Top 42 Prospects: Detroit Tigers by Eric Longenhagen and Kevin Goldstein March 17, 2021 Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the Detroit Tigers. Scouting reports were compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as our own observations. As there was no minor league season in 2020, there are some instances where no new information was gleaned about a player. Players whose write-ups have not been meaningfully altered begin by telling you so. Each blurb ends with an indication of where the player played in 2020, which in turn likely informed the changes to their report if there were any. As always, we’ve leaned more heavily on sources from outside of a given org than those within for reasons of objectivity. Because outside scouts were not allowed at the alternate sites, we’ve primarily focused on data from there, and the context of that data, in our opinion, reduces how meaningful it is. Lastly, in an effort to more clearly indicate relievers’ anticipated roles, you’ll see two reliever designations, both on team lists and on The Board: MIRP, or multi-inning relief pitcher, and SIRP, or single-inning relief pitcher. For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed, you can click here. For further explanation of Future Value’s merits and drawbacks, read Future Value. All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It can be found here. Top Prospects Team Lists 2021 2020 ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG Tigers Top Prospects Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV 1 Spencer Torkelson 21.6 R 1B 2022 60 2 Matt Manning 23.1 AA SP 2021 60 3 Tarik Skubal 24.3 MLB SP 2021 60 4 Casey Mize 23.9 MLB SP 2021 55 5 Riley Greene 20.5 A RF 2022 55 6 Dillon Dingler 22.5 R C 2023 45+ 7 Parker Meadows 21.4 A CF 2022 45 8 Cristian Santana 17.3 R SS 2025 45 9 Isaac Paredes 22.1 MLB 3B 2021 45 10 Joey Wentz 23.4 AA SP 2021 45 11 Alex Lange 25.5 AA SIRP 2021 40+ 12 Daniel Cabrera 22.5 R LF 2022 40+ 13 Nick Quintana 23.4 A 3B 2022 40+ 14 Wenceel Perez 21.4 A SS 2022 40 15 Trei Cruz 22.7 R 2B 2024 40 16 Adinso Reyes 19.4 R 3B 2023 40 17 Alex Faedo 25.3 AA SP 2022 40 18 Akil Baddoo 22.6 A+ CF 2021 40 19 Roberto Campos 17.8 R RF 2025 40 20 Gage Workman 21.4 R 3B 2024 40 21 Zack Short 25.8 AAA SS 2021 40 22 Bryant Packard 23.4 A+ LF 2023 40 23 Colt Keith 19.6 R SS 2025 40 24 Jake Rogers 25.9 MLB C 2021 40 25 Paul Richan 24.0 A+ SP 2022 40 26 Daz Cameron 24.2 MLB CF 2021 40 27 Jason Foley 25.4 A+ SIRP 2021 40 28 Zack Hess 24.1 A SIRP 2022 40 29 Ryan Kreidler 23.3 A- 3B 2022 40 30 Kody Clemens 24.8 AA 2B 2021 40 31 Jack Kenley 23.4 A 2B 2023 40 32 Wilkel Hernandez 21.9 A SP 2022 40 33 Keider Montero 20.7 A- SIRP 2023 35+ 34 Franklin Pérez 23.3 AA SP 2021 35+ 35 Elvin Rodriguez 23.0 A+ SP 2021 35+ 36 Beau Burrows 24.5 MLB SP 2021 35+ 37 Andre Lipcius 22.8 A 3B 2023 35+ 38 Jose De La Cruz 19.2 R RF 2024 35+ 39 Angel De Jesus 24.1 A+ SIRP 2021 35+ 40 Wladimir Pinto 23.1 AA SIRP 2021 35+ 41 Sam McMillan 22.3 A C 2023 35+ 42 Carlos Guzman 22.8 A+ SIRP 2022 35+ Reading Options Detail Level Data Only Full Position Filter All All C 1B 2B SS 3B OF LF CF RF LHP RHP 60 FV Prospects 1. Spencer Torkelson, 1B Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2020 from Arizona State (DET) Age 21.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 230 Bat / Thr R / R FV 60 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/60 65/70 35/65 40/40 40/40 40 Torkelson broke Barry Bonds‘ freshman home run record at Arizona State and the school moved the fences in for his sophomore season, so he had another great year and looked likely to break both the ASU and Pac-12 career marks as a junior before COVID-19 ended the season. Indeed, after he hit a combined .336/.445/.722 as a freshman and sophomore, Tork was off to a ridiculous .340/.598/.780 start to his final college season, and was leading the country in walks as opposing pitchers began to fearfully dump in more and more breaking balls against him. As the draft approached, he began to swing over the top of those breaking balls more than usual, which might have been because either he was pressing due to the looming draft, or because of the lack of an impact sidekick in ASU’s lineup since Hunter Bishop was no longer hitting behind him. Torkelson has sublime hitter’s timing, plus bat speed, and above-average barrel control and ball/strike recognition, really only struggling with those breaking balls located beneath the zone, which may be easy to remedy with a slightly longer stride