Tigers’ 1976 draft ranked greatest in franchise history

The Detroit News

The first MLB draft was in 1965, and since then, the Detroit Tigers have drafted "can’t-miss" prospects, hidden gems and colossal busts.

But no single draft class in Tigers history was better than their haul in 1976, which included Alan Trammell and Jack Morris, according to MLB.com. Trammell and Morris would go into the Hall of Fame together in 2018.

Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Mike Rosenbaum picked the best draft class for each MLB team, and they note that Trammell and Morris combined for 10 All-Star Game appearances and 108.4 WAR while playing for the Tigers.

Jack Morris and Alan Trammell pose with their Hall of Fame plaques on July 29, 2018.

Trammell, drafted in the second round out of Kearny High School in San Diego, played his entire 20-year career in Detroit, debuting in 1977 and winning a World Series in 1984. Morris (fifth round), also a member of the 1984 world championship team, spent 14 of his 18 MLB seasons in Detroit, after debuting also in 1977.

“Right-hander Dan Petry (fourth round) also received an All-Star nod and twice recorded a top-10 finish in the AL MVP race,” MLB.com notes. “He was a staple in the Tigers’ rotation from 1982-85, notching 67 wins with a 3.45 ERA while making 142 starts. Outfielder Steve Kemp, the No. 1 overall pick in the January draft (eliminated in 1986), batted .284/.376/.450 with 89 homers across five seasons in Detroit (1977-81) that included an All-Star selection in 1979. What’s more, the Tigers’ 1976 draft could have featured three Hall of Famers if they had been able to sign seventh-rounder Ozzie Smith.”

Tigers’ top 10 from 1976

Round 1 (pick 2) – P Pat Underwood, Kokomo (Ind.) HS

Round 2 (pick 26) – SS Alan Trammell, Kearny HS (San Diego)

Round 3 (pick 50) – C Scott Johnson, Bonita HS (LaVerne, Calif.)

Round 4 (pick 74) – P Dan Petry, El Dorado HS (Placentia, Calif.)

Round 5 (pick 98) – P Jack Morris, Brigham Young

Round 6 (pick 122) – SS Lawrence Douglas, Salem (N.H.) HS

Round 7 (pick 146) – SS Ozzie Smith, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Round 8 (pick 170) – 3B Glenn Gulliver, Eastern Michigan

Round 9 (pick 194) – C Charles Farmer, Hernando County HS (Brooksville, Fla.)

Round 10 (pick 218) – P Michael Burns, Alma College