2008 Draft Slot: 21st overall
Top Pick: Ryan Perry, RHP, University of Arizona
Best Pick: Ryan Perry
Keep an Eye On: Alex Avila, C, University of Alabama (Fifth round)
Notes: The Tigers organization did not select many high-ceiling players, if any. What it did do was grab a whole whack of hard-throwing college relievers, many of whom could make it to the Majors quickly… and the Tigers desperately needed depth. Ryan Perry is already pitching in the Majors, although he should probably be in Double-A right now working on his fastball command and control.
2007 Draft Slot: 27th overall
Top Pick: Rick Porcello, RHP, New Jersey high school
Best Pick: Rick Porcello
Worst Pick: Cale Iorg, SS, University of Alabama (Sixth round)
Notes: Keep an eye on LHP Casey Crosby, who was drafted out of an Illinois high school in the fifth round. He’s back pitching well after missing most of 2008 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Infielder Cale Iorg has a famous family name but he does not make enough contact. He’ll be lucky to carve out a career as a MLB utility player. Only two years after being drafted out of high school, Rick Porcello is already pitching in the Majors, but he should be in Double-A. The organization is trying to Bonderman him. Porcello, though, should not have been available with the 27th pick but clubs were scared off his signability.
2006 Draft Slot: Sixth overall
Top Pick: Andrew Miller, LHP, University of North Carolina
Best Pick: Andrew Miller
Worst Pick: Ronnie Bourquin, 3B, Ohio State University (2nd round), or Brennan Boesch, OF, University of California (third round)
Notes: Andrew Miller has not been nearly as advanced as expected but he was sent to Florida in the Miguel Cabrera deal. Miller is still trying to prove himself to be a No. 5 starter thanks to a lack of command/control. 1B Ryan Strieby and 2B Scott Sizemore were nice finds in the fourth and fifth rounds.
2009 Draft Slot: Ninth overall
Draft Preference (2006-08): Best talent, but a fast mover
MLB Club Need: Shortstop, Left field, Starting Pitching
Organizational Need: Depth everywhere
Organizational Strength: Relief pitching
Notes: The club needs to find some high-ceiling talent. The club has not done an overly good job of finding talent in the later rounds of the draft. The 2008 draft tossed some good arms into the mid-to-upper minors, but the ceilings seem to stop around set-up man with most settling in at middle reliever.