Detroit Tigers: Draft Austin Martin then tank again for Kumar Rocker

(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Tigers possess the first overall pick in the 2020 First-Year Amateur Player Draft, the organization needs to trust the “Vandy Plan”.

The Detroit Tigers possess the first overall pick in the 2020 First-Year Amateur player draft, and the roster has improved but nothing major so 2020 will likely result in a top-three selection in the 2021 draft as well. That being said, fans should embrace the “Vandy Plan” which could set the Tigers up really well for the future. It is very early and things could change left and right between February and June, but the Tigers need to target the baseball factory that is Vanderbilt University.

With the first overall selection, the Tigers should select third baseman/outfielder Austin Martin from the Vanderbilt Commodores, enacting the first stage of the “Vandy Plan”. Martin has all the makings of a future, middle of the lineup bat who can provide a power threat that has become more defined but is still very raw.  The Tigers could bring in Martin to pair with current projectable stud, Riley Greene who projects as a future middle of the lineup stud as well.

Being optimistic, Greene is still a few years from consistency in the big leagues, and Martin would probably spend at least a year or two in the minors meaning that they would both be up with the big league club around the same time. If the Tigers drafted Martin and Greene pans out as expected, that would make for a scary middle of the lineup threat with those two on top of the other prospects who project as future big leaguers.

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The second part of the “Vandy Plan” would mean that the Tigers have to tank for the first overall selection in back to back seasons, to earn the top selection for the 2021 draft.

If the Detroit Tigers are successful in pulling an Edmonton Oilers in the NHL type move, they should be able to set themselves up for the foreseeable future. With that second first overall pick, the Tigers should go out and select starting pitcher Kumar Rocker who is absolutely lethal on the mound.

Any University of Michigan fans will know who Rocker is, as he threw against them in the 2019 College World Series where Vanderbilt would win it all against Michigan. Rocker was drafted out of high school but chose to continue his baseball career at Vanderbilt where he has been incredibly dominant on the mound.

Rocker threw the first no-hitter in Vanderbilt history in forty-plus years as a freshman, striking out nineteen. This was also the only the eighth time that it had been done in NCAA baseball history. Rocker has electric stuff, and as a sophomore, he has only proven this to be even more true, looking just as dominant to start the year. After Rocker’s junior season, it is very likely that he is the top arm to go in the draft, and the Tigers should try to scoop him up to add to the plethora of arms they have.

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If the Tigers successfully pull off the “Vandy Plan” they are looking at a solid lineup boost in Martin, and a top three pitcher in Rocker, thinking optimistically. Obviously, things can change when players go through the minors, but looking at raw talent and development, the “Vandy Plan” seems like the way to for the Tigers.