Tigers Draft Report Card
Best Pro Debut: OF Curtis Granderson (3) hit .344-3-34 to win MVP honors in the short-season New York-Penn League. LHP Corey Hamman (12) allowed one earned run and had a 26-3 strikeout-walk ratio in 25 innings between the NY-P and high Class A Lakeland. Opponents hit just .149 against him. OF Brent Clevlen (2) batted .330-3-21 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.
Best Athlete: The Tigers loaded up on athletes, grabbing SS Scott Moore (1) and OFs Clevlen, Granderson, Robbie Sovie (4), Bo Flowers (5) and Wilton Reynolds (7) with six of their first eight picks. Sovie stands out the most, as he was a Georgia high school football and track star who had a scholarship to play safety for Western Carolina. Clevlen and Flowers were both high school quarterbacks, and Flowers was pursued by several college football programs.
Best Pure Hitter: Granderson finished second in the NCAA Division I (.483) and NY-P batting races. Moore is three years behind him but could hit for a higher average down the road.
Best Raw Power: Moore or Flowers.
Fastest Runner: Sovie can run the 60 in 6.3 seconds and was the fastest premium prospect in the draft.
Best Defensive Player: C Luke Carlin (10) has a strong arm and is agile behind the plate. He was a volleyball and lacrosse star while growing up in Canada.
Best Fastball: RHP Joel Zumaya (11) suddenly started topping out at 93 mph last spring, and his fastball jumped again to 94-97 after he signed. He went 2-1, 1.93 with a 46-11 K-BB ratio in 37 Rookie-ball innings. RHP Matt Pender (3) and seven-figure draft-and-follow RHP Humberto Sanchez both reach the mid-90s and also have good curveballs.
Best Breaking Ball: 6-foot-8 RHP Troy Pickford (8) has a low-80s slider to go with an 88-93 mph fastball.
Most Intriguing Background: Sovie remained a three-sport star in high school even after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery that cost him all of the 2001 baseball season. Hamman was the MVP of the 2000 NCAA Division III College World Series, winning the championship game for Montclair State (N.J.). 1B Drew Caravella (23) won the Division III batting title this year with a .534 average, then slumped to .210 in the NY-P.
Closest To The Majors: Granderson doesnt have an obvious weakness and will be a nice fit in Comerica Park.
Best Late-Round Pick: Zumaya.
The One Who Got Away: RHP Anthony Reyes (13) would have been an early first-round pick had he not been sidetracked by elbow tendinitis. Detroit signed 16 of its first 17 picks, but never was close to prying Reyes away from his senior season at Southern California.
Assessment: The Tigers wanted to deepen their stock of position players and did just that. They also found four promising arms in Pender, Pickford, Zumaya and Sanchez.
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