Detroit Tigers select Nebraska second baseman Max Anderson with No. 45 pick in 2023 MLB draft

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers selected Nebraska second baseman Max Anderson with their second-round pick, No. 45 overall, in the 2023 MLB draft.

Anderson, 21, was the third pick by the Tigers in the draft on Sunday night in Seattle. The Tigers also added high school outfielder Max Clark with the No. 3 overall pick and high school shortstop Kevin McGonigle with the No. 37 overall pick.

Anderson was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2021.

“All we kept hearing was he can hit,” Tigers scouting director Mark Conner said Sunday. “If you go look at the stats and performance this year, that backs it up. He has a very high intense swing that’s looking to do damage. The barrel stays through the zone extremely long. He’s able to drive the ball to all fields.”

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In 2023, Anderson hit .414 with 20 doubles, two triples, 21 home runs, 20 walks and 29 strikeouts in 57 games, posting a career-high 1.232 OPS. He played third base, second base and first base in his three-year college tenure.

Anderson, a right-handed hitter, could become a full-time first baseman in the future because of his below-average defense.

The data stands out to evaluators.

He possesses easy above-average power to all fields with high in-zone contact rates. He swings a lot and sometimes chases outside of the strike zone, but when he swings inside the zone, he typically makes contact and creates damage.

The No. 45 pick used on Anderson comes with an MLB-determined bonus slot value of $1,906,200.

After three picks Sunday, the Tigers have 18 picks remaining in the 2023 draft, which continues with Rounds 3-10 beginning at 2 p.m. Monday and finishes with Rounds 11-20 beginning at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The next pick for the Tigers is No. 76 overall in the third round.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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