to create more barrel depth. The Tigers announced him as a third baseman, and it makes sense for them to explore if he can be even a 35- or 40-grade defender there. He’s been surprisingly acceptable at third this spring, but with body comps to Yankees first baseman Luke Voit, it’s going to be a struggle to stick there. It’s a tough profile, but his elite statistical track record and the visual evaluation of Torkelson’s hitting acumen align and serve to generate confidence that he’ll be a thumping, heart of the order hitter. And Detroit will probably allow him to move quickly since so much of their young pitching is now arriving in the big leagues. (Alternate site, Fall Instructional League) 2. Matt Manning, SP Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from Sheldon HS (CA) (DET) Age 23.1 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 60 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 60/60 50/55 45/55 93-96 / 98 A large part of the reason Manning ranked first on last year’s Tigers list was because he had neither Casey Mize’s injury red flags nor Tarik Skubal’s relief risk. Then in late August, he was shut down with a forearm strain, the first real blemish on what had been an immaculate track record of arm health (his 2018 IL stint was due to an oblique injury). Manning has publicly downplayed the severity of that injury and has been healthy and throwing all offseason without issue. We’d rather he have been totally healthy, but this injury doesn’t seem severe enough to alter his stock. All of the physical components that many front-end arms have while they’re in high school were present when Manning was an amateur — shooting guard frame, premium arm strength and athleticism, a breaking ball — and remain so today. He has pretty good feel for location and balance for a young 6-foot-6 guy who takes such a gargantuan stride off the mound, and that should continue improving with time and reps. Manning starts on the extreme first base side of the rubber and has a cross-bodied, drop-and-drive style delivery that creates flat angle on his fastball, which gets on hitters quickly. And Manning goes right at hitters with that fastball (60% in-zone rate in 2019), which has the cut/carry traits typical of a power pitcher’s fastball. His arm slot is much different now than it was in high school, a testament to Detroit’s dev group and Manning’s ability to make adjustments without a drop off in on-field performance. Since entering pro ball, his walks have come down, Manning’s changeup has gotten better, and he started working with two different fastballs and was clearly manipulating the shape of his spike curveball depending on the hitter and situation in 2019. Now he’s working on a second breaking ball. Assuming the forearm issues are behind him, Manning has front-end starter ceiling and will likely make his big league debut in 2021. (Alternate site) 3. Tarik Skubal, SP Video Drafted: 9th Round, 2018 from Seattle (DET) Age 24.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr L / L FV 60 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 70/70 60/60 45/45 45/50 35/45 93-96 / 97 Skubal had recovered enough from Tommy John to throw a few bullpens for scouts toward the end of his junior year, but his camp thought he could do better than what was being offered, so he returned to school for his redshirt junior year. He was horrendous early the next season before he slowly began to throw more and more strikes as the draft approached. He’s dominated opposing hitters since signing, amassing 212 strikeouts in 145 minor league innings before his 2020 big league debut. Until he set foot in the big leagues, Skubal had some relief risk because he was working with his fastball at a bizarre rate in the minors. His delivery looks like a pterodactyl is trying to throw a baseball, and it forces hitters to deal with a very strange look and angle, as well as big velocity and carry at the top of the zone. So unhittable is Skubal’s heater that he’s struck out 37% of hitters during his minor league career (48% over the final few weeks over Double-A play in 2019) while throwing the pitch roughly 70% of the time. No current big leaguer with a fastball that plays at the top of the zone throws their fastball that much, and anyone close to 70% is a sinkerballer. During his initial 2020 big league trial, Skubal was quite wild early on but, just as in his draft year, he slowly started to work more efficiently toward the end of the summer. His changeup (which has lateral action but