Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Detroit — First-round draft pick Riley Greene has signed his contract and is ready to be a Tiger, and second-rounder Nick Quintana's about to that point, too.

But for six of the Tigers' top 10 picks in the Major League Baseball Draft, they have other things on their mind.

In short, more games — in this weekend's NCAA Tournament Super Regionals.

"For right now, it's completely focused on East Carolina," said Bryant Packard, a junior left fielder whose college team is about to play Louisville for a spot in the College World Series. "I'm blessed to have to have the Tigers draft me, but there's now way I could look ahead and not be able to stay in the present moment.

"My heart's with the Pirates. They deserve it.

"It would be selfish to look ahead."

The Tigers' fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth draft picks are playing in the Super Regionals, including UCLA shortstop Ryan Kreidler (against Michigan), Packard, Ole Miss catcher Cooper Johnson, LSU pitcher Zack Hess, Arkansas shortstop Jack Kenley and North Carolina pitcher Austin Bergner.

Once those teams' runs end, then they'll start negotiating, as Greene has (he signed), and as have Quintana (he's about to sign) and third-round pick Andre Lipcius, a third baseman out of Tennessee (he's also about to sign).

"You know, it's just kind of relieving, I guess," Johnson said of being drafted Tuesday. "I'm glad it's all over so I can just start focusing on playing. We're still playing."

Play us a song

Quintana, the Tigers' second round-pick out of Arizona, loves to play his acoustic guitar, and he tries to bring it with him wherever he goes.

Might he bring it to pro ball with Detroit?

"I might buy a new one!" he said, with a chuckle of a kid who's about to sign a professional contract worth more than $1.5 million.

"It's not that I'm great, but it's something I love to do," Quintana said. "Whenever I get a chance when I'm at home, I'll play and try to learn new stuff.

"It's something to clear my head and relax and take a breather."

Quintana said his go-to song is "Where Did You Sleep Last Night." It's a Leadbelly song, but Quintana prefers Nirvana's cover.

Around the horn

In the 29th round Wednesday, the Tigers drafted Elliott Cary, a center fielder out of Oklahoma City University. He is the son of Chuck Cary, a left-handed pitcher who played for the Tigers from 1985-86, with a 3.42 ERA in 38 appearances.

... The Tigers went very heavy on experience, with 38 of their last 39 selections being college players. They also only drafted one player with a strong local connection, Michigan third baseman Jimmy Kerr in the 33rd round.

... Tigers third-round pick Lipcius, a third baseman out of Tennessee, has a twin, Luc. Andre is a nuclear-engineering major, and Luc an aerospace-engineering major. So who's smarter? "Oh, he is," Andre conceded.

... Many ignore the later rounds of the MLB Draft, but there often are some great finds. Take J.D. Martinez, the former Tigers slugger taken 611th in 2009. He still wears the numbers "6-1-1" on his batting gloves.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE