Detroit Tigers

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1s 44 Nicholas Castellanos 3B Archbishop McCarthy HS, Southwest Ranches, Fla. Fla. $3,450,000
Castellanos was already a prospect before last year's Under Armour game at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Then he hit four doubles on national television against good competition, and suddenly Castellanos was a "famous guy," a term scouts use for heavily scouted players. He also hit .327 for the 18U USA Baseball team that won a gold medal at the Pan American Junior Championship in Venezuela. He has more than held up under the scrutiny, and in fact has thrived in it, having a stellar senior season. A shortstop in high school, Castellanos projects to move to third as a pro and has the agility and arm strength to play the hot corner. He also should have the bat. He's one of the better hitters in the prep class, thanks to a strong swing featuring good extension and natural loft. He has used the whole field more this year and is a solid athlete with good aptitude. Some scouts question his ability to hit breaking balls, saying they've seen too much swing-and-miss this year to project him as a plus hitter, and have more confidence in his future power. Others debate whether Castellanos has true impact tools or is closer to solid-average. He is an average runner and doesn't have a glaring weakness.
1s 48 Chance Ruffin RHP Texas Texas $1,150,000
En route to a 12-year big league career, Ruffin's father Bruce was a second-round draft pick out of Texas in 1985. His son could match or exceed that draft status after moving full-time to the bullpen this spring. Ruffin's stuff has played up after the change in roles, with his fastball jumping from 89-91 mph to 90-93, topping out at 95 when he's fresh. His 78-82 mph slider is his best pitch, and he has a late-breaking curveball that he uses to get backdoor strikes against lefthanders. He'll also mix in a changeup, though it's really more of a batting-practice fastball. His regular-season numbers--0.77 ERA (the best in NCAA Division I), 13 saves, .176 opponent average, 89-18 K-BB ratio--were as dazzling as any in college baseball. He's similar to former Longhorns closer Huston Street in terms of size, arsenal and competitive makeup. The biggest drawback with Ruffin is his size (6-foot-1, 185 pounds), but nevertheless some scouts think he could make it in pro ball as a starter. More likely, he'll be fast-tracked as a reliever.
2 68 Drew Smyly LHP Arkansas Ark. $1,100,000
Smyly's senior high school season in 2007 was marred by back trouble, and he redshirted in his first year at Arkansas after sustaining a stress fracture in his elbow during an intrasquad game. He started to come on at the end of last season, striking out 12 and coming within two outs of a no-hitter in an NCAA regional championship game against Oklahoma. Though he doesn't have a signature pitch, Smyly has been the Razorbacks' ace this spring. He mainly works with a fastball and a cutter/slider. He can add and subtract from his fastball, ranging from 86-93 mph, and works in the low to mid-80s with the cut/slider. He also mixes in a curveball and changeup. Smyly has exceptional feel for pitching, which allowed him to thrive even when a blister on his middle finger prevented him from gripping the seams on the ball for a couple of starts at midseason. Six-foot-3 and 190 pounds, he throws strikes on a good downward angle to the plate. In a draft bereft of lefthanders, Smyly shouldn't last past the top three rounds, though his extra leverage as a draft-eligible sophomore could scare off some clubs.
3 100 Rob Brantly C UC Riverside Calif. $330,300
A draft-eligible sophomore, Brantly has a strong profile as a consistent backstop and patient lefthanded hitter. He enjoyed a breakout summer season in 2009 playing in the Northwoods League, batting .346/.411/.516 to earn top prospect recognition. Steady but not spectacular, Brantly is an exceptionally patient hitter. He does not have outstanding power, but he has the ability to drive the ball into the gaps and use the entire field. He employs a balanced and spread stance and may need to reduce the length of his stride. Drafted by the Nationals out of high school in the 46th round in 2008, Brantly is a good athlete for a catcher, and he runs well and has a mature backstop's frame. Defensively, Brantly has a strong, accurate throwing arm and quick release, with pop times that hover around 1.92 seconds, earning an above-average grade. He receives the ball well, is relaxed and comfortable behind the plate, and displays a knack for handling any pitch in any location without difficulty. Brantly's only below-average tool is power, which likely will relegate him to the bottom third of a big league order.