almost no sink, which is sort of bizarre) and slider are now clearly his best non-fastball weapons, though he can only reliably throw the fastball for strikes. In addition to some of the visual command problems, Skubal’s release point is highly variable. Because he has such a nasty mix of stuff, and because he has shown a slow, but relevant command progression in the past and seems to be doing it again, we’re still inclined to project Skubal as a mid-rotation starter rather than the highest-ranked reliever on this list. He’ll generate amazing rate stats early in his career but probably won’t work deep into games, but he has top-of-the-rotation ceiling if he can develop better command. (Alternate site, MLB) 55 FV Prospects 4. Casey Mize, SP Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Auburn (DET) Age 23.9 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Splitter Command Sits/Tops 55/55 60/60 70/70 55/60 92-95 / 97 There are pitchers ahead of Mize on the top 100 who have worse stuff, or whose repertoires aren’t as deep, or who have a shorter track record of performance if we look back to Mize’s time at Auburn. But we’re sufficiently scared of Mize’s injury history (a strain that required a PRP injection in college, shoulder inflammation in 2019) to slide him behind players of a similar talent. If he stays healthy, then he’ll be a (WAR-based) No. 2 starter, capable of pitching at the top of a contender’s rotation, and likely have dominant stretches over the next half decade. Mize’s fastball doesn’t have bat-missing carry but when he’s totally healthy, it’s hard and he locates it as well as his plus-plus splitter. We don’t think his upper-80s “slider” has the length to miss bats and instead think it’ll eventually be used to induce weak contact rather than as a putaway pitch. His curveball, which Mize has better demarcated from his “slider” since entering pro ball, might emerge as the finishing weapon. There remains a large swath of the industry that is fearful of cutter/splitter guys, and we don’t know if that’s justified but it certainly impacts how teams internally line up the Tigers prospects. What we do think is that players who have been hurt in the past are the ones most likely to get hurt again, and while we know it’s begun to feel like every pitcher gets hurt at some point, there’s more smoke here than in most other cases. We have a Masahiro Tanaka comp on Mize. (Alternate site, MLB) 5. Riley Greene, RF Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Hagerty HS (FL) (DET) Age 20.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / L FV 55 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/60 50/55 35/55 50/45 45/50 55 Advanced high school hitters are common on Florida’s diamonds, and while Greene constantly squared up top high school pitching as well as any of his peers, he also underwent a bit of a physical transformation that made at least some scouts more optimistic that he’ll be able to play an instincts-driven center field long-term. During his pre-draft summer, Greene was a little soft-bodied, his running gait was odd, and he seemed destined to play little more than an average outfield corner. The player scouts watched the following spring had a better physical composition, was more explosive and a better runner, and had as ripe a high school hit tool as was available in the draft. This was similar to how Jarred Kelenic’s skills were colored as he came out of high school. Greene’s swing, curated by his father from an early age, is beautiful. He can clear his hips and turn on just about anything on the inner half, drop the bat head and lift balls with power, strike balls the other way with authority, and he tracked and whacked many high school benders. The bend and flexion in Greene’s front knee as his swing clears the point of impact is reminiscent of several Dodgers hitters. Though there are many examples of Greene having certain types of athleticism (he is a tremendous leaper, for instance), he’s not a runner and we don’t have him projected in center field. But we think he’ll hit enough that it doesn’t matter. Though he started a string of high-upside early 20-somethings on this year’s top 100, his skills are more comparable to those of the polished college draftees in their mid-20s who are slightly ahead of him there because they’re further up the minor league ladder. (Alternate site, Fall Instructional League) 45+ FV Prospects 6. Dillon Dingler, C Drafted: 2nd Round, 2020 from Ohio State (DET) Age 22.