Tigers Draft Report
By Crystal Evola
DETROIT--The Tigers strayed slightly from their norm on Tuesday: They selected a position player rather than a pitcher with their first pick in the draft.
Detroit made shortstop Scott Moore of Cypress (Calif.) High , whose athleticism has been compared to that of Chipper Jones, the eighth pick overall. Outfielder Brent Clevlen--a 6-foot-2, 190-pounder out of Westwood High in Cedar Park, Texas--was the Tigers' second-round pick.
Another outfielder, Illinois-Chicago's Curtis Granderson, followed in the third round, and Detroit also took Matthew Pender, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound righthander from Kennesaw (Ga.) State, with its compensation pick in the third round.
The Tigers selected seven position players in their first eight picks and nine pitchers in their final 15 of the day. Detroit picked up college players with 14 of its 23 selections. The Tigers traditionally lean toward loading up with pitchers: they've selected 10 pitchers in the first round in the last 15 drafts.
First baseman Eric Munson was the last position player drafted with Detroit's first pick; he was the third overall pick in 1999.
So what do the Tigers like about 6-foot-2, 180-pound Moore?
"He's a baseball player," said director of scouting and player development Greg Smith. "He's a middle infielder and a lefthanded hitter. We think he's going to hit, and he's going to hit with some power. He's got good hands, an above-average arm and he wants to play and he likes to play."
The fact the Tigers managed to sign righthander Humberto Sanchez, a 31st-round draft-and-follow from 2001, last week also played a part in Detroit going after Moore.
"We felt like the depth of the draft was pitching," Smith said. "So we felt like we needed to get some position players early and there'd still be some good pitchers there later. And we think that's how it played out. They weren't necessarily premium, but solid guys we liked.
"Having signed Sanchez prior to the draft really helped us as far as our direction. We had a premium power guy in the barn before we even started, which helped us."
Baseball America rated Moore the third-best position player and the 12th-best prospect overall. He hit .329-11-24 with 29 runs for Cypress this season. The Cal State-Fullerton signee had hit .406-10-22 with seven stolen bases as a junior.
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