© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
06/08/07 8:24 PM ET
Tigers keep it in the family on Day 2
Detroit selects Kaline's grandson, Zumaya's brother
By Tim Kirby / MLB.com
Hopefully the old phrase "familiarity breeds contempt" doesn't hold true for the Tigers' 2007 Draft class. Otherwise, several of the Tigers' selections made on Day 2 of the First-Year Player Draft are in trouble. At least 11 players selected by the Tigers on Friday are likely familiar to fans in the state of Michigan. Two of them are related to former Major Leaguers, four of them are related to current members of the Tigers, while five others played in the state of Michigan at the college or high school level this past year. Cale Iorg, the son of former Blue Jay Garth Iorg, was selected by the Tigers in the seventh round. Colin Kaline, grandson of former Tiger Hall of Famer Al Kaline, was taken in Round 25. "I saw his name on the board, but I didn't [expect it]," Al Kaline said prior to Friday's game with the Mets. "I was kind of surprised, really, especially since they know he's going to go to college. As soon as they called me, they said, 'Congratulations.' I said, 'What for?'" Kaline, a second baseman at Birmingham Groves (Birmingham, Mich.) High School, had signed to play at Florida Southern next year. His famous grandfather said he wasn't sure what Colin's plans were. "I don't even think about it that way. I just tell him to have fun and enjoy college," Al said of Colin, who had a .532 batting average in 32 games this year after batting .500 last season. "When you get to your junior year, you know if you're going to be able to go play professional ball or not." "But mostly, I just encourage him to have fun and enjoy his college career. He's a very good student, so whatever he decides to do, he's going to be very good at whatever he does." Iorg, a shortstop who played one year at the University of Alabama before a mission trip took him to Portugal and away from baseball for the past two years, was the Tigers' first pick of the day in Round 7. Iorg won't return home until July 14, so it isn't known whether he will complete his final three years of eligibility with the Crimson Tide or sign with the Tigers. Garth Iorg said his son was "very excited" to hear the news that he had been drafted when he reached him by phone for a brief conversation on Friday afternoon. "I think it's a wise move for the Tigers," Garth Iorg said from his home in Knoxville, Tenn. "I think he's a heck of an athlete. Had he not gone on his trip, I think he would have been one of the top picks."
Complete Draft list >The family affair didn't end there. Matt Robertson, a right-handed pitcher from Valley Center (Valley Center, Kan.) High School and current Tigers righty Nate Robertson's brother, was taken in Round 42. Richard Zumaya, a right-handed pitcher from Bonita Vista High School (Chula Vista, Calif.) and injured Tigers reliever Joel's brother, was taken one round later. "I don't let up on my little brother," Joel told the San Diego Union-Tribune before last year's World Series. "He wants to grow up to be a professional baseball player. I'm teaching him early how to do things. If he wants to play catch with me, he has to know I'm not going to throw an underhand softball." First baseman Wade Lamont, son of Tigers bench coach Gene, was taken in Round 21 out of Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla.. Shortstop Shawn Roof, son of Tigers roving outfield instructor Gene, was taken in Round 33 out of the University of Illinois. The Tigers also picked up five in-state players on Day 2. The most notable was D.J. LeMahieu, Michigan's two-time Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year. The shortstop out of Birmingham Brother Rice (Birmingham, Mich.) High School is the only player from Michigan that has been named Player of the Year twice. Not even Derek Jeter or Drew Henson accomplished that feat. "This is a kid who lives and breathes baseball," Brother Rice head coach Bob Riker said in a statement. "He has baseball in his blood and it shows every time he plays. He is the most mentally tough kid I've ever met." LaMahieu had accepted a scholarship to play baseball at Louisiana State University next season and will weigh his options after he was selected in Round 41 by the Tigers. Andrew Hess, a native of Kalamazoo, Mich., was taken in Round 19 out of the University of Michigan. The right-hander has a 7-2 record with a 4.52 ERA this season. Jonathon Kibler, a junior at Michigan State University, was taken in Round 30. Kibler, a left-hander, was 5-5 with three complete games and a 4.34 ERA for the Spartans this season. Toby Matchulat, a right-hander from Redford Union (Redford, Mich.) High School was taken in Round 37. "I'd like to be a professional baseball player," Matchulat said recently in the Redford Observer. "[Thursday], there was a Detroit Tigers scout here and he said he was going to get the boss [to] come out the next time I pitch." "That would be awesome," he said about the possibility of playing for the Tigers. Kolby Wood, a right-handed pitcher from Berrien Springs (Berrien Springs, Mich.) High School, was Detroit's final selection of 2007 in Round 44. They opted not to select a player in the final six rounds. Overall, pitching appeared to be the focus for the Tigers in the 2007 Draft. They selected 28 pitchers last year and chose 25 in '07. Position players up the middle were the main selections when the Tigers weren't drafting pitchers. Only four players selected were listed as playing corner positions. Any player selected will have until Aug. 15 to sign with the team or they will be put into next year's Draft pool. The Tigers signed 31 of their 50 picks in last year's Draft.
Top MLB Draft Picks
Top 10 overall picks
|1. TB||SS||Tim Beckham||Griffin HS (Ga.)|
|2. PIT||3B||Pedro Alvarez||Vanderbilt U|
|3. KC||1B||Eric Hosmer||Am. Heritage Sch. (Fla.)|
|4. BAL||LHP||Brian Matusz||U of San Diego|
|5. SF||C||Gerald Posey||Florida State U|
|6. FLA||C||Kyle Skipworth||Patriot HS (Calif.)|
|7. CIN||1B||Yonder Alonso||U of Miami|
|8. CWS||SS||Gordon Beckham||U of Georgia|
|9. WAS||RHP||Aaron Crow||U Missouri Columbia|
|10. HOU||C||Jason Castro||Stanford U|
|Complete Draft results >|
Tim Kirby is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.