The Detroit Tigers are quickly coming up on the 2022 MLB First-Year Amateur Player Draft. The team holds the twelfth pick in the draft and is looking to continue to further the team's rebuild and add in some big-name prospects. While the consensus on General Manager (GM) Al Avila has not been the warmest, the draft could earn him some points back.
As the Detroit Tigers identify which direction they plan to go in with their pick, it's pretty clear what needs to be done. The team needs a hitter. They need an impactful bat who will be a true benefit to the team's roster moving forward. Whether that's a college or prep bat should not matter, they just need that impact bat to supplement the tools they have now and are developing.
The issue is that there is no one pushing towards the big leagues in the minors on the offensive side of the ball that is a top-tier guy like Riley Greene was before being called up. Using the 12th overall pick on a hitter is going to be critical. But, that being said, the expectation was that the Tigers would grab an infielder last year, and they opted to select Jackson Jobe.
There's still a chance that the Tigers decide to go rogue and take a prep arm, again. There should be no surprise that this is a possibility, especially with the draft class having so many top-tier prep arms at the top of the class. This includes Brock Porter, a homegrown talent sitting right in the Tigers' backyard.
The Detroit Tigers will have a tough decision to make with Brock Porter.
Easily one of the best prep arms in the draft, Porter has the tools to be an exceptional big leaguer. There's so much to like with his makeup; see the more in-depth description of him in a recent article about Tigers draft targets if they choose to take a pitcher.
Porter and the Detroit Tigers would be a perfect match. While the Tigers fans might riot if they draft a prep arm, the Orchard Lake St. Mary's product has been playing right in their backyard. Porter's got the tools to be great; it's going to boil down to if he is still there.
He's been ranked in the top ten on some draft boards, and the draft day itself can always bring surprises. It feels like Porter is a top-ten pick and may not even be there at 12. But, if he is, there's going to be a decision to make. The Clemson University commit has moved in on campus with the rest of the freshman baseball guys and is beginning his journey there.
The journey might be over before it even really begins, though. Porter is going to get a high slot value in the first round, likely forgoing his time at Clemson for the beginning of his career in pro ball. The Tigers have to consider if it's worth it to grab him at 12.
There are some things at play here, with his commitment to Clemson, his dream school, being a hang-up. But first-round slot money should put those dreams to rest and let the MLB dreams overshadow it. The fact that he could get drafted before 12 overall is also concerning.
But, if things work out and Porter is on the board at 12, the Tigers are in a tough spot, having to decide to grab the homegrown product or pursue the impactful bat that they really need.
It could make for a really tough spot, but hopefully, another team scoops up Porter and takes that decision out of the hands of Avila and the front office. Porter will be an exceptional pitcher, especially as he continues to develop and anchor down his pitch mix with that deadly fastball/changeup combination.
The Detroit Tigers need a bat, and taking a prep arm, even if it was Porter is not best for the organization at this time.