Get to know the Tigers’ top two draft picks from Day 1 of the MLB Draft

Day one of three for the 2017 MLB Draft is in the books. All thirty major league clubs conducted their first two rounds on Monday, and Detroit made two selections: No. 18 and No. 57.


Right-handed pitcher Alex Faedo, 21, is a junior at the University of Florida, one of the better if not the best program in the country over the last handful of seasons. His Gators are currently one of eight teams left in the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament; part of the College World Series. The action in Omaha begins on Saturday, June 17; Faedo and Florida will begin play on Sunday.

Faedo was previously drafted by Detroit back in 2014 in the 40th round coming out of Alonso High School (Tampa, FL). But the 6-4, 220-pound righty opted for the college route and it has paid off. This season, he's compiled a 2.60 ERA in 17 starts for the Gators with 132 strikeouts in 107.1 innings pitched. For his three-year career, he's registered an ERA just under 3.00 in 53 total games (46 starts).

The scouting report is a strong one for Faedo. On the 20/80 scouting scale, his fastball that reaches mid-90's is rated as a 60, while his slider, arguably his best secondary pitch and perhaps best overall, is rated a 65. He features a four-pitch mix with room to improve, coupled with a deceptive, unorthodox delivery.

The consensus early on is that Faedo could find his way to the big leagues is as little as 2-3 years. He becomes the latest heralded pitcher that Detroit has drafted in recent years and sees as a future piece for years to come. The Tigers already have the likes of Michael Fulmer and Daniel Norris in the rotation; Matt Boyd as well. They also have recent draft picks in Beau Burrows (first round, 2015), Kyle Funkhouser (fourth round, 2015) and Matt Manning (No. 9 overall in 2016) in the picture as well.


Detroit went in a completely different direction with their second pick on Monday, opting for a super slugger that was rated barely among the top 200 prospects, according to Baseball America.

Reynaldo Rivera, who turns 20 on Wednesday, is considered a very raw talent with a lot of tools to be happy about if you are any big league club. The Chipola Junior College (Marianna, FL) product and Puerto Rican native stands 6-6, 250 pounds. He's a former 24th round selection of the Chicago Cubs just last season.

Rivera's calling card is his power, not surprisingly, which has been rated anywhere between 65-70 on the scouting scale. He's primarily played as a first baseman and could project there long-term, but he has outfield potential given his rating of having a good throwing arm and modest speed despite his large frame. He also pitched in high school.

Rivera hit nearly .400 with an OPS north of 1.100 as a freshman a year ago, with ten homers and 67 RBI. He's followed that campaign up with a .437 BA this year, along with 20 homers and 77 RBI. His Chipola club just recently completed a 51-9 season capped off with a Division I NJCAA national championship.


Rounds 3-10 of the 2017 MLB Draft will begin at 1 p.m. ET and can be seen on both MLB Network and streamed lived on Detroit's next selection is No. 95 overall in the third round, and they're slotted 20th in every subsequent round for the remainder of the draft.