Tigers Tab Thompson With First Pick
Detroit takes Texas prep in the second round
DETROIT—Tigers vice president of amateur scouting David Chadd didn't mince words when he descrbed Detroit's top draft pick in 2012.
Chadd called righthander Jake Thompson a "typical power Texan righthanded pitcher"—which is certainly a compliment.
"His fastball (touches) 94 miles an hour and settles in at 92-93. He has a good slider and a good changeup. He's a strike-thrower. And he has that air of confidence about him."
Detroit selected Thompson with the 91st overall pick, which came late in the second round. The team lost its first-round choice for a third straight year after signing Prince Fielder this past offseason.
The Tigers' used their second pick (which came in the third round) to take another high school player from Texas, shortstop Austin Schotts out of Centennial High in Frisco.
"He played short, and he's a good shortstop, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility (of moving to) center field," director of amateur scouting Scott Pleis said. "He's a good athlete. We'll see where that goes."
After those first two choices, the Tigers selected college players with their next six picks and 12 of their next 13 overall.
"Obviously there are signability issues that you have to work around," Pleis admitted. "I think it just worked out that the high school players that were available at the time that we liked were there and were signable guys.
"And then as you went on in the draft and the picks went farther, it got harder and harder to have any high school kids that we thought the signability would be good."
Pleis said he doesn't expect to have issues signing most of the players they drafted this year.
"They've all shown the willingness to want to go out and play, so I think we'll be fine," he said.
• The Tigers' injury issues at catcher led to the promotion of several top catching prospects in early June. Bryan Holaday was promoted from Triple-A to Detroit, while Rob Brantly moved from Double-A Erie to Toledo and James McCann was called up from high Class A Lakeland to replace Brantly in Erie.
• Third baseman Nick Castellanos was promoted from Lakeland, where he hit .405/.461/.553 and had the highest batting average in the minors, to Erie in early June. Castellanos was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI in his first game with the SeaWolves.