Detroit Tigers 2019 MLB Draft Report Card
Every year at the conclusion of the regular season, Baseball America revisits each teams' most recent draft class. Each class has its no-doubt, high-profile names to keep an eye on, but our annual draft report cards highlight the best tools, best debuts, late-round steals and more. Here are the names you need to know from every organization's 2019 draft.
Best Pure Hitter: The Tigers went position-heavy through the first six rounds of the draft, but OF Riley Greene (1) stands out. He has premium bat speed and barrels up pitches with consistency, showing the ability to use the whole field and work the count.
Best Power: Greene makes loud contact and shows enough power to project as plus thanks to his bat path and plus strength. 3B Nick Quintana (2) doesn’t have the biggest frame at just 5-foot-10, but he has strong wrists and the ball jumps off his bat, projecting for power that should play down the road. Quintana hit 29 homers across his last two seasons at Arizona.
Fastest Runner: He wasn’t known at a basestealer during his three years at Arkansas, but SS Jack Kenley (8) is a plus runner who isn’t twitchy but runs very well anyway. OF Connor Perry (28) is an above-average runner who shows feel to steal bags and should stick in center field thanks to his wheels.
Best Defensive Player: While his foot speed isn’t plus, Greene has an above-average arm and shows natural feel in the outfield. Quintana shows a quick first step at the hot corner, coupled with a plus arm and good hands as well.
Best Athlete: 3B Ryan Kreidler (4) has a large frame at 6-foot-4, 208 pounds but moves well around the diamond. He has good body control, moves well laterally and has excellent actions on the infield.
Best Fastball: RHP Zack Hess (7) was converted into a starter at Louisiana State, but the Tigers quickly moved him back to the bullpen, where his fastball tops out at 98 mph with life.
Best Secondary Pitch: Hess pairs his plus fastball with a wipeout slider that has hard, late bite. It gets swings and misses with good shape on it.
Best Pro Debut: Greene was arguably the most advanced prep hitter of the 2019 draft class, and his feel for the game helped him to hold his own across three levels of the minors, including a stint at low Class A West Michigan. Greene hit .271/.347/.403 with 16 extra-base hits in his 57 pro games this season. OF Kerry Carpenter (19) showed an advanced approach out of Virginia Tech and went on to win the 2019 Gulf Coast League Most Valuable Player award. He lead the league in homers (nine), total bases (100) and was fourth in hits (51).
Most Intriguing Background: 3B Andre Lipcius (3) comes from a family of educators and majored in Nuclear Engineering during his time at Tennessee.
Closest To The Majors: Playing under the bright lights at LSU have helped Hess to mature on the mound, and his fastball-breaking ball combo should help him to climb to a major league bullpen in short order.
Best Late-Round Pick: OF Kerry Carpenter (19) has the aptitude to continuing learning and was one of the more advanced college bats in the draft.
The One Who Got Away: SS Cade Doughty (39) declined to sign with the Tigers and opted to attend Louisiana State instead. The infielder receives praise for his hard-nosed play, sound swing and ability to run well.