It was a hell of a couple of nights for Al Avila and the Detroit Tigers.
They get high marks for their six 2020 MLB draft selections.
It started Wednesday night with taking Arizona State stud Spencer Torkelson number one overall. His work ethic, athleticism and production is special. He is all about the team and has a desire to be great. Torkelson’s college coach, Tracy Smith, said: “He’s a generational player who could play first, third or corner outfield in the majors.” Alan Trammell said: “He’s a special kid who handles himself well and has all the tools.”
A lot is made of Torkelson’s ASU freshman record 25 home runs and that he led the PAC 12 in homers in each of his three seasons, but more needs to be made of the fact he had more walks than strikeouts. He’s also a very good base runner and he put up really impressive numbers with Chatham in the Cape Cod Baseball League in two seasons.
LOVE TIGERS DRAFTING CABRERA AT 63
In the second round, with the 38th overall pick, the Tigers took Ohio State catcher Dillon Dingler and then LSU outfielder Daniel Cabrera with pick 63. Many projected Cabrera, a left-handed corner outfielder to go as high as 38. The Tigers rolled the dice and got him at 63 any way. Dingler was believed to be a first-round choice all along. He has a good feel for hitting with decent power. He’s rated as a strong defender with a really good arm. He’s also an athlete, leading Jackson High School to state titles in both baseball and basketball. He was a two-time captain with the Buckeyes and was named all-conference freshman team and all-conference second team as a sophomore.
Cabrera is a smooth-hitting lefty who is more of a contact guy, but he doesn’t swing and miss much. He was an all-SEC freshman honoree; spent the summer as a member of the USA college national team and was an all-star in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Love the pick.
In the third round, at number 73 overall, the Tigers grabbed Rice University shortstop Trei Cruz, who made a ton of gains offensively this year. He can play three different infield positions and might be best suited for second base in the pros. His grandfather is Jose Cruz and his father is Jose Cruz Jr., who together combined to play 31 major league seasons. Cruz was a freshman All-American; named conference all-second team as a sophomore and draws a lot of walks.
TIGERS CONFIDENT IN YOUNG PITCHERS
To kick start the fourth round, they selected ASU third baseman Gage Workman. He is a power bat who strikes out too much. He’s the reason Torkelson shifted to first base with the Sun Devils. In 2019 Workman was second on the team with 20 two-out RBI and successfully advanced runners 63 times on 125 chances (.504).
The Tigers wrapped up their night by drafting Biloxi High School third baseman Colt Keith, an ASU commit. He can play infield and pitch.
Taking that many position players shows us a couple of things: The organization has great confidence in it’s young pitchers and that it recognized the need for more positional depth.