06/09/2004 1:18 AM ET
Tigers stick with college pitchers
Detroit ends up with balance of hurlers, hitters
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
DETROIT -- The second day of the First-Year Player Draft went much like the first for the Tigers, heavy on college pitching.
After four of Detroit's first five picks and seven of its 18 total selections Monday were college pitchers, the Tigers went for college arms with their first four picks on Tuesday and 10 of their 32 total second-day selections.
Two of those first four are junior college arms. Many others, however, were college seniors with lengthy experience. Nathan Bumstead, Detroit's 32nd-round pick, is still pitching as the No. 1 starter for an LSU squad that hosts an NCAA Super Regional this weekend. Dominic Carmosino was a three-year workhorse down the road at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. Ed Clelland became an innings-eater for two years at Gonzaga.
To an extent, the strategy goes back to what scouting director Greg Smith said after the first day of the draft: It's easier to take a chance on pitchers to develop and promote than it is to try to bring in pitching from other organizations.
The final breakdown of the 50 picks was split evenly -- 25 pitchers, 25 position players -- but that was after the Tigers used their final three picks to reach for hitters.
Here's the complete list of the Tigers' second-day selections:
Round 19: Tyler Jacobson, RHP, Central Arizona College
Jacobson spent much of the year recovering from Tommy John surgery and was limited to seven relief appearances in his only season for the Vaqueros. He allowed five earned runs on 12 hits in 10 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts. The Tigers like his upside.
Round 20: Ed Clelland, LHP, Gonzaga University
A wiry southpaw at six feet and 165 pounds, Clelland allowed 124 hits over 88 1/3 innings in his senior season but had a strong second half. As a junior, he was one of the Bulldogs' workhorse starters, tossing 11 innings in one game and leading the staff with three complete games. The Tigers believe he can pitch in a variety of roles.
Round 21: Matt Righter, RHP, Johns Hopkins University
Righter just completed his career as a two-sport athlete at John Hopkins, serving four years as a swing starter/reliever for the Division II power while captaining the basketball team. He filled out his 6-foot-5 frame and gained velocity on his fastball as he went along, topping out in the low 90s to go with an average breaking ball. He went 7-1 as a senior with a 2.44 ERA, striking out 56 batters in 62 2/3 innings.
Round 22: Thomas Royals, RHP, Pearl River CC
An athletic pitcher and infielder for the Wildcats, Royals was a five-time all-state player in high school and a control pitcher at Pearl River. He has committed to play college ball at Arkansas Tech.
Round 23: Vince Berry, LF, Triton (IL) College
A 5-foot-10, 175-pound speedster, Berry hit .375 as a freshman with 32 stolen bases. He set an Ohio state single-season record with 42 steals at Cincinnati's Purcell Marian High School. The Tigers see potential as a center fielder. He's the second junior college player who has committed to Kent State but was drafted by the Tigers, joining first-day pick Christopher Carpenter.
Round 24: Jordan Foster, LF, Lamar University
Tigers scouts say Foster's bat gives him a chance to be a Major Leaguer. He capped his four-year career by homering off of Rice hurler and first-round pick Wade Townsend in the NCAA Regionals. A patient hitter to all fields, he used a line-drive stroke to become the Cardinals' all-time leader in batting average, hits and doubles. He was also a second-team Academic All-American.
Round 25: Robby Tulk, CF, UC-Davis
A versatile outfielder shows Tigers scouts promise with the bat. Tulk led the Aggies in nearly every offensive category his senior season, and he earned second team Division II All-West Region honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He's also a strong team player.
Round 26: Thad McBurrows, LHP, Lake Wales (FL) HS
His uncle Gerald is a safety for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, and the athleticism shows. A top-20 high school center fielder according to Team One Baseball when he wasn't pitching, he throws close to 90 mph with a sharp breaking ball. He's committed to the University of Florida but could be a draft-and-follow candidate if he changes his mind.
Round 27: Dominic Carmosino, LHP, Oakland University
A 6-foot-4 finesse southpaw, Carmosino translated offseason conditioning into an improved fastball as an upperclassman. The heater complements an average-to-plus curveball. He made a team-high 13 starts as a senior for the Golden Grizzles in nearby Rochester, Mich., going 4-7 with a 5.52 ERA. He was a second-team all-MCC selection as a junior.
Round 28: Brian Hensen, LHP, Elon University
Another big lefty at 6-foot-4, Henson is a deceptive soft-tosser. He posted a 6-2 record in each of his two seasons at Elon. He had a 4.74 ERA as a senior, over a team-high 16 starts.
Round 29: Octavio Amezquita, SS, Pacific University
Amezquita bounced around the infield in his four years at Pacfic. He was a freshman shortstop, a sophomore catcher, a junior first baseman and then back to shortstop as a senior. He hit .247 this spring with 17 RBIs. The Tigers like his versatility and think he has promise with the bat.
