The Detroit Tigers have the first overall selection, and Austin Martin is the player who the organization needs to target to continue the rebuild.
The Detroit Tigers have the first overall selection in the upcoming draft this summer, even though it is shortened. With collegiate spring ball cancelled and summer collegiate ball starting to cancel, it seems that there will be no more time for players to showcase their skills.
Since the Tigers should generally be picking between Austin Martin, Spencer Torkelson, and Nick Gonzales as the best position player available, these three players are all talented in different ways, but Martin should be the choice.
I had previously suggested trusting in the “Vandy Plan” by taking Martin this summer, tanking in 2020, and picking up another solid arm from Vanderbilt in the form of Kumar Rocker. This could still be something worth considering, but the focus is going to shift to the 2020 MLB Draft.
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Looking at his frame, Martin is a 6-foot, 170-pound right-handed hitter for the Vanderbilt University Commodores.
He is listed as a utility player on the Vanderbilt website, but it does not take much to find out that the kid is an athlete.
Martin can mold into a role as a shortstop, centerfielder, or third baseman, proving this during his time with the Commodores, the question is how it will transfer to the next level.
It may still have a bitter taste in the University of Michigan Wolverines fans mouthes, but Martin was the Vanderbilt third baseman during the 2019 College World Series.
In 2020, during the COVID-19 shortened season, Martin played in 16 games hitting .377/.507/.660 with three home runs and 11 RBI on the season.
However, back in 2019, in his last full season, Martin played in 63 games while hitting .387/.478/.598 with ten home runs and 46 RBI. Not to mention, being a part of the 2019 College World Champion Vanderbilt Commodores.
Though his 2020 season was cut short, he still has every right to be in the conversation for the first overall selection based on his tools alone. With one of the best bats, arguably, in the draft, scouts have labeled him as a prospect with possibly some of the best hitting ability.
On top of his raw hitting ability, it appeared that his power was on the rise, and he would pop off again in 2020; however, the shortened season crushed any hope of that. Martin is versatile in the field, as mentioned above, drawing comparisons to former Commodore Dansby Swanson.
Personally, it seems that Martin can have the versatility of someone like Kris Bryant, a third baseman or shortstop who can play the outfield if required. Martin may not have the upside of Bryant with his bat, but he will be an exceptional bat for the Tigers’ future.
If the Detroit Tigers have any shot of being expediting this rebuild sooner rather than later, they need to select Austin Martin with the first overall draft choice.