The reigning AL champion Detroit Tigers once again have a team talented enough to make a deep run into the postseason. But to ensure similar success beyond 2013, they will need to find effective players in the amateur draft.
A strong farm system indirectly fueled Detroit's most recent pennant. Former first-rounders Cameron Maybin (2005) and Andrew Miller (2006) were centerpieces in the trade that landed eventual Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera. Charlie Furbush (fourth round, 2007) and Jacob Turner (first round, 2009) were used to acquire Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez, respectively. And of course, the Tigers wouldn't have gone far in 2012 without homegrown right-hander Justin Verlander.
General manager Dave Dombrowski and his staff snagged three collegiate pitchers on Thursday night. They selected right-handers Jonathon Crawford (Florida) and Corey Knebel (Texas) with the No. 20 and No. 39 picks, respectively. Vanderbilt southpaw Kevin Ziomek caught their eye at No. 58.
Bleacher Report's own Zachary Ball grades Detroit harshly, giving the team a "C" for these three picks. Consider the following scouting profiles of Crawford, Knebel and Ziomek and come to your own conclusion.
The Tigers continued to emphasize experienced pitching on the second day. Only two of their choices in rounds 3-10 were position players and none came straight out of high school.
The team finalized its draft class with 30 more picks, several of whom have familiar surnames.