DETROIT -- The Tigers' signings of top overall Draft pick Casey Mize and third-round pick Kody Clemens on Monday left one more domino to fall to complete the Tigers' Draft dealings. That came Tuesday, when second-round pick Parker Meadows signed his pro contract to join the Tigers' system and bypass
DETROIT -- The Tigers' signings of top overall Draft pick Casey Mize and third-round pick Kody Clemens on Monday left one more domino to fall to complete the Tigers' Draft dealings. That came Tuesday, when second-round pick Parker Meadows signed his pro contract to join the Tigers' system and bypass college.
It's a major deal for a team that considered itself fortunate Meadows fell out of the first round and to its pick atop the second. While the Tigers were confident Mize and Clemens would bypass their senior college seasons, it was far from a guarantee with Meadows. But the deals the Tigers worked out with Mize and Clemens set up the agreement with Meadows, who had committed to play college ball at Clemson.
Meadows signed for a $2.5 million bonus, according to MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis, well above the $1,625,000 slot value for that pick. A good chunk of the extra money came from signing Mize for a $7.5 million bonus at a slot that had an assigned value of $8,096,000. Clemens' $600,000 bonus came from a slot with a $750,800 assigned value. Those two signings left nearly $750,000 extra in the Draft pool.
Meadows ranked 42nd on MLB Pipeline's Draft prospect list. Listed at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds, the left-handed hitter has a body frame that should fill out with age, which is seen as key to his offensive development. He is already long on athleticism, with the speed to play center field. The hope is that his raw power strengthens as his body fills out.
If Meadows develops as hoped, he could be the kind of impact offensive prospect the Tigers desperately need in their farm system alongside their impressive pitching depth.
"With the types of players we got this year, it really worked out, probably because of where we picked," amateur scouting director Scott Pleis said Monday. "We got athletic, we got upside. We've got a lot of that kind of talent."
Parker is expected to follow the path of most high school picks and begin his pro career at the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. The Tigers have two teams in that league to accommodate both Draft picks and international signings.
Faedo, Mize throw for University of Michigan Sports Science
While Mize joins last year's top pick, Alex Faedo, among baseball's top pitching prospects, the pair were together in Detroit on Tuesday to throw mound sessions for analysis by the University of Michigan Sport Science Initiative, a partnership that the Tigers began earlier this year.
The initiative brings together expertise from the University of Michigan faculty, athletics department and industry partners to try to optimize performance and health for athletes. For the Tigers, it's a continuation of their move into analytics and technology under senior director of analytics Jay Sartori.
"In Spring Training, we had Derek Hill and Daz Cameron do some stuff running-wise," Tigers player development director Dave Littlefield said. "We put some monitors, sensors on them and got some computer feedback as far as the gait and how things are working efficiently or not. As an example in Derek Hill's case, he's had some hamstring issues. There were some inefficiencies, so we looked at what to do to counter that as far as proper mechanics and stretching and strength and conditioning.
"As we've moved forward, we did it with [Reynaldo] Rivera with hitting, Christin Stewart with hitting, Franklin Perez with pitching. And we did it today with these two guys. And basically, it's to try to get a better insight. And with more technology that's out there, it's something that's very interesting to us."
Faedo, the Tigers' top pick last year, traveled to Detroit on Monday for the testing, skipping a start for Double-A Erie. Mize was already in town for his official signing. Neither has had health issues, but the project allowed the Tigers to do some analysis on their deliveries and figure out potential ways to make them more efficient and keep them healthy.
"As your eye goes, you can only see so much," Littlefield said. "Even with experience watching guys do this on a regular basis, there are things that are happening that are not caught by the eye. It's a great example of some of the stuff that's out there."
• Perez, who returned from a right oblique injury with a rehab start last weekend in the Gulf Coast League, will continue to work there and throw on a rotation schedule, Littlefield said. Perez, the Tigers' top prospect according to MLB Pipeline, will eventually progress to Class A Advanced Lakeland before joining the rotation at Double-A Erie, where he was projected to begin the season before his injury.
Outfield prospect Stewart left his game at Triple-A Toledo Tuesday afternoon with right calf issues, but Littlefield does not expect it to be a major injury. "We'll see how he does tomorrow," Littlefield said. "My sense is it's very short-term."
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.