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 50/50 30/45 45/45 45/55 55 Dingler was in the midst of a breakout campaign at Ohio State during the spring of 2020, putting up at 1.164 OPS in 13 games before the pandemic shut everything down. Catchers tend to go early in the draft, and the Tigers were surprised to see him still on the board with the first pick of the second round; they quickly signed him to the slot-recommended bonus of just under $2 million. Dingler checks a lot of boxes scouts look for in future big league catchers, combining size and strength with above-average athleticism for the position. He has a decent approach and solid hand-eye coordination, and some scouts see average or better power developing in the future after he hit five home runs in 13 games last spring; he entered the year having notched just seven over 102 games as a freshman and sophomore with the Buckeyes. Setting up with a slightly closed stance, Dingler’s swing can get a bit lengthy and uphill, leaving him susceptible to balls in the upper half of the zone, but he nonetheless projects as an above-average offensive contributor for the position. He needs to work on some of the physical intricacies of catching, but arrives to pro ball with all of the intangibles in terms of leadership and game management. His arm is plus, with consistent sub-2.00 pop times, but he can take some time to unfold his big frame and let it fly. Spending time with the big league club this spring, Dingler has a chance to move quickly and has taken the mantle as Detroit’s catcher of the future. (Alternate site) 45 FV Prospects 7. Parker Meadows, CF Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from Grayson HS (GA) (DET) Age 21.4 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 55/60 30/50 60/60 45/55 60 Coming out of high school, Parker was seen as a larger-framed, more athletic version of his brother, Rays outfielder Austin Meadows, who was the ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft. Parker was also seen as having a larger gap between his tools and skills, which dropped him to the second round, and the rawness in his game was evident during his full-season debut. Meadows is an eye-catching athlete with tremendous upside. He’s starting to fill into his 6-foot-5 frame but remains a plus runner with above-average power potential. His arm is a third plus tool and while he has some experience in center, most feel right field is his future position, and he has a chance to impact the game in a corner spot. The biggest question for scouts is just how much Meadows is going to hit. He’s exceptionally noisy pre-swing, with a big bat waggle while bouncing on his front foot, and his swing initiates in the wrong direction, creating significant bat wrap. There’s plenty of bat speed on display, which, along with a solid approach, gives him some foundation for future success provided there are mechanical adjustments. This is a player with a very wide range of potential outcomes. (Fall Instructional League) 8. Cristian Santana, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2021 from Dominican Republic (DET) Age 17.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/60 40/50 25/50 50/45 40/45 50 Among the more polished hitters in the most recent international class, Santana’s swing is compact but dynamic throughout the hitting zone, he has natural feel for all-fields contact and his swing’s gentle loft creates power without compromising much contact. He’s this year’s Placido Polanco comp, projecting to play second or third and hit enough to profile there. (International signee) 9. Isaac Paredes, 3B Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Mexico (CHC) Age 22.1 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 213 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 55/60 50/50 40/45 30/20 40/40 50 If there’s one thing Paredes can do, it’s hit. Indeed, that’s the one thing he can do, and has been doing for a while. He’s a career .277 hitter in the minors and amassed a .291/.376/.425 line in 166 Double-A games leading up to 2020, which he spent at the alt site until he was given a month-long big league carafe at the end of the summer. Then Paredes went to Mexico, where he has spent each of the last three offseasons, and as usual was the best hitter in the entire Pacific League. He’s quite comfortable in the box, and shows balance throughout his swing and fantastic hand-eye coordination. Playing winter ball has helped Paredes keep his high-maintenance build in check and it’s better now than it