2012 Draft Report Cards: Detroit Tigers




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See also: Draft Report Card Index
POSITION PLAYERS


QUICK TAKE
With their first pick coming at No. 91, the Tigers had baseball's second-smallest bonus pool for the first 10 rounds at $2.1 million. They started their draft with two high school players for the first time since 2007.
Bonus Spending: $3.2 million
Best Pure Hitter: OF Austin Schotts (3) displayed his natural feel for hitting in his pro debut, batting .310/.360/.449 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Best Power Hitter: OF Jake Stewart's (9) power goes more to the gaps than over the fence, but the Tigers didn't sign any true mashers. Stewart was an enigma at Stanford, batting just .265 with nine homers in three seasons as his athleticism never quite translated to college baseball. Fastest Runner: Schotts is a plus-plus runner who stole 16 bases in 42 pro games. He was a shortstop in high school but had fringy arm strength, so Detroit moved him to center field. OF Rashad Brown (26) is also a well above-average runner. Best Defensive Player: With his tools, Schotts should develop into an asset in center field. He naturally takes good routes on fly balls and impressed Tigers officials with his ability to retain instruction from coaches and make quick adjustments. Stewart has plus speed and is a quality defender in center field as well.

PITCHERS

Best Fastball: RHP Drew VerHagen (4) has a big frame at 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds and a fastball that is just as intimidating, topping out at 97 mph. His lack of an average secondary pitch limits his ability to miss bats, however. Best Secondary Pitch: RHP Jake Thompson (2) shows the makings of two plus pitches, pairing a hard slider with a fastball that peaks at 95 mph.

ODDS AND ENDS

Best Pro Debut: Detroit's top two picks both performed well in the GCL. Thompson went 1-2, 1.91 with 31 strikeouts in 28 innings, while Schotts led the GCL Tigers with an .812 OPS and stole 15 bases. Best Athlete: Stewart was a three-sport standout in high school, and Schotts played safety for his high school football team. Most Intriguing Background: OF Jeff McVaney's (8) father John is a minority owner of the Astros. Closest To The Majors: Detroit didn't draft any players who will shoot through the system. If VerHagen develops a better breaking ball, he could be the first to arrive in Comerica Park. LHP Joe Rogers (5) also has a shot because he has two solid pitches and had a nice debut. Best Late-Round Pick: 2B Devon Travis (13) shows a good feel for hitting to go with solid range and smooth actions at second base. RHP Will Clinard (19) has a big frame and touches 94 mph with his fastball. The One Who Got Away: 3B Dylan LaVelle (18) fell in the draft after missing most of his senior year with a dislocated left shoulder. He spurned his commitment to Oregon State and headed to Everett (Wash.) CC  so he will be draft-eligible again in 2013. RHP Clate Schmidt (36) was a potential fourth- to sixth-round talent even after a down spring, but he slid in the draft because of his strong commitment to Clemson.