Mike Axisa of CBS sports had no reservations about giving the Detroit Tigers a grade of A for their 2020 draft class.
“The Tigers held the No. 1 pick and they locked themselves into an A when they used it on Spencer Torkelson, a future middle-of-the-order anchor,” Axisa says. “They then added a very good all-around catcher in second rounder Dillon Dingler, a consistent college performer in outfielder Daniel Cabrera, and they flat out stole Arizona State infielder Gage Workman in the fourth round. Workman was seen as a possible first-round pick coming into the season.
"Torkelson was arguably the best player in the draft and Detroit added three other late first round/early second round talents in Cabrera, Dingler, and Workman. Great, great draft for the Tigers.”
The Tigers also grabbed Rice shortstop Trei Cruz in the third round and Biloxi (Miss.) High School third baseman/pitcher Colt Keith in the fifth.
“It was pretty close (to the best-case scenario),” Tigers director of amateur scouting Scott Pleis said of the team’s draft class. “Would I have liked to get an arm in there, yes. It didn’t work out but it’s hard to complain. When you start with Tork, it’s good just from there. Really, in a shortened draft, it really worked out for us.”
Tigers 2020 draft class
James Hawkins of The Detroit News breaks down the Tigers' 2020 draft class:
School: Arizona State
Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 220 pounds
Pick: Round 1, No. 1 overall
Skinny: Torkelson, 20, raked throughout his time at Arizona State. He shattered Barry Bonds’ freshman home run record (11) with 25 bombs in 2018 and racked up 54 home runs and 130 RBIs in 129 games. He’s a right-handed slugger who can hit for average, get on base and go yard as evidenced by his .337/.463/.729 career slash line.
School: Ohio State
Height/weight: 6-foot-3, 210 pounds
Pick: Round 2, No. 38 overall
Skinny: Dingler, 21, was projected to be a first-round pick and was ranked No. 24 on MLB Pipeline’s list of top draft prospects. He’s an athletic defender who has ideal size and a strong throwing arm. He also has solid pop at the plate. He hit .291 as a sophomore and had a .340/.404/.760 slash line in 13 games this year.
Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 196 pounds
Pick: Round 2, No. 62 overall
Skinny: Cabrera, 21, was a steady and productive performer for the Tigers. He has a smooth left-handed swing and is someone who can hit for average and power. In 140 career games, he had a .305 batting average, whacked 33 doubles, belted 22 home runs and drove in 116 runs. Cabrera, who was ranked the No. 38 draft prospect by MLB Pipeline, played both corner outfield spots during his time at LSU.
Height/weight: 6-foot-2, 200 pounds
Pick: Round 3, No. 73 overall
Skinny: Cruz, 21, has quite the baseball pedigree considering his father, Jose Jr., grandfather Jose and great-uncles Hector and Tommy all played in the big leagues. A switch-hitter, Cruz produced a .296/.406/.484 slash line with 16 home runs and 97 RBIs over his three-year career. He played at both middle infield spots for the Owls, but his best fit might be at second base.
School: Arizona State
Height/weight: 6-foot-4, 200 pounds
Pick: Round 4, No. 102 overall
Skinny: Workman, 20, was a starting infielder for two-plus years for the Sun Devils and played at short in the Cape Cod League last summer. He’s a strong switch-hitter who had 51 extra-base hits and a .496 slugging percentage in 124 career games, but there are concerns about his ability to make contact and work counts (138 strikeouts to 48 walks).
School: Biloxi (Miss.) High
Height/weight: 6-foot-2, 220 pounds
Pick: Round 5, No. 132 overall
Skinny: Keith, 18, is a two-way stud and was named Gatorade’s Mississippi baseball player of the year as a junior last spring. In 2019, he hit .527 with eight home runs, 49 RBIs and a .659 on-base percentage and posted a 1.47 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 38 innings. Keith, an Arizona State commit, throws in the low 90s as a right-handed pitcher, but his left-handed bat is the bigger attraction.