Ross Kivett -- taken in the sixth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft by the Tigers on Friday -- won Big 12 Player of the Year honors as a second baseman in 2013, but he opted not to sign with his hometown Cleveland Indians last summer so that he could make one more run at a College World Series. His Kansas State Wildcats fell well short this spring in a disappointing season, but Kivett jumped from a 10th-rounder to a sixth, and he still was drafted in the Midwest.
Kivett was a preseason All-American at second base, but shifted to center field during the season, as well as getting some starts at designated hitter. He batted .333 (70-for-210) with 13 doubles, four homers, 33 RBIs, 35 walks and 21 stolen bases. The versatility could carry over to the pros if the Tigers look for some utility in their positional ranks; Detroit listed him as a center fielder upon his selection.
He's an athletic player with more of a quick bat than a power bat, producing line drives in the gaps. Though the batting average took a drop, the speed and the talent remained.
"He was a second baseman, he played center field this year, he played shortstop," Tigers vice president of amateur scouting David Chadd said. "He's just a kid, if you look at historical statistics, he's been pretty phenomenal. He's always hit wherever he's been. He's a basestealer. He's a baseball player. Not that he has a lot of plusses; he doesn't. He's got a lot of averages across the board, but he's a very good player."
Kivett ranked 359th on Baseball America's Top 500 Draft prospects list.
The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 1 p.m. ET.