Meet 3B Nick Quintana and all the Tigers' first 10 MLB Draft picks

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Third baseman Nick Quintana was the Tigers' second-round pick Monday.

Detroit — When you think of the prototypical power-hitting third baseman, you don't think under 6 feet, and certainly not under 200 pounds.

But here is Nick Quintana, the long-haired, guitar-playing, paint-obsessed, all-around cool kid out of the University of Arizona who treats the top buttons on his jersey as decoration more than anything particularly functional.

The Tigers made it two position players in two picks when they nabbed Quintana in the second round late Monday night, with the 47th pick in the Major League Baseball Draft.

"We've seen him since high school ... quite a bit over the years and we got comfortable with him," said Scott Pleis, the Tigers' director of amateur scouting. "We like his swing, we like his power, we like his defense, and so we feel pretty comfortable.

"It's always good to find a bat, especially a bat with power and you can also play a position on the infield. It's a big deal. 

"It's always nice."

Quintana, 21, originally from Las Vegas, had a monster junior season for Arizona, with 15 home runs and 77 RBIs in 56 games. He batted .342 with a 1.088 OPS, and Quintana also scored 56 runs.

In the Tigers' eyes, that more than made up for a rather ho-hum run through the 2018 Cape Cod League.

He bats right-handed and, of course, given he's a third baseman, throws right, too.

It wasn't long ago that the Tigers felt down right giddy about their future at third base, when they had a young power-hitter named Nick Castellanos. But the former third baseman of the future now is their right fielder of not-for-very-long. Then it was Jeimer Candelario who was projected as their heir apparent. But that plan has gone off the rails as Candelario has wallowed at Triple-A until recently and Dawel Lugo, not the surest-handed defender, tries to man the position at the major-league level.

Nick Quintana

Given he's a college pick, Quintana could be on the fast track, not that the Tigers ever will put that much heat on a kid who was just drafted.

"The big part of these players, every one of these players that get into pro ball, it's not over when you get drafted," Pleis said. "It's just a start.

"They all need to get better to be the big-leaguers they need to be."

The Tigers went with another third baseman with the first pick of the third round, Andre Lipcius of the University of Tennessee. The Tigers have gone with position players in each of the first three rounds, a stark contrast from their recent draft history.

Quintana is a two-time first-time All-PAC 12 performer, whose older brother, Zach, a right-handed pitcher, was a third-round pick by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012.

In high school, Quintana was Nevada's Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior, and was a three-time all-state selection. He was the local paper's male athlete of the year.

The MLB Draft continued Tuesday with rounds three through 10, and then Wednesday with rounds 11 through 40.

Here's a look at the Tigers' selections through two days:

Tigers' 2019 draft picks

1st round: Riley Greene, 18, OF, Hagerty High School (Fla.), 6-2/195, L/L

2nd round: Nick Quintana, 21, 3B, University of Arizona, 5-10/187, R/R

3rd round: Andre Lipcius, 21, 3B, University of Tennessee, 6-1/190, R/R

4th round: Ryan Kreidler, 21, SS, UCLA, 6-4/208, R/R

5th round: Bryant Packard, 21, LF, East Carolina, 6-3/200, L/R

6th round: Cooper Johnson, 21, C, Ole Miss, 6-0/215, R/R

7th round: Zack Hess, 22, RHP, LSU, 6-6/219, R/R

8th round: Jack Kenley, 21, SS, University of Arkansas, 6-0/185, L/R

9th round: Austin Bergner, 22, RHP, University of North Carolina, 6-4/200, R/R

10th round: Jake Holton, 21, 1B, Creighton University, 6-0/210, R/R

Twitter: @tonypaul1984