Detroit Tigers: 2021 draft class influences the shortstop of the future debate

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Tigers now have their 2021 MLB Draft class selected, with just one of these players being a shortstop. Is this the sign of something bigger? The organization went with an arm-heavy draft class that contained a lot of pitchers, adding some prospect depth to the organization.

The only shortstop, the Detroit Tigers, selected was Izaac Pacheco. While Pacheco is one of the team’s great selections of the draft, he is not Marcelo Mayer, who the team left on the draft board. While most of the fanbase is still reeling over that, it might be a signal of something even crazier.

It’s known that Christopher Ilitch is not one crack open the wallet or shed cash since this team is crawling through a rebuild. The Tigers may be more receptive to signing a big-name shortstop. There’s nothing that says this or confirms this, but one can speculate… or hope.

Whether it is in this offseason or the next, the Tigers may very well decide to drain the bank for a big-name shortstop and sign a massive deal to bring one in. There’s another route the Tigers could go, again being tied to this draft class.

Could the Detroit Tigers 2021 MLB Draft class signify a big-money shortstop in the future?

The team has beefed up its organizational depth with their draft picks. Most of them being pitching prospects, it holds true to the standard that it tends to be easier to move pitching prospects than hitting. Trading pitching for hitting is an easier thing.

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So, if Ilitch decides to put his wallet in a safe and swallow the key, the team will be alright, sort of. Another reason to hope that the move for a big-name/big-money shortstop is coming would be via trade.

The Tigers could very well be gearing up to try and trade for a shortstop who will be the future shortstop of this organization.

The New York Mets recently did this, acquiring Francisco Lindor from the Cleveland Indians and locking him up.

This type of move would require Ilitch to cough up some money eventually, but they could use some of this draft talent to ensure they get a player that the organization feels best suited to join the team.

Who knows if shortstop is the target position… but with the only incoming shortstop being Pacheco, it seems like they are leaving this position to be filled later. The organization has some shortstops working their way to the big leagues, but none of them are Francisco Lindor, Fernando Tatis Jr., or the next Troy Tulowitzki.

It’s no slight to Pacheco, he profiles to be someone who slips over to third base possibly, but that’s a discussion for another time. Needless to say, looking at the Tigers’ crop of infielders, there is no one that strikes me as a shortstop of the future.

Without a present solution, the Detroit Tigers may truly be thinking about a trade scenario.

Given the state of Tigers infielders in the farm system and the demographics of this draft class, it’s a lucrative thought. It gets the brain going and starts to bring up visions of the Tigers having a top-tier shortstop in the near-ish future.

The organization is not quite at the point where bringing in someone like Trevor Story at the trade deadline on a trade-and-sign deal is really going to solve things right now. Yes, the team would have a quality shortstop to keep around for the future seasons, but now may not be the exact time.

While reports seem to think the team may be active in this year’s market looking for their guy, it could also very well be after the 2022 season when the team starts morphing into a “win-now” contender.

Here’s a way-to-early take for fans: The Detroit Tigers will be a middle-of-the-pack team in 2022, and that will make the jump for the 2023 season. 

That being said, stockpiling arms and prospects to have capital is a smart idea. Avoiding the addition of a shortstop by way of a high pick may be wise if the team feels they will sign one or trade for one.

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There has to be a plan in place, has to be. If not, then the fans should be turning and running in the other direction. The Tigers 2021 draft class may have just signaled that plan of getting the team the big-name shortstop they need for their future.