MLB Draft: Detroit Tigers Squeeze Value Out of First Round Picks

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Jul 24, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; General view of the ball on the pitchers mound before the start of the game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

2012 MLB Draft

The Detroit Tigers did not have a first round pick in 2012. They had to give up the pick to the Milwaukee Brewers as compensation for signing free agent first baseman Price Fielder.

The Tigers’ first pick of the 2012 draft didn’t come until number 91 overall. With that second round selection the Tigers took high school starting pitcher Jake Thompson out of Rockwall, Texas. Thompson climbed from rookie ball in 2012 to double-A in 2014 and dominated much of the way. Thompson had just received his promotion to AA Erie last year when the Tigers packaged him with reliever Corey Knebel and shipped them off to the Texas Rangers in exchange for closer Joakim Soria.

Thompson wasn’t a top-level draft pick, but he had emerged as one of the Tigers’ top prospects at the time of the trade. Soria has performed well after talking over the closer role from the injured Joe Nathan, but Thompson, now Baseball America’s number 43 prospect in all of baseball, looks to be nearly ready to hit the big leagues.

Thompson has now thrown 294 innings in his minor league career with a 3.18 ERA and a 9.4 K/9 rate.

Next: 2011 MLB Draft: No First Round Pick (Victor Martinez)