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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tigers make draft-day news despite no first-round pick, promote Castellanos

Despite no pick on the first day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, the Detroit Tigers still made waves Monday, moving their top positional prospect, third baseman Nick Castellanos, from Single-A Lakeland to Double-A Erie.

The Tigers supplemental first-round pick in the 2010 draft (44th overall), Castellanos was leading the Flying Tigers with a .405 batting average, a .461 on-base percentage, a .553 slugging percentage and 32 RBI. After leading all of Minor League Baseball in hitting for a while this spring, Castellanos' .405 average is currently second only to Michael Abreu's .413 for Triple-A Monterrey in the Mexican League.

While Castellanos is a step closer to the big leagues, there are still a ton of steps to be taken before he's a big-league commodity. At 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, the former high school shortstop has the size and skills of a corner infielder (or perhaps a corner outfielder, if need be), but is obviously blocked at those positions by first baseman Prince Fielder and third baseman Miguel Cabrera. If you're thinking someone could shift to designated hitter, don't forget that Victor Martinez — who may come back from his knee injury by the end of this season — is still signed for that spot through next season, as well.

This move means little to nothing for the Tigers in the short term, other than the fact that a potential star player is one step closer to the big leagues.

At least the Tigers got a here-and-now return for the pick they could have been making on Monday.

Detroit forfeited its first-round pick in the 2012 MLB draft to sign Fielder. With that pick, 27th overall, Milwaukee selected Clint Coulter, a high school catcher from Washington.

The Tigers did not have any compensatory first-round picks, either, for qualifying free agents signing with other teams, as they have in the past. Detroit will first pick at No. 91 on Tuesday.


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