Now Commenting On:

{"event":["draft_central" ] }

Tigers make Rice pitcher fourth-round pick

Tigers make Rice pitcher fourth-round pick

Tigers make Rice pitcher fourth-round pick

DETROIT -- Rice University has generated a fair amount of high-end pitching talent in the Draft over the years. While Austin Kubitza doesn't appear to be a Jeff Niemann or Philip Humber type, he's shown an ability to match up against the best pitchers in the college game, serving typically as Rice's Friday starter.

The Tigers made the 6-foot-5, 220-pound right-hander their fourth-round pick (126th overall) Friday. Kubitza struck out 125 batters in 100 innings in 16 starts. He's done so basically using two pitches, a fastball that sits in the upper 80s and can touch 90 mph with a ton of sink and a nasty slider that he has confidence in to throw in any count.

Kubitza does have a changeup, but never uses it. That lack of a third pitch, along with some command issues, has most thinking he's best-suited in a bullpen role in the future.

"We certainly think of him as a starter," Tigers vice president of amateur scouting David Chadd said. "I think he does have a feel for a changeup, and again, he's another guy in this year's Draft that had unbelievable numbers, especially strikeout numbers."

He was drafted in the seventh round out of high school by the Pirates in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, but chose not to sign. He's set to face North Carolina State in the Super Regional Round of the NCAA Tournament this weekend.

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Nightengalejr. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["draft_central" ] }
{"event":["draft_central" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español