The Detroit Tigers also had the 48th selection in tonight’s supplementary round of the MLB Draft. With that pick, Detroit took reliever Chance Ruffin from the University of Texas.
This past season, Ruffin saved 13 games as the Longhorns’ closer. (He took over that role from Austin Wood, drafted last year by the Tigers.) Ruffin also compiled 89 strikeouts in 58.1 innings. That performance earned him Big XII Baseball Player of the Year honors.
Here’s part of MLB Bonus Baby’s scouting report on him:
His fastball is solid-average to above-average, sitting 91-93, touching 95, and he complements it with a plus slider, solid-average curveball, and fringe-average changeup. The changeup is likely to be dropped at the next level if he’s kept in relief, but the slider and curveball represent solid pitches. He isn’t expected to add any more velocity, as he works with a smallish frame, but he’s a good pitcher with a track history for success and high makeup.
ESPN.com's Keith Law tabbed Ruffin 65th among his Top 100 amateur prospects. And among the 20 players he viewed as most ready for the majors, Ruffin was ranked 17th.
In the bullpen, he should move fairly quickly, but there's a decent chance the team that takes him will move him back to the rotation to see if he can pitch with an average or better fastball working every fifth day.
Ruffin is the son of former major league pitcher Bruce Ruffin.
You can read more discussion about Detroit’s draftees at SB Nation’s Tigers blog, Bless You Boys, and Minor League Ball.