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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.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tigers selections in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft

Round 1, pick 20
Jonathon Crawford, University of Florida • RHP • 6-foot-2, 205
Fastball: 96 mph
Tigers VP of scouting David Chadd: “He has a power arm with a plus slider and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to add him to our organization.”

Baseball America scouting report: "Crawford powers through a less-than-clean delivery and struggles to repeat his release point, so he fights his fastball command and doesn't consistently deliver his plus slider in the 82-84 mph range. His changeup has progressed but remains a distant third pitch. Crawford looks like a reliever to some scouts, but the paucity of college pitching makes it likely he'll go out in the first round and get an opportunity as a starter." scouting report: "Crawford is strong with a good delivery and arm action. As big as his stuff is, though, he will have to learn to soften it up somehow in the future. Everything he throws is hard, and the ability to change speeds more effectively will be a necessary skill to refine going forward."

ESPN Insider scouting report: "Crawford was a potential top-10 pick coming off his sophomore year when he was hitting 97 mph regularly with a knockout slider and strong results in the SEC, but lower velocity and reduced fastball command this spring have heightened scrutiny of his arm action and track record. ... His slider is above-average, with good tilt and the ability to throw it for strikes, although he has to rely on the pitch too often because he can't locate the fastball. Crawford's delivery is worrisome— he's got a wrist-wrap in back, his stride is short, his arm is late relative to his landing, and he has a rough finish — both for durability and for future fastball command."

Sirius XM scouting report:

Sirius XM's Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden discuss the No. 20 pick:

Competitive Balance Round A, pick 6 (39 overall)
Corey Knebel, Texas • RHP, 6-foot-4, 205
Fastball: 91-98 mph
Curveball: low 80s

Baseball America scouting report: "Like Huston Street before him, Knebel went from an unheralded Texas high schooler to an instant star with the Longhorns. He ranked second in NCAA Division I with 19 saves as a freshman in 2011 and has been one of college baseball's top closers for three years. Compared to Street, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Knebel is more physical and has more power to his pitches. ... Knebel has the frame and enough feel for a changeup for a pro team to consider using him in the rotation, a role he filled for three starts at the end of 2012. With his two power pitches and his competitive makeup, but he has big league closer upside and could reach that ceiling quickly. Knebel has been suspended twice this spring in the midst of a disappointing season for Texas, once for a confrontation with a coach and once for reportedly substituting his urine for a teammate's drug test. Neither incident is expected to affect his draft status." scouting report: "University of Texas relievers have often done well in the Draft. Huston Street is the obvious name that jumps out, and J. Brent Cox was a second-round pick a year after Street. Knebel appears poised to be the best Longhorns closer since then and was 13 saves shy of Street's career saves mark entering the 2013 season. ... Knebel has the "give me the ball" mentality you want to see in the 9th inning, and there's a chance he'll get to finish games at the next level, too."

ESPN Insider scouting report: "He works mostly at 92-96 with a hard curveball at 75-78, throwing the curveball for strikes more easily than the fastball because of how hard he works his arm to generate velocity. His delivery is rough, starting on the first base side of the rubber, employing little to no windup, rushing toward the plate, and creating arm speed with his upper half more than with his legs. That effort pulls him offline and causes the fastball to sail up more often than you'd like — he'd be better off sitting 92-93 and staying near the zone, employing less effort in the process."

Round 2, pick 18 (58 overall)
Kevin Ziomek, Vanderbilt University • LHP • 6-foot-3, 200
Fastball: 89-92 mph

Baseball America scouting report: "Vanderbilt has had seven lefthanded pitchers drafted in the first three rounds since 2004, including Cy Young Award winner David Price and Braves starter Mike Minor. An unsigned 13th-rounder out of a Massachusetts high school in 2010, Ziomek has filled out and added 20 pounds to his athletic 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame. He still generally has the same velocity, but he has added pitchability and maturity in three seasons with the Commodores. A preseason third-team All-American after a successful summer in the Cape Cod League, Ziomek was Vanderbilt's Friday starter and had limited opponents to a .174 average. ... Ziomek grades out as a third-round pick or lower for some scouts, but he figures to go higher thanks to his athleticism and strong season." scouting report: "A highly regarded prospect coming out of the Massachusetts high school ranks in 2010, Ziomek headed to Vanderbilt rather than sign with the D-backs, who drafted him in the 13th round that year. ... He has very good stuff from the left side, with a good three-pitch mix. His fastball can be plus at times, he has an outstanding changeup and an effective breaking ball to go along with it. There's some concern about his arm action, but Vandy lefties who perform well tend to do pretty well on Draft day."

ESPN Insider scouting report: "Ziomek is among the top-performing starters in Division I this year, but isn't ranked as highly as his stats might indicate because of an unusual arm action that makes it very likely he ends up a reliever in pro ball. ... Ziomek's delivery is that of a pure reliever -- he starts with a very high leg kick, has a very long arm swing behind his body, and hasn't even started to get his hand moving toward the plate when he lands his front leg. ... Between that arm action and the lack of a third pitch, I couldn't project him as a major-league starter; I'd send him out as one to high Class A, but with the expectation that he'd eventually end up in the pen, which puts him in the second-or-third round range for me."


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