With a stable of young arms already in the system, all signs point towards the Detroit Tigers using the first pick in Wednesday's MLB Draft on a hitter. At the top of that list is Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson.
"I don't think there are a lot of guys like Torkelson, I really don't," Whitecaps play-by-play announcer Dan Hasty said. "To Al Avila's credit he has had a knack for finding quality first baseman back in 2000 he took Adrian Gonzalez with first overall pick and he went on to be a five-time all-star. Before that he signed a young man by the name of Miguel Cabrera so he has had a propensity to find these quality first baseman."
While many have Vanderbilt's Austin Martin in the top two available, Hasty says pitcher Asa Lacy from Texas A&M could be a guy to watch.
"I do know kind of what the Tigers are interested in," Hasty said. "They love big lefties who throw hard and this kid dominated the best players in all of college baseball. You look at guys that are going to be drafted right there in the first round, Lacy dominated them."
In a normal year the draft would bring new players to West Michigan, but without baseball because of COVID-19, does that mean we are potentially missing out on the number one pick at Fifth Third Ballpark this summer?
"We have seen a lot of guys second, third rounders, college guys end up in West Michigan if they were offensive players," Hasty said. "Pitcher we saw with Casey Mize he went straight to Lakeland and he was a number one overall pick. I think they would like to see a similar line. I think the number one overall pick going straight to their advanced class A affiliate would be the place the would prefer to have them."
The Tigers will have five more picks on Thursday in rounds two through five and plenty of areas to address.
"The Tigers need a shortstop in a big way," Hasty said. "I do think there is a handful of players that would fit that role, Casey Martin a shortstop out of Arkansas is a guy who can play solid defense, has a very strong bat and can run like the wind. Alika Williams another Arizona State player we could see a pair of Arizona State Sun Devils get picked by the Tigers in the first two rounds, Williams is also a shortstop a little bit farther ahead with the bat."
Hasty also said their is a lot of pitching talent in this draft that could be available for the Tigers in the later rounds.