The Detroit Tigers have gone through the whole 2022 MLB First-Year Amateur Player Draft. While they added 19 players during the draft, one player stood out among the rest. In the second round, the team’s selection on day one was the one to enjoy the most.
The Detroit Tigers selected Peyton Graham with the 51st selection in the draft, with their second-round draft choice. It was an excellent get for the Tigers, who brought in the shortstop from the Oklahoma Sooners program. He was coming off a breakout season and was a part of a strong Sooners team.
Some believed that Graham was a first-round selection and should have been a late-round pick. He fell through the competitive balance rounds, leaving him on the table in the second round. According to a piece from MLB dot com, Graham was disappointed that he fell as far as he did.
But the piece details that he is going to use this as motivation. Tigers fans should be thrilled to hear this, knowing that he will bring some fire to his game as he joins the organization. The projectability with Graham leads me to mark him as the biggest steal of the team’s draft class.
Detroit Tigers draftee Peyton Graham was the biggest steal of the 2022 draft.
Graham was a stud for the Sooners in 2022, where he was the team’s shortstop. He also played some third base, which is the position he was brought in to play with the Sooners program. He’s a 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame who could become a versatile player down the line.
He’s fresh off of a strong season with the Sooners, where he slashed .335/.417/.640 over 67 games played with 17 doubles and 20 home runs over 278 at-bats. He can take solid at-bats in the box, looking like a future big leaguer with his approach.
He refined the approach and worked on being more selective, allowing him to work deeper into counts and do something with the putaway breaking balls, something that was an issue when he got to Oklahoma. Graham cut back on the whiffs and refined the plate discipline in 2022, and it has only made him a more complete player.
The number of walks did not increase, but he saw the number of strikeouts decrease minimally. On top of that, Graham saw the extra-base hit numbers increase, staying committed to the approach, looking to produce line drives and barrels pull-side.
Graham’s swing is a fun one to watch. He starts off with an open stance and then closes up the front side in his load with a big leg kick. He gets the hands back and is able to send them through the zone with reasonable control of the barrel at heel strike.
Defensively, Graham is smooth with fluid actions. He makes good throws across the infield and has the profile to be a big-league third baseman down the line, especially since that is what he was brought in as. It feels like Graham has a few possibilities ahead of him.
With his lankier frame, the shortstop build works. He’s more than athletic enough to adjust to an outfield position if the team wanted to shift him around positionally. But, the other option would be to let Graham bulk up in his 6-foot-3 frame and move him to third base.
There’s a lot of exciting projection with Graham and a lot of routes he could go. I think he’s fit best for the left side of the infield and has a bright future. The bottom line is that Graham is a steal for where the Tigers picked him.