Tigers stock up on catching on final day of MLB draft

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Towson's Brady Policelli was one of four catchers selected by the Tigers on the final day of the MLB draft.

Detroit — An organization thin at catching turned its attention to the position on the third and final day of the Major League Baseball draft.

The Tigers drafted two catchers in their first four picks Saturday, and a third later on after spending much of the first two days focusing on pitching.

Junior catcher Brady Policelli (Towson) was taken in the 13th round, followed by another junior, Austin Athmann (Minnesota) one round later.

Policelli, a right-handed hitter, batted .375 this season with nine home runs and 45 RBIs, while Athmann, another right-handed hitter, batted .374 with a .621 slugging percentage, 11 home runs and 42 RBIs.

A third right-handed hitting catcher, Bryan Torres from the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy, was drafted in the 23rd round.

The Tigers are sold on James McCann being the catcher for the long-term future, but its always a plus to have a healthy stockpile, given the frequency of injuries to catchers, careers cut short — and the desire, often, to move catchers to another position later to prolong their careers, like the Minnesota Twins have done with Joe Mauer.

The Tigers, who took pitchers with their first five picks in the draft Thursday and Friday, took a bunch more Saturday, including Michigan senior lefty Evan Hill.

Tigers stick with pitching early on Day 2 of MLB draft

Complete list of Tigers draft picks:

(1st round) RHP Matt Manning, Sheldon (Calif.) HS

(4th) RHP Kyle Funkhouser, Louisville

(5th) RHP Mark Ecker, Texas A&M

(6th) RHP Bryan Garcia, Miami (Fla.)

(7th) LHP Austin Sodders, Cal-Riverside

(8th) CF Jacob Robson, Mississippi State

(9th) SS Daniel Pinero, Virginia

(10th) RF Sam Machonis, Florida Southern

(11th) RHP Zachary Houston, Mississippi State

(12th) CF Daniel Woodrow, Creighton

(13th) C Brady Policelli, Towson

(14th) C Austin Athmann, Minnesota

(15th) RHP John Schreiber, Northwestern Ohio

(16th) 2B Will Savage, Columbia

(17th) RHP Brandyn Sittinger, Ashland

(18th) 1B Niko Buentello, Auburn

(19th) CF Dustin Frailey, Cal State-Bakersfield

(20th) RHP Clate Schmidt, Clemson

(21st) RHP Joe Navilhon, Southern California

(22nd) RHP Burris Warner, Marshall

(23rd) C Bryan Torres, Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy

(24th) LHP Evan Hill, Michigan

(25th) RHP John Hayes, Wichita State

(26th) RHP Colyn O’Connell, Florida Atlantic

(27th) SS Chad Sedio, Miami (Fla.)

(28th) RHP Alex Cunningham, Coastal Carolina

(29th) 3B Hunter Swilling, Samford

(30th) LHP Dalton Lundeen, Vanderbilt

(31st) SS Dalton Britt, Liberty

(32nd) RHP Connor O’Neill, Cal State-Northridge

(33rd) RHP Keegan Thompson, Auburn

(34th) SS Geraldo Gonzalez, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy

(35th) C Jacob White, Wakeland (Texas) HS

(36th) 3B Drew Mendoza, Lake Minneola (Fla.) HS

(37th) 2B David Fleita, Maine South (Ill.) HS

(38th) SS Josh Smith, Catholic (La.) HS

(39th) RHP Garrett Milchin, The First Academy (Fla.) HS

(40th) RHP Dalton Feeney, Century (N.D.) HS

Complete list of Michigan draft picks:

(2nd round) LHP Keegan Akin, Western Michigan, Orioles

(4th) LHP Brett Adcock, Michigan, Astros

(5th) LHP Kyle Roberts, Henry Ford CC, Rangers

(6th) LHP Cam Vieaux, Michigan State, Pirates

(7th) 2B Jordan Zimmerman, Michigan State, Angels

(8th) LHP Benjamin Sheckler, Cornerstone, Padres

(9th) OF Hosea Nelson, Clarendon (Texas) College, Detroit, Indians

(9th) LHP Caleb Baragar, Indiana, Jenison, Giants

(10th) RHP Dakota Mekkes, Michigan State, Cubs

(12th) LHP Carmen Benedetti, Michigan, Astros

(15th) RHP John Schreiber, Northwestern Ohio, Rockwood Tigers

(20th) RHP Justin Alleman, Lee, Holt, Giants

(22nd) RHP Sterling Sharp, Drury, Farmington, Nationals

(24th) LHP Evan Hill, Michigan, Tigers

(24th) C Matt Byars, Michigan State, Twins

(27th) LHP Dion Henderson, Conley (N.C.) HS, Detroit, Reds

(27th) LHP Corbin Clouse, Davenport, Braves

(30th) LHP Nick Deeg, Central Michigan, Giants

(32nd) OF Travis Bolin, Davenport, Rangers

(35th) RHP Jackson Lamb, Michigan, Cardinals

(39th) C Harrison Wenson, Michigan, Pirates

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984