was when he was in the low minors with the Cubs. He’s just not a very good athlete or defender and doesn’t have the thump typical of a corner infielder who can’t field well. There aren’t many contact-only third basemen in the game, and this, along with concerns about his athletic longevity, caused us to slide Paredes out of the back of the Top 100. He’s still a likely big league role player. (Alternate site, MLB, Mexican Pacific League, Caribbean Series) 10. Joey Wentz, SP Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from Shawnee Mission East HS (MO) (ATL) Age 23.4 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 209 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/45 45/50 55/60 45/55 88-92 / 94 It’s been almost a year to the day of this list’s publication since Wentz had Tommy John; he will begin the 2021 season finishing his last several weeks of rehab. Let’s recall how he got here: Wentz was a two-way high schooler who spent his entire pre-draft summer as a position player while he rested his arm. His pre-draft spring was uneven but his velocity climbed as selection day approached, and he was 92-95 in a few outings just before the draft. Injuries (shoulder and oblique issues in 2018, then the TJ) and fluctuations in velocity (sometimes 91-93, sometimes 87-91) mixed with continued refinement of his secondary stuff. In addition to the overhand curveball he had in high school, Wentz has developed a fantastic changeup and it’s become his best secondary pitch. So long as his velocity returns to normal, Wentz’s fastball should play, as it has backspin and carry. The Tigers also seem to be pretty good at optimizing pitches and Wentz has only made a handful of starts in this org since being acquired for Shane Greene, so perhaps during rehab something about his breaking ball will change or tighten. To simply return to pre-injury form would put Wentz in the No. 4/5 starter range. (TJ rehab) 40+ FV Prospects 11. Alex Lange, SIRP Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from LSU (CHC) Age 25.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 197 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 60/60 50/50 55/55 35/40 95-97 / 98 Tigers fans are no doubt eager to see the how quickly the rookie Top 100 starters assert themselves in the big leagues but don’t sleep on Lange, who has a shot to make a high-leverage impact out of the bullpen this year. After several down years, Lange’s 2019 velocity was back to what it was during his best days at LSU, and his strikeout rate spiked after the Tigers, who got him as part of the Nick Castellanos return from the Cubs, moved him to the bullpen. He’s throwing even harder this year. After sitting 91-93 and touching 95 in 2019, he was consistently 93-95 during 2020 instructs and has been 95-97 during spring training this year. Our high speed footage shows Lange throwing two different breaking balls, though their movement is hard to distinguish in real time because they both have big vertical depth. Like he did during his peak college days, Lange looks like a fire-breathing late-inning reliever who sprays several plus pitches. (Fall Instructional League) 12. Daniel Cabrera, LF Drafted: 2nd Round, 2020 from LSU (DET) Age 22.5 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 50/55 30/50 45/45 45/50 50 A consistent performer both as a high school hutter and at a powerhouse LSU program, Cabrera was Detroit’s second round pick last June and signed for a slightly over-slot bonus of $1.2 million. Cabrera doesn’t light anything up in terms of tools grades, but he’s one of those players “more than the sum of his parts” players without a real weakness in his game. He leans his weight hard on his back foot and employs a bucket step in his swing, which leaves some to worry about his ability to make adjustments against major-league quality off-speed pitches. The bat is quick, the swing level, and he shows consistent gap power with the potential for 15-20 home runs annually in a full-time role. He’s a solid baserunner who can steal the occasional base and the arm is enough for right field. Cabrera’s skillset is the kind that moves quickly through the minors, but he’s an unlikely star. (Fall Instructional League) 13. Nick Quintana, 3B Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Arizona (DET) Age 23.