Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson has long been considered the Detroit Tigers’ favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the June 10 MLB Draft.
ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, in his first mock draft, has Torkelson going to the Tigers but suggests it’s not necessarily a slam dunk pick in a draft that likely will be shortened to five rounds.
“In this draft specifically, fewer high school players will sign and thus the team with the most money to spend on its second and third picks holds even more power than usual, with a larger pool of players to choose from, and another group that may be able to ratchet up their demands to get past the first round to where their highest bonus payday could be,” McDaniel explains.
McDaniel has Vanderbilt infielder Austin Martin going No. 2 to the Baltimore Orioles and Texas A&M left-handed pitcher Asa Lacy at No. 3 to the Miami Marlins.
“The Tigers' rebuild is going fine so far, but they need bulk impact talent, not just a few more players,” McDaniel continues. “If Detroit has Lacy evaluated close to Torkelson – which isn't clear yet, but it's certainly possible – there's a compelling case they could save some money for later picks.”
Torkelson and Martin are both represented by Scott Boras, and that could also influence the Tigers’ thinking, McDaniel suggests: “This decision will be influenced heavily by Boras and how he positions Torkelson and Martin. The superagent's past suggests he won't give clubs a specific number but will be shooting for precedent-setting prices for what he believes are precedent-setting talents.”
Go here for McDaniel’s complete mock draft and analysis (pay site).