After dazzling scouts for three years at Auburn, right-handed pitcher Casey Mize will begin his professional career with the Detroit Tigers, who selected him with the first overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft Monday.
Twitter had a lot of things to say about the Tigers' addition of one of the top amateur talents to their farm system:
Mize has been one of college baseball's best pitchers since he put on an Auburn jersey. The 21-year-old had a 2.04 ERA, 66 hits allowed, 109 strikeouts and nine walks in 83.2 innings in his first full year as a starter in 2017.
Though his ERA jumped to 2.95 this season, Mize has improved in a lot of ways as a junior. He currently has 151 strikeouts, 12 walks, a .195 batting average against and all three of the Tigers' complete games.
"He's amazing," a scout told Jon Heyman of FRS Network. "Everything he throws is for a strike, whenever he wants."
Mize is also one of the great development stories in the 2018 MLB draft. The Alabama native went undrafted out of high school, although he acknowledged there was a reason no team pursued him.
"I definitely was not good enough," Mize told John Zenor of the Associated Press in mid-May. "I realized that and I was fine with that. I was just a smaller guy, very raw, didn't know anything about pitching."
Three years later, Mize has turned into one of the best draft prospects in his class, and he's one step closer to dominating MLB hitters.
Mize is the Tigers' first draft pick since they turned an eye toward the future. They dealt key figures like Justin Verlander and Justin Upton last summer, acquiring future assets that will lead the next wave of talent in Detroit.
The Tigers' last top-five pick was in 2004, when they took Verlander with the No. 2 overall pick. He made his MLB debut the following year, won American League Rookie of the Year in 2006, made the All-Star team with Detroit six times and won the 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP awards.
It's asking a lot of Mize to reach those heights, but he has proved to be a dominant pitcher who could move quickly through the minors. He becomes the most important prospect in Detroit's farm system and will be tasked with bringing the franchise back to prominence in the AL Central.