4 133 Cole Green RHP Texas Texas
Green can't match the stuff of the other members of Texas' weekend rotation (projected first-round picks Taylor Jungmann and Brandon Workman), but he has been just as effective, going 10-1, 2.64 with a 66-23 K-BB ratio and .213 opponent average in 99 innings entering regional play. He doesn't have a classic pro build at 6 feet and 210 pounds, and he can't overpower hitters, but he pitches so well and competes so hard that he should go in the first five rounds. Green sits at 89-91 mph and peaks at 93 mph with his sinker, living in the bottom of the strike zone and generating plenty of groundouts. His changeup is a quality offering, and he also has a late-breaking slider. He throws strikes with all three pitches and keeps his pitch counts down, allowing him to work deep into games. Some scouts project him as no more than a middle reliever in the big leagues, but his feel for pitching and his makeup may allow him to make it as a starter.
5 163 Alex Burgos LHP State JC of Florida Fla. $152,100
The team's top prospects were lefthander Alex Burgos and outfielder Hunter Ovens, with Burgos figuring to go out higher with his polish and three-pitch mix. Burgos was the team's top performer, going 13-1, 1.42 with 109 strikeouts and just 29 walks in 95 innings. His fastball can touch 92 mph, but he pitches at 88-89 and lacks projection with his 5-foot-11, 180-pound body. He has picked up a cutter that plays well with his big curveball, and he's throwing all three pitches for strikes. His profile is as a reliever or end-of-the-rotation starter.
6 193 Bryan Holaday C Texas Christian Texas $115,000
Catcher Bryan Holaday is having his best season with the bat, hitting .357 with 12 homers through the Mountain West Conference tournament, where he was named MVP. He has an unorthodox righthanded stroke, yet he has barreled balls consistently in 2010. He already had established his strong catch-and-throw skills, and has lived up to his reputation by throwing out 51 percent of basestealers this year. His improved offense and usual fine defense will make him one of the better senior signs in the draft, and it's possible he could go as high as the fifth round.
7 223 Corey Jones 2B Cal State Fullerton Calif. $115,000
The phalanx of scouts who descended on CS Fullerton this season to see Christian Colon and Gary Brown couldn't help noticing Jones, a 2B who enjoyed a breakout season driving both of them in. A left handed hitter, Jones has hit .378 with 9 home runs so far in 2010, and just as impressive is his .601 slugging percentage and .465 on-base percentage. In the fall of 2008, Jones suffered a badly broken leg which forced him to take a medical redshirt in 2009. He rebounded in the summer of 09, being named MVP of the Northwoods league. Jones is a decent defender with acceptable speed.
8 253 Patrick Leyland C Bishop Canevin HS, Pittsburgh Pa. $125,000
Another Terrapins signee, Leyland, is the son of Tigers manager Jim Leyland, so he'll almost certainly get drafted, but scouts don't think he's ready for pro ball yet. Leyland has worked hard to get his once-soft body into better shape, and he has improved his receiving skills, but his average arm is not accurate so he gets run on plenty. His bat is also a work in progress.
9 283 Tony Plagman 1B Georgia Tech Ga. $35,000
Senior slugger Plagman, the first baseman who led Tech with 19 home runs and 70 RBIs and has been a consistent power bat throughout his career, draws less interest from scouts. He has become more selective this season and was batting .357/.449/.709, and his track record will make him a senior sign.
10 313 Cole Nelson LHP Auburn Ala. $90,000
Nelson is a 6-foot-7, 240-pounder who can get out of sync quickly and whose stuff falls off when he's in the stretch. His fastball tops out at 92 mph from the windup, and he has feel for his slider as well.
11 343 Brian Dupra RHP Notre Dame Ind.
