DETROIT -- Sooner or later, the Tigers are going to transition toward a younger roster with players developed in their system, whether they buy, no matter what they do at this summer's Trade Deadline. The Draft is going to be a big piece of that strategy.The 2017 Draft will take
DETROIT -- Sooner or later, the Tigers are going to transition toward a younger roster with players developed in their system, whether they buy, no matter what they do at this summer's Trade Deadline. The Draft is going to be a big piece of that strategy.
The 2017 Draft will take place from Monday through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m on Monday. MLB Network will broadcast the first 36 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 75 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, starting at 1 p.m. ET. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Wednesday, beginning at noon ET.
Go to MLB.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLBPipeline.com analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.
Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Tigers, whose first selection is the 18th overall pick.
:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::
In about 50 words
The Tigers have made it clear that they're going younger and focusing on player development soon. Much like last year, this is a big Draft for them to focus on that. They need talent in their system at all positions, and unlike last year, they have all their picks.
With a farm system depleted of top-ranked talent by trades over the years, the Tigers don't have to be picky about position. This is still an organization that believes no team can ever have enough pitching, but an aging lineup and recent dearth of high-rising position players (Christin Stewart a notable exception) leave the Tigers open to adding a bat as well. And with a youth movement on the horizon, they can afford to be patient with a prospect who might take more time to develop, much like top pick Matt Manning last year.
The Tigers scout SEC pitching with a passion, and they've been tied to interest in hard-throwing University of Missouri right-hander Tanner Houck all spring according to MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo. Central Florida Junior College right-hander Nate Pearson has also drawn interest. Detroit could also go back to the prep pitching route with Valdosta High School lefty D.L. Hall, according to Baseball America.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.
Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75 percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75 percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100 percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100 percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.
The Tigers have a bonus pool of $6,520,100 for the first 10 rounds, about $1.1 million more than last year despite having a later first-round pick. The 18th overall selection carries a $3,214,600 slot bonus. By not signing Type A free agents last offseason, they did not lose any picks as compensation, which accounts for the difference.
Detroit invested heavily down the Draft list last year in college arms that could project as relievers, trying to start down the path to developing a bullpen in-house. That trend could continue. Keep an eye, too, on athletes at the middle-infield positions and center field, where Derek Hill's injuries have set the organization back a tick.
The days of the Tigers drafting guys who could develop quickly and become trade bait are long gone. Under the new operating plan, Detroit is just as likely to take a high-school player and wait for the development. The Tigers have drafted high schoolers with their top pick in three consecutive drafts, and four of the last five.
RECENT DRAFT HISTORY
Right-hander Beau Burrows, the Tigers' top pick in 2015, made his Double-A debut for Erie this week after an outstanding first half at Class A Advanced Lakeland. The 20-year-old isn't likely to springboard to Detroit anytime soon, but an improved strikeout rate, low walk ratio and greater grasp of secondary pitches have him on a track to join Michael Fulmer, Daniel Norris and Matthew Boyd in a couple years in a deep rotation.
Hard to call right-hander Kyle Funkhouser a Cinderella pick, given his onetime standing among the best college pitchers in the nation at Louisville a couple years ago. But after falling to the Tigers in the fourth round last year, the 23-year-old is pitching more like the first-rounder he was in 2015. He earned an early-season promotion to Lakeland after racking up strikeouts at low Class A West Michigan.
In the show
Third baseman Nicholas Castellanos was a first-round pick in 2010, and James McCann was a second-round selection the following year. Buck Farmer was a fifth-round pick in 2013.
Recent top picks
2016: Matt Manning, RHP, Extended Spring Training
2015: Beau Burrows, RHP, Double-A Erie
2014: Derek Hill, OF, Injured
2013: Jonathon Crawford, RHP, Reds organization (traded for Alfredo Simon)
2012: Jake Thompson, RHP, Phillies organization (traded for Joakim Soria)
2011: James McCann, C, Detroit
2010: Nicholas Castellanos, 3B, Detroit
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.