San Diego – Moving up in drafts is becoming a thing for the Tigers.
The day after moving up three slots – from No. 6 to No. 3 – in the first-ever MLB Draft lottery, they moved up from No. 6 to No. 5 in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday.
And with that pick, the Tigers selected 23-year-old right-hander Mason Englert off the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A roster.
Englert, who features a mid-90s fastball, a hard slider and above-average changeup, hasn’t pitched above Double-A. He had Tommy John surgery in 2019 but came back strong last season. In 21 starts at High-A Hickory, he punched out 136 with just 31 walks.
He’s averaged 10 strikeouts per nine innings in 43 minor-league starts and will immediately slot in at No. 25 on the Tigers’ prospect rankings per MLB Pipeline.
Per Rule 5 rules, the Tigers have to keep Englert on the big-league roster all season or offer him back to the Rangers.
In the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 draft, the Tigers selected another right-hander, 26-year-old reliever Layne Henderson from the Houston Astros.
Between Double-A and Triple-A last season, Henderson averaged 11.5 strikeouts and 4.1 walks per nine innings.
The Tigers didn’t lose any players in Major League Rule 5 draft, but they did lose two in the minor-league portion – infielder Dane Myers and right-handed pitcher Nick Kuzia, both off the Double-A Erie roster. Myers was selected by the Florida Marlins, Kuzia to the Colorado Rockies.
Myers, who started pro ball as a pitcher, hit 25 home runs for Erie last season. Kuzia came to the Tigers as a minor-league Rule 5 pick from San Diego two years ago.