The Tigers completed a highly-successful five-round draft process on Thursday night. Here is a full recap and breakdown of Detroit’s selections.
Round 1, Pick 1: Spencer Torkelson, 3B, Arizona State
Spencer Torkelson is a physical beast who has all of the potential to be a star in the Motor City. Torkelson destroyed Barry Bonds‘s freshman home run record at Arizona State by hitting 25 bombs as a freshman.
The 6-foot-1 infielder played first base for Arizona State but was surprisingly announced as a third baseman. This opens the question of where he will play in the big leagues, but the Tigers drafted Torkelson because of his outstanding power.
Torkelson has been compared to Paul Konerko and Mark Teixeira, and the Tigers are hoping that he can be the middle-of-the-order slugger to go with 2019 first-round pick Riley Greene and anchor the Tigers’ lineup of the future.
Round 2, Pick 38: Dillon Dingler, C, Ohio State
Dingler was expected to be picked on Night 1 but the Tigers made him the first pick of Day 2.
Dingler is an outstanding hitter with quick hands through the zone and good power. He was a catcher in high school who converted to center field at Ohio State and then reverted back to playing catcher for the 2020 season. He hit .276 over his career at Ohio State and had only 10 errors in 737 total chances (.986 fielding percentage).
In Dingler, the Tigers have found a guy who has the potential to be an everyday catcher with above-average power, which he will need to hit the ball at Comerica Park.
In this video, you can see his plate vision against one of the top college pitchers in Tommy Henry of Michigan. Even though he does not make great contact on this pitch, you can see the smooth swing. It also shows the arm strength and athleticism that makes him so versatile.
Competitive Balance Round B, Pick 62: Daniel Cabrera, OF, LSU
Daniel Cabrera is a guy that is very sold in everything, but not great in anything. He is a good hitter (.305 hitter) but doesn’t have the raw power of some of the other outfielders in the draft.
One thing that Cabrera does have is a knack for the big hit. When the game is on the line, Cabrera definitely has that “it” factor needed to come up clutch in the big moment.
This video is just one example of Cabrera showing up big with the game on the line. The swing and the nice, long stare just add to the moment. That swagger will definitely be welcomed in Detroit as the Tigers look to bring some life back to the organization.
Round 3, Pick 73: Trei Cruz, SS, Rice
Cruz is from a baseball family, being a third-generation professional, with his father (Jose Cruz Jr.) and his grandfather (Jose Sr.) combining to play 31 MLB seasons.
Cruz is a switch-hitter that has a lot of speed. His baseball IQ is extremely high and he has very good hands. He is extremely smooth at shortstop and has the potential to be an everyday player in Detroit.
The biggest question mark for Cruz is whether he can develop his power to the major league level, but there is no question that the former Rice Owl can make an impact for the Tigers in the future up the middle.
This workout video gives a lot of different angles of Cruz’s swing, but it also shows his fluidity in everything that he does. Like Cabrera, he has that swagger in his game that will help to brighten up this organization.
Round 4, Pick 102: Gage Workman, 3B, Arizona State
Workman is another switch-hitter who had a breakout season last year as a sophomore, hitting .330. He is the reason that Spencer Torkelson moved from third to first when they both arrived at Arizona State.
Workman is better from the left side than the right but is a strong hitter from both sides overall. This class is shaping up to be one that fits very well with the Tigers’ timeline, as all of the draftees are former college players that are expected to make relatively quick journeys to the majors.
This video shows Workman’s range and arm as a third baseman but also his smooth, powerful swing. Tigers fans should be very excited about this class as both of the former Sun Devils have the potential to be corner infielders at Comerica in the coming years.
Round 5, Pick 132 – Colt Keith, RHP/3B, Biloxi HS (Miss.)
With their final pick in the 2020 Draft, the Tigers picked up a guy who is known as a two-way player who possesses another impact bat that the Tigers love.
Keith hit over .500 last season and only struck out eight times. He has a strong arm and is more likely to project as a third baseman than a shortstop.
The first video shows the power arm and the potential as a pitcher, but even with the recent rise of two-way pitchers in the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani and the Rays’ Brenden McKay, Keith projects as a position player.
Here, you can see his smooth swing and strong power.
In total, the Tigers put together a strong class made up of six position players. Five of them were from the college ranks, with Keith being the only prep player. Some commonalities between these players are that the Tigers seemed to focus on powerful hitters and impact bats along with guys that have a swagger that will be able to excite and bring life to this fanbase.