Embed from Getty Images For the Detroit Tigers the 2018 MLB draft, most of the focus has been on Casey Mize, the first-overall selection. For good reason. Other players from the draft class have generated headlines and buzz: outfielder Parker Meadows (second round), second baseman Kody Clemens (third round) and outfielder Brock Deatherage (10th round).
It is starting to look like the Tigers found a gem in the ninth round. A pitcher who keeps turning heads: Tarik Skubal, a left-handed pitcher, whose fastball touches 95 m.p.h.
Skubal has 41 strikeouts for Single-A Lakeland, that not only leads the Florida State League but ranks 10th in all of minor league baseball. Skubal was a 2015 College Baseball Freshman All American at Seattle University. Skubal redshirted in 2017 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He came back and regained his velocity, recording 106 strikeouts in 80 innings but fought and struggled with his command, walking 56. Those walks might have scared off other teams, but the Detroit Tigers scouts saw enough in the left handed pitcher and took him in the ninth round.
Since joining the Tigers,Tarik Skubal has had no control issues. He bounced through three levels of the minor leagues last year, dominating along the way. If Tarik continues to develop, at his current rate it will be an all out draft pick steal for the Tigers organization.
It is not often players selected ninth round turn out in the major leagues. This is different. Tarik Skubal is starting to look like the Tigers found a gem.