Round 30: Josh Lee, 1B, McMurry University
A second-team Division III All-American, Lee was a standout hitter and pitcher as a senior at McMurry. At the plate, his 17 home runs tied him for second in the nation, while his 53 RBIs led the conference. The Tigers like his combination of glove work and hitting for this late in the draft. On the mound, he went 8-3 with a 2.76 ERA.
Round 31: Leo Grullan, RF, University of South Florida
He has an athletic 6-foot-3 frame. Grullan is a good runner, and has a good arm.
Round 32: Nate Bumstead, RHP, LSU
A senior staff ace on the Division I powerhouse, Bumstead's 10 wins lead LSU's staff heading into this weekend's NCAA Super Regionals. He's 21-7 in two years as a Tiger.
Round 33: Kevin Brower, RHP, North Carolina
A four-year reliever for the Tar Heels, the submarine-style thrower went 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA in 24 appearances. He walked 10 and struck out 17 over 22 2/3 innings. At 5-foot-11, he's the smallest pitcher the Tigers have drafted this year.
Round 34: Dallas Trahern, RHP, Owasso (OK) HS
Trahern earned recognition as a shortstop, but his strong arm and good size (6-3, 190) translated into a 90-92 mph fastball on the mound, and the Tigers consider him a polished prep pitcher and a solid student. Baseball America ranked him the eighth-best draft prospect in Oklahoma and the highest-rated high school player in the state. He fell to the second day because he's likely to follow through on his commitment to play at the University of Oklahoma.
Round 35: Clay Britton, RF, Weatherford (TX) JC
The Tigers drafted him out of high school in the 46th round last year. Club scouts consider Britton a good hitter who lacks strength, but has the frame to get stronger and improve his power.
Round 36: Travis DeBondt, CF, Bakersfield (CA) JC
A lanky, power-hitting outfielder, DeBondt has committed to Oral Roberts.
Round 37: Ramon Navarro, SS, Triton JC
The second Tigers selection this draft from Triton, Navarro is expected to be a draft-and-follow selection. Tigers scouts describe him as a good defensive player whose bat is a little behind.
Round 38: Jamaal Peoples, RF, Philadelphia (MS) HS
Tigers scouts call Peoples a strong, athletic high school player with some bat.
Round 39: Adrian Bowens, SS, Lumberton (MS) HS
A multi-sport athlete at Lumberton, Bowens projects as a middle infielder.
Round 40: Kevin McAtee, 1B, Regis Jesuit HS, Littleton, CO
One of two big first basemen the Tigers drafted late, McAtee has a Richie Sexson-type frame at 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds. He has big potential for power as he matures.
Round 41: Bryan Sheffield, RF, Williston (FL) HS
An athletic, speedy outfielder, Sheffield will likely be a draft-and-follow player. He signed with North Florida Community College. He hit .486 in his senior season at Williston.
Round 42: Trent Lare, LHP, Coffeyville JC, Vissar, KS
A draft-and-follow selection, the 6-foot-4 southpaw is considered a long-range project. He threw three complete games in eight starts through April 27, going 3-5 with a 5.48 ERA. The Tigers expect him to make strides.
Round 43: Chris Schwinden, RHP, Golden West HS, Visalia, CA
A preseason All-American, Schwinden went 11-2 with a 1.00 ERA and a school-record 124 strikeouts as a junior before getting off to an 8-1 start with a 1.68 ERA this spring. He's seen as a young, projectable right-hander with a feel for his curveball, but he's headed for Fresno State.
Round 44: Tyler Fockler, RHP, Scotts Valley (CA) HS
Like Schwinden, Fockler is committed to Fresno State. He was part of the senior class that propelled Scotts Valley to a run in the state playoffs. He's a right-hander with a projected high ceiling.
Round 45: Lionel Roberts, 1B, John McDonogh Senior HS, New Orleans
To call Roberts a big, strong athlete is an understatement. He's 6-foot-3, 290 pounds.
Round 46: Alec Sheppard, RHP, Colorado Springs (CO) Christian HS
A multi-sport athlete, Sheppard was a high school quarterback and an All-American candidate in basketball.
Round 47: Rene Recio, RHP, Oral Roberts University
Recio was limited to just five games and three starts as a junior following elbow surgery a year earlier. He'll return to school as a fifth-year senior, but the Tigers will control his rights until next year's draft.
Round 48: Bernard Williams, CF, East Marion HS, Columbia, MS
A football and baseball star at East Marion, the Tigers like his athleticism despite his 5-foot-10 height.
Round 49: Dominic De La Osa, SS, Archbishop Carroll HS, Coral Gables, FL
De La Osa is an athletic shortstop, but is committed to Vanderbilt.
Round 50: Maxwell Leon, 2B, South Mountain CC
A native of Mexico and son of a coach, Leon is a switch-hitter whom the Tigers like for his execution, offensively and defensively. He moves runners over and is versatile in the field.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.