Follow-up notes from Tigers draft

How late did the Tigers go in their draft talks Monday night? According to scouting director David Chadd, “It went as far as 11:55.”

In other words, they wrapped up things with five minutes to go. That was mainly dotting i’s and crossing t’s on sixth-rounder Daniel Fields, who agreed to turn pro with only a couple hours to go. The fact that it took that long to wrap up everything means the Tigers, while hoping Fields would join them, weren’t all that sure he would.

“Really, truly, it was 50-50 right up until the end,” Chadd said.

Fields’ dad, Bruce Fields, talked about the decision on a Tigers conference call this morning.

“Ultimately, we left the decision up to him,” Fields said. “At the very beginning, and I’ll be honest and frank, we wanted him to go to school, because we know how tough the road can be personally, but we left the decision up to him. i wanted him to make a decision he could live with. Now, it becomes Team Daniel.”

Likewise, first-rounder Jacob Turner talked about making his decision. Considering the Tigers made the move to designate Chris Lambert’s contract for assignment before the Mud Hens’ game Monday night, his negotiation didn’t go quite so late.

“Obviously, the whole time i was pretty committed to going to school, and North Carolina is a great school,” Turner said. “But in the end, the Tigers showed their commitment to me, and that they really have a commitment to me in their future plans.”

For Oliver, returning to Oklahoma State didn’t sound like quite as much of a consideration.

“That was an option,” Oliver said, “but overall, I weighed it out with my dad and my advisers, and I thought it was a better decision to start my pro career at this time.”

And again, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski explained his organizational philosophy behind drafting regardless of signability and going above slot.

“We believed all along that we are trying to take the best players we possibly  can in the draft,” Dombrowski said. “We always sit down and discuss what the signability of the players may be. And Mr. [Ilitch] is always in the loop. But it’s a situation whwere we have always followed trying to take the best players we possibly can. We’re aggressive in this area.”

6 Comments

I’m not surprised that Fields was 50-50, because he was in a win-win situation. Michigan is a great university with a top notch baseball program. There are a lot of people out there who look back on their years at Michigan as the best times of their lives. One can only hope Daniel will look back and know he made the right decision.
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I’d think that Porcello’s rapid advance, although a rare case, is a signal to draftees that it can happen in Detroit.
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Again, that was one entertaining off day.
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–Rich

Is there a complete list of the Tiger draftees, and who signed and who didn’t?
Any more late signings other than Turner, Oliver, and Fields?

Rayburn or Thomas?

Rayburn. But I’m only guessing.
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So this drafting/school thing is new to me. How was it we drafted Curtis, but he finished his college degree and he came back to Detroit? Is it different for 1st round draft picks? Just wondering if Fields could have done both.
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My kids went to a 2 day U of M Baseball camp year before last- it was a Father/Son camp. My husband was so impressed he bought and wears a Michigan Baseball T-shirt and he is a HARDCORE OSU fan, born and raised in Ohio. Ya know the type that most people around here can’t stand during college football season? So you know that is saying something.
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Can’t wait to see Ricky pitch tonight. I hope he can harness the adrenaline of coming back and put it to good use.
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-Tracey

Curtis was drafted out of college. When he was drafted the team owned the players rights until the next draft. The rule was changed a few years ago to the August 17th date. If a player is drafted out of High School and does not sign, then enrolls in College, they are not eligible to be drafted again for three years.
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It is much easier for a pitcher to get to the big leagues in a short time period than it is for a position player. It is usually all about learning to hit the off speed pitches.
Mark

Fields and Porcello are definitely brainy types and college material. They both came from very preppy high schools. However, when someone is drafted high up in the draft and is going to get a big chunk of money, they most likely will sign with the team and forego college. If the career doesn’t work out for them, they usually have enough money set aside to attend college later. Let’s not forget, Al Kaline was in the the majors when he was 18 years old. Some of the latin players also make the bigs when they are younger ie Pudge Rodriguez. But it’s probably true that pitchers are more likely to get there first. It it’s a 5 tool guy, they’ll turn him into whatever position player they need most. But we don’t see too many 18 year old 5 tool position players.

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