Dupra laid the groundwork to go early in the 2010 draft by reaching 95-96 mph at times as a reliever in the Cape Cod League last summer, but he struggled this spring. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound righthander sat at 88-91 mph and touched 94, and even when he threw hard he got hit. His slurvy slider regressed, as did his splitter and changeup. He throws strikes but doesn't locate his pitches well in the zone. Dupra went 13-13, 6.40 in three years as a starter at Notre Dame, and he'll almost certainly move to the bullpen in pro ball. The hope is that he'll have more success by focusing on his fastball and facing wood bats--though he posted a 5.48 ERA and allowed five homers in 23 innings on the Cape.
12 373 Kyle Ryan LHP Auburndale (Fla.) HS Fla. $100,000
13 403 P.J. Polk OF Tennessee Tenn.
14 433 Patrick Cooper RHP Bradley Ill.
Cooper spent his freshman season at Eastern Kentucky, transferred to Des Moines Area CC when Elvis Dominguez and his coaching staff moved to Bradley, then reunited with Dominguez at Bradley this spring. A Cape Cod League all-star last summer, Cooper got off to a slow start this year. The first batter he faced knocked him out of the game with a liner off his forearm, and the lights went out at Tennessee Tech after two innings in his next start. Desperate for a closer, Bradley used him in that role for a while before returning him to the rotation, where he gave up four earned runs in his last three starts. His stuff was down from the Cape, as his fastball went from 90-93 mph to 87-91 and his slider lost depth. He throws strikes and has a decent changeup. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound righthander still could go in the first 10 rounds to a team that saw him good in the Cape or down the stretch. The Diamondbacks made a run at signing him last summer after drafting him in the 34th round, but couldn't close the deal.
15 463 Collin Kuhn OF Arkansas Ark.
16 493 Jordan Pratt RHP Arkansas Ark.
17 523 Drew Gagnier RHP Oregon Ore.
Righthander Gagnier is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound redshirt junior with an over-the-top delivery. His brother L.J. is a prospect in the Tigers system. Some days his fastball is 92-94 mph, while on others it's 89-91. When his curveball is on, it's a real downer pitch around 80 mph that some scouts call a splitter. He was a little tough for scouts to see this year because he was strictly used as a closer and threw just 20 innings. Gagnier should go in the eighth- to 12th-round range, and profiles best as a reliever.
18 553 Josh Ashenbrenner 2B Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) Idaho
19 583 Jeff Rowland OF Georgia Tech Ga.
20 613 Tyler White RHP Alabama Ala.
White runs his fastball up to 94 mph at times but doesn't throw enough strikes.
21 643 James Meador 1B San Diego Calif.
Senior outfielder Meador returned to USD after last year's draft. A compact righthanded hitter with pop in his bat, Meador is a bit unpolished as a defender but has a track record for hitting--he's batted at least .374 each of the last three seasons.
22 673 Jake Hernandez C Los Osos HS, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Calif.
Jake Hernandez, a Southern California recruit, is a solid, workmanlike receiver with a classic strong catcher's frame and quality catching skills. He's not a great athlete, recording only a 7.30-second time in the 60-yard dash and a 25.2-inch vertical leap at last year's Area Code Games. His showcase pop times were in the 1.95-2.00-second range, but he lowered those to 1.85-1.90 this spring. His release is quick and his throws have good velocity and straight-line carry. Hernandez is not the smoothest catcher around, but his receiving skills should grade out to major league average. Early on, some scouts dismissed Hernandez's bat as that of a backup catcher, but his bat had come around. In the MLB preseason scouts showcase in February at Compton, he ripped a long wood-bat triple to right-center on a day when pitchers dominated. Hernandez profiles as a reliable catcher defensively, and his ability to start will depend on his progress with the bat.
23 703 Dominic Ficociello SS Fullerton (Calif.) Union HS Calif.
