Herndon will be Tigers' point man at Draft
Former player now an important developmental cog
Former Tigers slugger Larry Herndon has been in charge of developing some of the Tigers' sluggers of tomorrow, including Brennan Boesch and Ryan Strieby two years ago. Come next month, he'll be on hand as Detroit tries to bolster its next generation of hitting prospects at the First-Year Player Draft.
Herndon will be representing the Tigers at MLB Network's Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J., when the Draft gets under way at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, June 7. He'll be joined by Garrett Guest, part of the Tigers' scouting staff.
MLB.com will offer live coverage and analysis of the entire First-Year Player Draft on June 7-9 on MLB.com/Live. The first round and Compensation Round A will be broadcast live from MLB Network's Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J., on MLB.com and MLB Network on June 7, beginning with the Draft preview show at 6 p.m. ET.
MLB.com Draft expert Jonathan Mayo will join Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds, John Hart, Peter Gammons and Baseball America executive editor Jim Callis on Monday's broadcast.
Coverage for Rounds 2-50 will shift exclusively to MLB.com/Live, where Rounds 2-30 will be streamed on Tuesday, beginning at noon, and Rounds 31-50 will be streamed on Wednesday, starting at noon. Host Pete McCarthy will be joined by Mayo and former general manager Jim Duquette.
Detroit doesn't have a pick in the first round, having surrendered that when it signed Type-A free agent Jose Valverde in January. However, the Tigers have two supplemental-round selections as compensation for losing relievers Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon.
As the Tigers have shown the last few years, they can turn secondary-round selections into first-round talent. They drafted Boesch in the third round of the 2006 Draft and fellow slugging prospect Strieby a round later, both out of college, and have helped them climb the developmental ladder over the past few years.
Last year, Detroit took some chances drafting talented high school athletes and provided a talent infusion into its system, led by sixth-round selection and Detroit high school product Daniel Fields. He immediately joined the list of Detroit's top prospects and is now learning from Herndon at Class A Lakeland, where Herndon is the hitting coach.
Likewise, Herndon wasn't a first-round selection. The St. Louis Cardinals drafted him in the third round in 1971 out of Douglas High School in Memphis and watched him make his Major League debut three years later. He was traded to San Francisco soon after and spent six seasons there before the Giants traded him to Detroit after the 1981 season.
Herndon blossomed with the Tigers in 1982, batting .292 with 23 home runs and 88 RBIs that season before hitting .302 with 20 homers and 92 RBIs the next year. He came into his prime in time to become a key cog on the Tigers' 1984 World Series championship squad.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.