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Revisiting the 2023 Tigers MLB Draft class after the conclusion of the minor league season.
Best Pure Hitter: The Tigers drafted two of the best pure hitters in the prep ranks when they took outfielder Max Clark (1) third overall and then followed up with shortstop Kevin McGonigle (1s) in the supplemental round. Both players were steady performers as amateurs and have advanced approaches and pure contact skills that give them plus hitting potential.
Best Power Hitter: While Clark (1) and McGonigle (1s) are hit-over-power offensive profiles, second baseman Max Anderson (2) might be the opposite. He has a chance to be an above-average power hitter, and his ability to drive the ball with authority in the air to the opposite field was a separator for many scouts this spring. Being more disciplined within the strike zone could help him tap into that power with more frequency.
Fastest Runner: Clark (1) is a double-plus runner who gets out of the batter’s box quickly and puts pressure on opposing infields. The speed also translates to the outfield where he covers plenty of ground.
Best Defensive Player: Clark (1) isn’t just fast. He’s an instinctual defender who takes solid routes and has impressive athleticism that should allow him to be a plus or better defender in the middle of the outfield grass.
Best Fastball: Lefthander Paul Wilson (3) has ticked up in velocity over the last year or so. He has been up to 97 and sits in the low 90s and has a still-projectable 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame that should add more strength in the near future.
Best Secondary Pitch: Wilson’s (3) slider has a chance to be a plus offering, especially if he’s able to refine his command for the pitch. It sits in the low 80s at the moment, but is another pitch that should add more power.
Best Pro Debut: Righthander Jaden Hamm (5) threw in five shorter starts in pro ball, and in 12 total innings he struck out 12 batters and walked just one, without allowing an earned run. He touched 95 mph and showed plus carry on his fastball in that brief look. Outfielder Brett Callahan (13) played 22 games between rookie ball and Low-A Lakeland and slashed .338/.472/.451 with nearly as many walks (16) as strikeouts (18).
Best Athlete: Clark (1) is an exceptional athlete with perhaps the loudest all-around toolset in the 2023 draft class. He’s fast, he’s got a well-defined and strong physique currently and his body control in the batter’s box and in the outfield allows him to maximize those physical tools.
Most Intriguing Background: Lefthander Andrew Sears (10) started his college career with Division III Rhode Island, where he was a solid starter and threw three complete games during his sophomore season. He made a strong transition to Division I baseball in 2023 with Connecticut, where he jumped into the starting rotation and showed velocity and a 78-82 mph slider with a tough angle.
Closest To The Majors: Clark (1) is in the elite tier of high school hitters who typically progress quickly and make their big league debut within a three-year window. He does enough things on the field well that there won’t ever be significant pressure on one facet of his game.
Best Day Three Pick (Or NDFA): Righthander Andrew Dunford (12) signed for $367,500 and threw four shutout innings in his pro debut. While it was a brief look, Dunford showed high-octane fastball velocity and touched 97 mph with a heavy-running heater.