. After signing for a $210,000 bonus, he hit .313/.360/.534 for short-season Connecticut. 1B Aaron Westlake (3) has a feel for hitting and good patience to go with his strength. BEST POWER HITTER:  At 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Westlake is built for power and led the Southeastern Conference with 11 home runs in league games in the spring. 1B Dean Green (11) is even bigger at 6-foot-4, 255 pounds and has similar pop. 3B Jason King (4) is more athletic and offers power from both sides of the plate. FASTEST RUNNER:  OF Ismael Salgado (16) turned in 3.7-second times on drag bunts as an amateur and runs 6.5-second 60s. BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER:  The Tigers drafted two of college baseball's more accomplished up-the-middle defenders. C James McCann (2), their top pick, has solid-average tools with a rock-solid frame and good leadership skills. SS Brandon Loy (5) has the feet, range, hands and arm strength to profile as an average or better defender at short.

PITCHERS

BEST FASTBALL: LHP Brian Flynn (7) was the first pitcher the Tigers drafted. The 6-foot-8, 239-pounder bumps his fastball up to 96 mph and sits in the low 90s. RHP Montreal Robinson (29) has a power's pitcher's build at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds and raw arm strength, having run his heater up to 96. BEST SECONDARY PITCH:  Flynn has flashed above-average slider since scrapping his curve earlier in the spring. RHP Tommy Collier (22), a Tommy John surgery survivor, has a feel for a power breaking ball.

ODDS AND ENDS

BEST PRO DEBUT: Flynn went straight to low Class A West Michigan and thrived, going 7-2, 3.46 with 57 strikeouts in 68 innings. Green hit .341/.395/.520 with seven home runs at Connecticut, while Collier went 4-1, 1.85 with 35 whiffs in 39 innings at Connecticut. BEST ATHLETE: OF Tyler Gibson (16) has strength in his 6-foot-2 190-pound frame and moves well, turning in 6.6- and 6.7-second 60 times. MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Gibson's father Craig is the head coach at Mercer. 2B Colin Kaline (26) is the grandson of Tigers Hall of Famer Al Kaline, and RHP Nick Avila (37) is the cousin of current catcher Alex and nephew of assistant general manager Al. CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: McCann gets the edge over Loy for a more advanced bat. BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: Gibson, who signed for $525,000 will get more attention, but watch out for Robinson and Green. THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY:  RHP Mitch Mormann (25) has tantalizing size at 6-foot-6, 255 pounds and has reached 96 mph. He returned to Wichita State, where he sat out 2011 as a transfer.