The Detroit Tigers have the third overall pick in the 2021 MLB First-Year Amateur Player Draft this summer. However, that pick is likely to be spent on a pitcher or prep shortstop if the team stays on target with the projections.
There is a chance the Detroit Tigers go off-script and select catcher Henry Davis, but that seems highly unlikely. That being said, if the Tigers stick to the script, there is a collegiate catcher the Tigers need to have circled on their draft board for their picks beyond the first round.
University of Arkansas catcher Casey Opitz needs to be on the Tigers draft board. Yes, the Tigers have a former collegiate catcher who is performing incredibly well right now in Dillon Dingler, but Opitz is a player to watch. Dingler is an athlete, someone who has played other positions, including centerfield.
Dingler is phenomenal, and I am not saying the Tigers should give up on him already, but if Opitz lines up with one of the Tigers’ picks, there is no way the team should pass on him. He’s a player the Tigers would benefit from adding, even with Dingler in the farm system already.
The Detroit Tigers need to consider selecting catcher Casey Opitz from Arkansas.
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Watching Opitz in the Fayetteville Regional has been quite fun. Tuning into a few of the “OmaHogs” games this season to watch Opitz work with amazing reliever Kevin Kopps was just as entertaining.
Opitz is a true gamer; he calls the game well and does a lot behind the plate that coaches would love at any level.
He is an incredible receiver who can work the zone to steal strikes. Opitz is a wall behind the plate and handles pitches with big breaking balls exceptionally well.
Overall, he is a high-energy player who definitely enjoys every single game. He returned to Arkansas for his senior season after the COVID-19 pandemic ruined his junior year. The 22-year-old backstop needs to be a name atop the Tigers draft board.
This season, Opitz is slashing .259/.369/.339 with 15 total RBI for the Razorbacks. While he is not hitting nukes and letting his hitting carry the weight, Opitz is noteworthy. The way that he can save runs and earn strikes defensively is something that needs to be considered.
The defense is incredibly strong with Opitz, and he can manage pitchers well each start and display great gamesmanship for a backstop. Opitz has been entertaining to watch and has shown why he was one of the best backstops in the nation.
As was mentioned, he is not to be considered at third overall, but with Davis and Adrian Del Castillo likely to be off the board first, Opitz may be there for one of the Tigers’ later picks.