Detroit Tigers linked to Pitcher Phil Bickford in Mock Draft


Aug 20, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers hat and glove in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We’re less than one month away from Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft, which will take place June 8-10 this year. We’ve typically slogged through dozens of iterations of mock drafts by the time we get to the final month of NFL Draft season, but baseball’s mock season is slower to develop due to the odd timing of the draft.

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The major league clubs haven’t even reached the halfway mark of their calendar, NCAA teams are still participating in the College World Series, and many high schools haven’t yet finished their state tournaments by the time draft day arrives. Needless to say, scouts are scrambling to see players and submit reports until the last minute to fill out teams’ draft boards.’s prospect team of Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis released their first mock draft of the season this morning. Their selection for the Detroit Tigers at pick 22 is Phil Bickford, a right-handed pitcher out of College of Southern Nevada (junior college). Here’s what they said about Bickford.

"The Tigers have never shied away from power arms. Bickford, the former first-rounder who transferred from Cal State Fullerton to be Draft-eligible this year, fits that description as someone who has been up to 97-98 mph as a reliever in the past, though he has the stuff to start."

Kiley McDaniel, FanGraph’s lead prospect analyst, only mocked the first 13 picks in his first go-around of the year, but he did release an April ranking of his top 36 players. In that ranking he lists Bickford as the #22 prospect in the draft. It’s a good read if you’re interested in reading about some of these players before the draft. Unlike football draftees, we haven’t seen most of these guys play on national television for two or three years before they’re selected into the professional ranks. Here’s his comment on Bickford:

"Bickford is another wild card in this class that flashes top 10 ability some days, has more average stuff with less command on other days and some teams still don’t have a good feel for him as a person. He could go 10-15 spots higher or lower than this and is one of the more polarizing players in the class."

McDaniel also provided the following video of Bickford:

It wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see the Detroit Tigers take a hard-throwing potential reliever with their top pick. We’ve seen the team draft guys like Jonathan Crawford, Chance Ruffin, Jacob Turner, Ryan Perry, and Andrew Miller in the first round in the last decade. Bickford looks like exactly the type of player they would target.

Sounds like Bickford is a prospect with some volatility, so we could see him move around draft boards in the coming weeks. Right, however. now it looks like he could make sense rankings-wise for the Tigers at pick 22.

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