Now, just a couple of days removed from the MLB Draft, we get some clarity on why the organization opted not to select who many considered the top overall prospect.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Mayer, who attended high school in California, only saw three scouts attend the final high school game of his career. Ironically, the three clubs represented were the three organizations that occupied picks one thru three.
Meaning, everyone expected Mayer to be chosen within the top-three this past Sunday during the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft.
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ESPN insider Kiley McDaniel suggested that Mayer be selected first overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in his final 2021 MLB Mock Draft. It just goes to show you the type of player the Detroit Tigers decided to pass up.
Mayer hit 14 home runs and drove in 45 while hitting .391 this past season. He also stole 19 bags. There is five-tool potential at the big league level when it comes to Mayer.
With how thin the Detroit Tigers organization is at the shortstop position, at the big league level, and throughout the organization, the decision to pick Oklahoma high school pitcher Jackson Jobe will be a question mark until it’s not.
Basically, Jobe will prove his draft worth in the coming years, or maybe Mayer won’t live up to the hype, and we’ll all move on with our lives. And, of course, there is always the alternative. Jackson turns into Jacob Turner, and Mayer becomes Xander Bogaerts, and we will never get over the fact Avila passed on a potential future Hall Of Fame (HOF) shortstop.
I will say this; you can never have enough arms within an organization. I’m comfortable selecting starting pitching, especially early in the draft. Starting pitching prospects hold their value and can always be flipped for a proven big-league bat at a later date.
Don’t forget that time the Detroit Tigers traded for future first-ballot Hall Of Famer, Miguel Cabrera.
In an article published by NESN, author Adam London shares an excerpt on Detroit’s reasoning for going with Jackson over Mayer.
Scott Pleis, the Detroit Tigers scouting director, explains why the organization went with Jackson Jobe third overall.
"“I think for us it was a pretty easy pick,” Tigers scouting director Scott Pleis told The Athletic. “We always end up taking the best player on the board with the best ability and the most upside, so it was an easy get for us. Jackson is a special talent. Good makeup kid, plus across the board, control, command, life to his fastball, just really the total package, which we rarely ever see in high school baseball.”The Tigers reportedly also viewed Job as “the player who not only had the highest ceiling but also the one player who did not have a glaring flaw or question mark.” Detroit, per The Athletic, had some concerns about Mayer’s — as well as Jordan Lawlar’s and Brady House’s — hitting."
The disturbing part, Mayer was quickly scooped up by the Boston Red Sox, who picked fourth, one spot after Detroit.
We’ve seen this song and dance before in the city of Detroit, the worst occurrence coming on the hardwood in 2003 when the Detroit Pistons selected Darko Milicic second overall. LeBron James landed first overall with Cleveland, followed by Milicic. Picks three through five were Carmelo Anthony (Denver), Chris Bosh (Toronto), and Dwayne Wade (Miami)…yikes.
Let’s hope Jobe turns out to be the next Justin Verlander or *clears throat* Casey Mize.