June 7, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Major League Baseball draft

Meet all the 2014 Tigers draft picks, including Michigan's Trent Szkutnik

The Tigers made Michigan lefty Trent Szkutnik their 20th-round draft pick Saturday afternoon. (University of Michigan)

Detroit — Trent Szkutnik knew the Tigers had been watching him.

But to actually get that phone call Saturday — yes, Trent, you have been drafted by the Tigers — still came as quite the shock.

“It kind of gives you the goosebumps anytime you get attention from your hometown team,” said Szkutnik, a left-handed pitcher from Temperance Bedford. “Still, it’s really surreal seeing the Detroit Tigers call you.”

The Tigers made Szkutnik, a University of Michigan junior, their 20th-round pick in the Major League Baseball draft, which concluded Saturday.

It’s the highest the Tigers have drafted an in-state college player since they took Central Michigan shortstop Jordan Dean in the 15th round two years ago.

Szkutnik, 20, grew up just north of the Ohio border, so he definitely saw more games in Toledo, the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate.

“Buy a ticket for 7 bucks,” Szkutnik said.

But make no mistake, the Tigers are his team — and Pudge Rodriguez, the legendary catcher, was his favorite player.

Szkutnik was one of 17 pitchers the Tigers took on Day 3 of the draft, out of 30 picks, after focusing a bit more on the position-player front in 10 picks over the first two days.

Szkutnik throws three pitches, but two he really relies on — a two-seam fastball that sits anywhere from 88-92 mph and a tight slider. He also threw bigger, loopy curveball, but went more with the slider the summer between his sophomore and junior seasons — at the request of Michigan assistant coach Sean Kenny — and the switch paid immediate dividends, first in the Cap Cod League.

Then, this season, he saw his ERA drop to a career-best 3.38 and opponents’ batting average slip to .275, also a career best. He struck out 57 in 80 innings this year, in 15 appearances, all starts.

That said, he realizes he’s a smaller lefty — he’s 6-foot, 195 — so his future could very well be in the bullpen.

“I’m just here to play baseball,” Szkutnik said. “Anytime I get in the game, it’s a great opportunity. Wherever they see me fit best is what I’m going to do.”

Szkutnik knew he was likely to get drafted, but didn’t know when — or by whom. That’s standard in the unpredictable baseball draft.

So rather that sit by the TV and computer Friday and Saturday, he kept himself busy with yard work and washing cars. Then, that call came.

And within a few days, he’s likely to sign — and start his career, with the Tigers.

“They knew I wanted to be a Tiger,” said Szkutnik, who in high school led Temperance Bedford to a Division 1 runner-up showing in 2011.

“That’s just awesome.”

In other notable selections, the Tigers drafted:

■Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood left-hander Grant Reuss in the 31st round. He’s committed to the University of Michigan.

■Birmingham Brother Rice catcher Sammy Stevens, a Georgetown commitment, in the 34th round. He’s the son of Derek Stevens, the owner of The D Casino Hotel in Las Vegas.

■Ex-Tiger great Magglio Ordonez’s son, Magglio Jr., in the 38th round. He’s a high-school first baseman from American Heritage in Plantation, Fla.

The complete list

A look at the 40 players drafted by the Tigers in the 2014 MLB draft:

Rd. Pick Player Pos. School
1 23 Derek Hill OF Elk Grove (Calif.) HS
2 63 Spencer Turnbull RHP Alabama
3 99 Grayson Greiner C South Carolina
4 130 Adam Ravenelle RHP Vanderbilt
5 160 Shane Zeile C UCLA
6 190 Ross Kivett CF Kansas State
7 220 Joey Pankake 3B South Carolina
8 250 Artie Lewicki RHP Virginia
9 280 Josh Laxer RHP Mississippi
10 310 Paul Voelker RHP Dallas Baptist
11 340 A.J. Ladwig RHP Wichita State
12 370 Garrett Mattlage SS Texas State
13 400 Will Allen C Mississippi
14 430 Josh Heddinger RHP Georgia Tech
15 460 Michael Gerber CF Creighton
16 490 Chase Rader 3B Coffeyville (Kan.) C.C.
17 520 Corey Baptist 1B St. Petersburg
18 550 Will Maddox 3B Tennessee
19 580 Parker French RHP Texas
20 610 Trent Szkutnik LHP Michigan
21 640 Whit Mayberry RHP Virginia
22 670 Michael Thomas C Kentucky
23 700 Brett Pirtle 2B Mississippi State
24 730 Gabe Hemmer RHP San Diego Christian
25 760 Gage Smith RHP Florida State
26 790 Jack Fischer RHP Wake Forest
27 820 Tyler Ford LHP Houston
28 850 Will Kengor SS Slippery Rock
29 880 Jacob Butler RHP St. Francis (Ill.)
30 910 Spenser Watkins RHP Western Oregon
31 940 Grant Reuss LHP Cranbrook-Kingswood HS
32 970 Kenton St. John LHP South Alabama
33 1,000 Jonathan Perrin RHP Oklahoma State
34 1,030 Sammy Stevens C Brother Rice HS
35 1,060 Dave Hollins 3B Orchard Park (N.Y.) HS
36 1,090 Nate Fury RHP Louisiana State
37 1,120 Patrick Mahomes RHP Whitehouse (Texas) HS
38 1,150 Magglio Ordonez 1B American Heritage (Fla.) HS
39 1,180 Taylor Sanagorski C Bishop Carroll Catholic (Kan.) HS
40 1,210 Alex Faedo RHP Alonso Senior (Fla.) HS

tpaul@detroitnews.com

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