Having such a stacked farm system full of pitchers, the Detroit Tigers just opted to keep the position player vibes rolling with their next two picks before bolstering down the farm system with a pitcher.
The Detroit Tigers selected Bryant Pickard in the fifth round of the draft. Packard is a left fielder for East Carolina University who stands 6-foot-3, 200 pounds for the ECU Pirates. Packard offers a lot of upside as an offensive tool for the future. He produced a .361/.447/.568 line this year which shows a substantial contribution to the team’s success. The issue with Packard that prevented him from being taken higher, is his fielding.
Contrary to the other guys above, Packard is a far-below-average runner who does not have a good range. Packard was a solid addition as a hitter to the Tigers farm system
Look out, Jake Rogers! The Tigers selected Ole Miss catcher Cooper Johnson in the sixth round of the draft. Johnson stands 6-foot even, 215 pounds swinging the stick from the right side. Just like Rogers, Johnson has a cannon for an arm, throwing runners out with ease.
Johnson lacks that batting tool which is not uncommon for catchers since catchers who hit .280 are scarce, however, if Johnson can hit enough to make it to the big leagues, gauge his hitting tool to rise to be average during his big league career. Look for Johnson to offer some competition to other catching prospects like Joey Morgan on their individual rises to the big leagues.
After selecting Johnson, the Tigers decided it was time to make sure their farm system is stacked with arms by capping it off with Zack Hess. The 6-foot-6, 219-pound right-handed pitcher played his college ball with the Louisiana State University Tigers.
Dealing with some injuries in his junior season with LSU had him moving between the weekend rotation and the bullpen. Hess sits 91-93 with a fastball that can top out at 95 with a breaking ball that provides promise. He did well this season getting the job done at the NCAA level by inducing a bunch of punch outs. For those who love analytics, Hess offers some of the best spin rate numbers, which only bode well for his future.