After sticking with pitching in the first round, the Tigers opted for left-handed power with their second pick in Monday’s opening rounds of the 2017 big-league draft.
In the second round, with the 57th overall pick, they bit on Reynaldo Rivera, a 6-foot-6 outfielder/first baseman and Puerto Rican native who played this spring for Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla., in Florida’s panhandle.
Rivera was a 24th-round pick by the Cubs in 2016 but chose to return to college and had a huge 2017, with a .439 batting average, .541 on-base percentage, and .835 slugging percentage, good for a mammoth OPS of 1.376.
Baseball America had him ranked much deeper than the Tigers valued him, at 191st among all draft-eligible amateurs — 134 places later than the Tigers selected him Monday.
The Tigers made University of Florida pitcher Alex Faedo, a 6-foot-4 right-handed starter, their pick at No. 18 overall in Monday’s first round.
Getting to know
Name: Reynaldo Rivera
Position: Outfielder/first baseman
Home: Toa Alta, Puerto Rico
Notable: Committed to Mississippi State, considered a good student with a 3.85 GPA. He was drafted by the Cubs in 2016 in 24th round.