NEW YORK – The Detroit Tigers took a few more big swings at rebuilding their lineup.
And, they hope sooner rather than later.
After selecting Arizona State slugger Spencer Torkelson to open the Major League Baseball amateur draft Wednesday night, the Tigers used all five of their picks Thursday on hitters they envision joining him in Detroit.
Ohio State catcher Dillon Dingler led off the draft's second day as the No. 38 overall selection. The Tigers then took LSU outfielder Danny Cabrera 62nd overall, and Rice shortstop Trei Cruz — son of former big leaguer Jose Cruz Jr. and grandson of Jose Cruz — 11 picks later.
Detroit went back to Arizona State in the fourth round, taking Torkelson's switch-hitting teammate Gage Workman. Both were drafted by the Tigers as third basemen. So was fifth-rounder Colt Keith out of Biloxi High School in Mississippi. His selection ended Detroit's run on college position players, but the Tigers remained focused solely on hitting talent.
“The first thing you’re doing is trying to get impact,” said Scott Pleis, Detroit's director of amateur scouting. "And then, it’s hard to get bats if you don’t jump up and get them, too. You start passing them, and everybody gobbles them up.”
The Astros had to wait a while to make their first selection in this year’s draft after having their first- and second-round picks stripped by Commissioner Rob Manfred as part of the team’s punishment for breaking rules against using electronics to steal signs during games.
The New York Yankees were one of the teams to raise questions about wrongdoing by the Astros. Coincidentally, Houston took a pitcher from the Bronx at No. 72, hard-throwing Mount Saint Michael Academy right-hander Alex Santos.