Detroit Tigers: 3 home run picks of the 2021 MLB Draft class

(Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports)
(Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Detroit Tigers
(Detroit Free Press) /

Round 14, Pick 405: R.J. Petit, RHP, Charleston Southern (NCAA)

It is not a common theme for a fourteenth-round pick to be some top-tier prospect or someone to be overly excited about. R.J. Petit is an exception to the rule; there is plenty for the Detroit Tigers fans to like with Petit.

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Another one of the Detroit Tigers’ common themes of the draft class this year was flamethrowers.

The guys who can really light up the radar gun look very attractive to the Tigers organization. Petit is definitely one of those pitchers. Petit throws gas for Charleston Southern University, where he was a starter.

However, the Tigers may be wise to see if they can convert him to a flamethrowing reliever. With his size and statute, it could become a lethal combination.

The right-handed pitcher stands 6-foot-8 and weighs in at 300-pounds. He’s a big boy, to say the least, who reaches back for the upper-90s heater and is able to work to the famed triple digits.

As a starter, he works a delivery that makes his upper-90s fastball look insanely easy. It’s an easy delivery and arm action that is exciting to watch for those who have an eye for that.

It should excite baseball fanatics who realize that Petit might be able to reach back, grab a few more mph and really ramp up the velocity. Right now, as a starter, his attack is a fastball with ride that he pairs with a slider with some sweep to it. It gets some natural tilt due to his height and higher three-quarters arm slot.

He’s got feel for a changeup that has some sink to it as well. If the Tigers can get him into the system, iron out his pitch mix, and decide what to do with him usage-wise, there’s even more to like.

They could opt to keep him as a starter and develop his repertoire even more. The other option would be designating him as a bullpen arm, placing a high value on a two-pitch mix with his fastball and slider. The goal here would be to work on him getting to throw with more velocity that holds up over an inning or two of work rather than a full start.

The collegiate starter started 13 games and totaled 84 innings pitched where he had a 2.79 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, and punched out 75 hitters for Charleston Southern. Even though he fell to the fourteenth round, there is plenty to like with Petit and his makeup as a pitcher.

Next. Detroit Tigers: A look at picks from rounds 2-5 of the 2021 MLB Draft. dark

The Detroit Tigers knocked this pick out of the park; in fact, all three players mentioned in this were home run picks by Al Avila and all of those involved in the draft process.