With the 1st overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Detroit Tigers have selected Casey Mize, a right-handed pitcher out of the University of Auburn.
Mize is rather unanimously considered the best pitcher in this draft class, having three lights-out pitches he uses with relative ease to get guys out on. While he lacks an effective straight change, his fastball, slider, and splitter make for an incredibly effective three-pitch mix. His control is absolutely off-the-charts, and few doubt that Mize will eventually be an effective major league arm.
Mize started 16 games for the Bulldogs in 2018, finishing with an ERA of 2.95. Mize struck out a fantastic 12.45 hitters per nine innings and held his opponents to a sub-.200 batting average (.195). Mize’s sophomore ERA was even better, finishing at 2.04, though none of his peripherals stand up to this junior season.
Casey Mize, Preloading Back Leg/Stretch. pic.twitter.com/NtewxayPva
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 3, 2018
Mize went undrafted out of high school and has risen through the college ranks. Mize is the first pitcher to be drafted #1 overall since Brady Aiken in 2014, and should he make it to the bigs, will be the first #1 overall pitcher to do so since Gerrit Cole, who was selected first in 2011.
Detroit has taken a very arm-heavy approach to their rebuild, with four top-100 prospects, all of whom are right-handed pitchers. Mize likely comes in ahead of Alex Faedo and Beau Burrows, and maybe above Matt Manning, meaning he has a legitimate chance of immediately being Detroit’s number two prospect.