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/50 55/55 30/50 40/40 50/60 55 Quintana was a high school prospect of repute from Las Vegas, then hit .317/.424/.565 during his career at Arizona, squaring up everything but well-located breaking balls, which he tends to swing over top of. His track record of hitting and the likelihood that he’d stay on the dirt had him in teams’ late first, early second round mix. He really struggled after the draft, then had no 2020 season to rebound. Quintana is also one of those prospects who had trouble working out and doing baseball activities throughout 2020 because of the safety measures in place in Vegas, and this impacted his fall look. He’s still in a holding pattern on this list but could have an average hit/average power combo and play every day at third base. (Fall Instructional League) 40 FV Prospects 14. Wenceel Perez, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (DET) Age 21.4 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 40/40 30/30 60/60 40/50 55 Perez earned a signing bonus a smidge over half a million in the 2016 international class based on his defensive prowess and natural hitting ability, and both of those skills have translated to the pros, although the rest of his game still leaves plenty of room for development. Perez has well-above average contact skills with a quick swing out of a wide crouch that is very short to the ball. It’s designed to generates line drives and does just that, spraying balls to all fields, but he rarely impacts a baseball or projects to ever do so. He’s an adept bunter and a plus runner. He’s an intense, high-energy player who has the hands and arm to play shortstop all the way up the ladder, but he has trouble playing within himself and has a tendency to rush plays. He has a utility floor, but with the ability to stay at baseball’s toughest position and a tendency to put the bat on the baseball, there’s upside for more. (Fall Instructional League) 15. Trei Cruz, 2B Drafted: 3rd Round, 2020 from Rice (DET) Age 22.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/50 40/40 30/40 50/50 40/50 45 With both his father and grandfather having played in the majors, Cruz has big league bloodlines and he carried himself like a pro during his three years at Rice, where he played himself into a third-round pick by the Tigers last June. Cruz gets the most out of somewhat limited tools. He had one of the best approaches in the draft. He knows his zone and rarely swings out of it. He’s a competent hitter with gap power who could reach double-digit home runs to go with the on-base skills. Cruz doesn’t offer much in the way of twitch. He’s a fringy runner with a merely average arm, and will likely need to slide over to second base as a pro, which puts more pressure on the bat. He’s a safer bet to reach the big leagues as a fan-favorite grinder type, but don’t expect gaudy numbers. (Fall Instructional League) 16. Adinso Reyes, 3B Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (DET) Age 19.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/50 50/55 25/50 50/45 40/50 70 Reyes was one of the best pure bats in the 2018 international class, earning him a $1.45 million bonus. His power was on immediate display during his first season in the Dominican Summer League, where he slugged over .500. Reyes drew some comparisons to a young Rafael Devers at a similar age. There’s plus bat speed here and the potential for big time power to go along with a decent feel to hit out of the kind of coiled swing one frequently finds in Cuban prospects. He needs to tighten his approach and he’s prone to chasing, but the Tigers hope that can be improved with reps. Bulky and broad-chested, Reyes is strong but not especially athletic. While he played shortstop in his debut, a move to third base is seen as an inevitability, but with decent hands and a well above-average arm, he should adjust well to the hot corner. The type of player significantly affected by last year’s lack of games, it will be interesting to see if Detroit challenges him with a full-season assignment this spring. (DR Instructional League) 17. Alex Faedo, SP Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from Florida (DET) Age 25.3 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 230 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/50 60/60 40/45 55/60 90-93 / 95 Almost simultaneously, Faedo and Matt Manning were both shut down with forearm strains while at the alternate site last summer. Months later, Faedo needed Tommy John while Manning has been throwing as hard as ever in spring training. Faedo has had several surgeries now, including one on both of his knees. He sat out the summer of 2017, then returned in ’18 with a fastball several ticks lower than where it was at peak before a ’19 resurgence into the 90-93 range. Faedo’s slider and slider command give him a real out-pitch, but his fastball has little margin for error because of its movement and Faedo hasn’t really had the reps to find a consistent changeup in pro ball. He looks like a No. 4/5 starter when totally healthy but simply hasn’t been that for much of his career. (Alternate site) 18. Akil Baddoo, CF Drafted: 2nd Round, 2016 from Salem HS (GA) (MIN) Age 22.