In his quest to both fill roster needs while keeping an eye on the future, Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman did both yesterday. Yzerman traded for Marc Staal of the New York Rangers and a second round draft pick in 2021 NHL draft in exchange for future considerations.
Marc Staal is clearly a player in decline at 33 years old. Last season for the Rangers Staal had appeared in 52 games with the Rangers last season, recording two goals and nine assists. He had one goal in three playoff games.
Staal a 13 year NHL veteran has one year left on his contract with a $5.7 million cap hit. Staal is a player who can be plugged into the fourth line and play limited minutes.
Steve Yzerman has been bent on adding draft picks since becoming Detroit’s general manager. Part of the rebuilding process, is to add draft picks, prospects, young players and future assets to really help us down the line.
In the 2020 and 2021 NHL draft’s Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings organization as of this moment have six second round draft pick in each draft. That will certainly help add future assets.
The Detroit Red Wings were an NHL worst dead last in defense last season. Yzerman said that defensemen Jonathan Ericsson and Trevor Daley would not be resigned.
By adding Staal, he can play the left side along with Patrik Nemeth and Danny DeKeyser. So it was a good trade in the aspect of helping the roster this season. With only one year left on his contract, Yzerman could feel another Red Wing prospect is close to being NHL ready. So a short contract does no derail a player from finishing his development and being in the roster mix at 2021 training camp.
Armed with draft picks, Steve Yzerman is giving his scouting department the opportunity to add important pieces to the Red Wings organization. Just as he said he would.
Embed from Getty Images In a minor league pipeline with the top rated pitching, the Detroit Tigers needed to add bats in this years MLB draft. Because this is the worst draft in 27 years for pitching the Tigers scouts got to work. They drafted Riley Greene, out of Hagerty (Florida) High School.
While drafting any player in any sport is a bit of a crap-shoot. There is high risk, high reward to picking players who are just fresh from completing High School. Yet, that is what the Detroit Tigers did last night.
Riley Greene, is a left-handed hitter. He has perhaps the most beautiful swing that I have seen from a lefty in a long time. Greene does not reach for pitches he has a firm grasp of the strike zone. Another great attribute Riley Green has, is he does not pull his head off the ball when swinging.
Detroit scouts believe Greene will fill out to 6′ 3″. Detroit has a long history of liking big (6′ 3″ and above) outfielders. Riley Greene is both athletic and versatile enough to be able to handle all three outfield positions. He grades as a 50 tools in the field. That is a fancy grade for Greene is above average in the field.
No we get to the hitting. Riley Greene was the best prep hitter in this years draft. But in the big picture. Greene was one of the top 4 hitters in the entire draft. Right now Riley grades at 60 contact and 60 power. Every baseball scout said when Greene is fully developed he will be 70 tools in both offensive categories. That is the max.
The one drawback is his lack of speed. Greene will not steal a lot of bases. With his bat it will not matter. He will hit above .300 and have 20+ homeruns.
The fact he was still on the board when Detroit picked made Tigers general manager Al Avila’s decision easy. The Detroit Tigers got the big bat that will balance their batting lineup post rebuild.
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.
Embed from Getty Images A product of the University of Hawaii, Jahani Tavai, was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the NFL draft. Lions fans were not happy with the draft pick. But upon further review Tavai is a solid pick.
Jahani Tavai, is a heavy handed linebacker who does not shy away from plays. He routinely wins reps. He plays extremely aggressive and has a high motor. At 6′ 2″ Jahani has the size needed to face NFL talent.
For his upside, as with any prospect Tavai has some downside. He lacks ideal speed and tries to make for it with athleticism which gets him into trouble at times. It leads to Tavai making hectic movements rather than playing with fluidity.
The reason Lions fans should have some optimism is a couple of things. Jahani Tavai has the size and toughness that jump out. He is an above average run stopper and is able to get pressure on the quarterback. The overall question is can he clean his game up enough to become a consistent every down linebacker.
Given his unpopular draft status with Detroit Lions fans, Tavai needs to come into rookie camp looking to improve and begin to learn the Lions defensive playbook. Not trying to prove his draft status. If he can clean his game up this could be a very good pick for the Lions.
Detroit scouts coaches and general manager believe with work and coaching Jahani Tavai can be the player they have envisioned him to be,