It has been a little over a month since the MLB Draft took place. The Detroit Tigers managed to ink 38 of their 40 draft picks to pro contracts.
A quick refresher on the Tigers’ 2018 draft class:
- 23 of the 40 selections made the Tigers were position players.
- 35 of the 40 selections came out of college (two of the five high school draft picks — 38th-round pick Cole Henry and 39th-round pick Cory Acton — have signed on to play college ball next year)
Tigers’ No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize signed on June 25 but has yet to formally be assigned to the minors. It is unclear if and when Detroit will have him throw this year. Still, 35 of the 38 signed players for Detroit have begun their professional careers and have compiled stats. Here is a look at how some of them have fared so far:
KODY CLEMENS – 3RD ROUND
The son of former big league pitcher Roger Clemens parlayed a breakout junior season offensively into being a third-round pick for the Tigers back in June. Kody Clemens (6-1, 170) was among the later signees for Detroit — the same day as Mize, in fact — but he was plugged right into the West Michigan Whitecaps’ roster shortly thereafter, the highest starting point among all the position player prospects from this class.
Clemens started off a bit slow but has come on strong as of late, slashing.264/.365/.415 in 15 games and currently riding a seven-game hitting streak heading into Monday. He is one of four 2018 draft picks for the Tigers presently stationed at Class-A West Michigan.
PROJECTION: Though he seems set for second base, Clemens does have prior experience all over the infield and does provide more power than the average middle infielder. Perfect Game in 2014 described him as a “polished player with athleticism” with “line drive contact.”
ADAM WOLF – 5TH ROUND
The Tigers have had a keen eye for the Louisville Cardinals in recent years. Pitcher Adam Wolf (6-6, 225) is the third UL product in as many years, fourth since 2013) to get drafted by the Tigers.
Wolf logged a sub-2.00 ERA in his first two collegiate seasons exclusively as a reliever (39 appearances). The Cardinals turned him into a starter this season and all he did was post a 2.63 ERA in 16 starts. He made his pro debut down in the Gulf Coast League like the majority of these draft picks do. After 6.1 scoreless innings spanning two starts, he was promoted to short-season Class-A Connecticut and has made three starts for them since then.
PROJECTION: The former ace of the Cardinals has a deep arsenal of pitches to potentially be a starter long-term but some have already projected him to be a matchup nightmare out of the bullpen in the future.
ERIC DE LA ROSA – 7TH ROUND
One of just three junior college selections for the Tigers, Eric De La Rosa has already made an impact. He played in just three games of rookie ball (GCL) before jumping two leagues up to Class-A West Michigan. However, De La Rosa proved to be overmatched in his nine games spent there so the Tigers opted to send him back down a level to Connecticut.
PROJECTION: A tall, wiry guy, De La Rosa (6-4, 175) may be a victim of his own size. Scouts have said that there is a lot of holes in the swing, but also a good amount of pop. He has already a solid prowess defensively and can hold his own in the outfield in terms of speed and arm strength. But any significant progress, or lack thereof, could fall on his hitting tools.
BROCK DEATHERAGE – 10TH ROUND
DEATH RAGE! WOO!!!….. ahem. Sorry about that. Talk about a prime marketing opportunity for the Tigers.
Andrew Brockington “Brock” Deatherage started out in the minors like his hair was on fire. The Tigers’ 10th-round draft pick clubbed four homers in nine at-bats of rookie ball before graduating two levels to West Michigan. He since then has cooled off just a bit but is still getting it done with a very solid .867 OPS in 21 games with the Whitecaps, with seven of his 24 knocks going for extra bases.
PROJECTION: Many wondered where Deatherage would be able to hit enough to have a successful career as a pro, after a disappointing 2017 campaign at N.C. State in which he had just a .634 OPS. He rebounded this year with a robust .945 mark in that department and seems to have continued that in the minors. He carries all the necessary tools to maybe be an everyday center fielder (speed, arm strength, range).
Here is a complete look at all the stats compiled from the Tigers’ 35 draft picks who have played thus far.