Ficociello got off to a slow start to the showcase circuit last summer before breaking out with a five-hit performance during the Area Code Games in Long Beach. He drew more attention with a long, wood-bat home run off a 90 mph Cody Buckel fastball in the Jesse Flores Memorial All-Star game in November at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles. A switch-hitter, Ficociello has a level swing from the right side, producing more of a line-drive effect, and a sweeping uppercut from the left, producing more fly-ball power. He does an excellent job of accelerating the bat head at contact, giving him unusual power for a 6-foot-3, 170-pounder. Ficociello has experienced an uneven 2010 season overall, though. He began in blazing fashion, belting four homers in his club's first six games before being suspended for venturing too far out of his dugout to celebrate a teammate's home run. He slumped badly afterward but rebounded in April with an enormous home run during a Lions Tournament game. He has intriguing raw power and offensive potential, which comes in handy considering his below-average speed (7.2 seconds over 60 yards) will prompt a move to third base as a pro. Defensively, Ficociello has an average arm and admirable fielding skills. He frustrates scouts with his lack of concentration in the field, which causes him to make silly errors that could be easily eliminated. However, they may be willing to put up with it because Ficociello's bat has the potential of becoming extraordinary. One observer noted his 400-foot smash at the Flores game and wondered, "When he is 25 years old and 20 pounds heavier, where would that ball have gone?"
24 733 Tyler Clark RHP Missouri Mo.
25 763 Shawn Teufel LHP Liberty Va.
26 793 Jeff Ferrell RHP Pitt (N.C.) JC N.C.
27 823 Les Smith OF Meramec (Mo.) JC Mo.
Smith batted .284 with nine homers as a Louisiana-Lafayette freshman last spring before transferring to Meramec CC for 2010. His best assets are his strong 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame, his bat speed from the left side of the plate and his plus arm strength. There's some effort to his game and he's a below-average runner, but he's expected to go high enough in the draft to get him to forgo a commitment to Mississippi for next year.
28 853 Jack Duffey LHP Heritage HS, Newnan, Ga. Ga.
29 883 Chris Joyce LHP Central Arizona JC Ariz.
Lefthander Chris Joyce came to Central Arizona JC from UC Santa Barbara, where he spent his freshman year but did not pitch because he wasn't eligible academically. He was a 10th-round draft pick by the Dodgers out of high school and won't come close to that this time around. Joyce has a soft, maxed-out body at 6 feet and 190 pounds. He'll start out the game throwing his fastball at 85 mph, and as the game goes on his stuff gets better. That may explain why reports of his velocity fluctuated considerably this spring. Some scouts saw him dial it up to 93 mph, while other saw him in the low 80s. His breaking ball is the same way. Early in the game, it's more of a short cutter, but in the later innings it's more of a true slider. Joyce throws a changeup too, but it's his third-best pitch.
30 913 Logan Hoch LHP Wichita State Kan.
31 943 Matt Little RHP Kentucky Ky.
32 973 Clay Jones 1B Alabama Ala.
First baseman Clay Jones has the least pro tools but was Alabama's best middle-of-the-order hitter, leading the team with 15 home runs. He's a solid college hitter and good defender at first base.
33 1003 Brennan Smith RHP Bowling Green State Ohio
34 1033 Nolan Sanburn OF Kokomo (Ind.) HS Ind.
35 1063 Cody Hall RHP Southern La.
36 1093 Ryan Soares SS George Mason Va.
37 1123 Carlos Lopez 1B Cal State Fullerton Calif.
38 1153 Jake Dziubczynski LHP Central Arizona JC Ariz.
39 1183 Bo McClendon OF Valparaiso Ind.
40 1213 Pete Miller SS Trinity International (Ill.) Ill.
41 1243 Matt Perry 3B Holy Cross Mass.
42 1273 Kevin Grant OF Millard West HS, Omaha Neb.
43 1303 Blake Bell RHP Bishop Carroll Catholic HS, Wichita Kan.
44 1333 Ricky Knapp RHP Port Charlotte (Fla.) HS Fla.
45 1363 Jake Morton C Hudsonville (Mich.) HS Mich.
46 1393 Ben Verlander RHP Goochland (Va.) HS Va.
47 1423 Chris Triplett SS Sandy Creek HS, Fayetteville, Ga. Ga.
Triplett's best attributes are his arm and speed, which both play average to a tick above. He figures to move to second, either in college first or as a pro.
48 1453 Tyler Marincov OF Timber Creek HS, Orlando Fla.
49 1483 Tyson Kendrick C Tabor (Kan.) Kan.
50 1513 Jake Ross LHP Wor-Wic (Md.) JC Md.