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 50/55 30/45 60/60 40/50 40 Despite having a middling career in terms of overall performance, the Tigers selected Baddoo in last year’s Rule 5 draft based on his tools and on-base skills, and he’s off to a strong start this spring. Baddoo has always impressed in terms of tools since he was selected by the Twins in the second round of the 2016 draft. Built like an NFL defensive back, he has above average raw power and speed, but it comes with questions about the bat. He has an excellent understanding of the strike zone, but misses plenty of off-speed pitches in the zone, with some scouts pointing to a swing that is far from smooth and simple. He’s a solid center fielder, but has not recovered well from a previous Tommy John surgery and has a below average arm. Scouts love the makeup and Baddoo hasn’t been overwhelmed by the big league opportunity and competition in front of him this spring. He has a good chance to stick with the Tigers as a fourth outfielder this year, but that might also be his ceiling. (Fall Instructional League) 19. Roberto Campos, RF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Cuba (DET) Age 17.8 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/50 55/60 25/55 45/40 40/50 50 Campos was a bit of a mystery to some teams when he earned a club-record $2.85 million international bonus in 2019. The star of several youth teams in Cuba, Campos established residency in the Dominican Republic at the age of 13 and was difficult to see. Trained by ex-Tiger Alex Sanchez at a facility close to Detroit’s complex, Campos did few workouts for teams while also avoiding the showcase and prospect league circuits, but was still seen as one of the top power prospects in the class. Physically, Campos has a present big league look. He’s tremendously strong, and the stories of his home runs at Tigers camp in the DR have reached the mythological stage. He takes a big cut, but it’s a smooth, easy swing that allows his strength to work for him. Scouts have had few, if any, in-game looks at Campos, so it’s nearly impossible to draw conclusions in terms of approach and overall contact ability. He’s athletic for his size and projects as an acceptable right fielder with a solid arm. There are a million questions that need to be answered about Campos, and hopefully they will begin to be in 2021. (DR Instructional League) 20. Gage Workman, 3B Drafted: 4th Round, 2020 from Arizona State (DET) Age 21.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 50/55 30/50 40/40 45/60 55 A fourth-round pick who signed for $1 million, Workman’s body, tools and youth (he was a 20-year-old junior) intrigued teams more than his inconsistent performances at Arizona State, where he played the infield along with first overall pick Spencer Torkelson. Workman certainly looks the part, packing plenty of athleticism into his 6-foot-4 frame. He has plus raw power, a good arm, and runs well for his size. While primarily a third baseman in college, the Tigers were intrigued by his shortstop play in the Cape Cod League and he impressed the team at instructs last fall when he returned to the position. All the questions about Workman revolves around the bat. He never tempered his high strikeout rate in college, and is an overly aggressive hitter who gets himself into bad counts by chasing. Just showing he has a chance to stick at shortstop increases his prospect value, but all eyes will be on the offensive performance as he makes his pro debut. (Fall Instructional League) 21. Zack Short, SS Drafted: 17th Round, 2016 from Sacred Heart (CHC) Age 25.8 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/40 45/45 45/45 45/45 50/50 50 Short is a Cistulli Special, a relatively unheralded up-the-middle player who walks and hits the ball in the air a lot. That describes Short, who makes a lot of pull side airborne contact. Prior to 2019, his groundball rates were down around 30%, then were closer to average that season. His strikeout rate also spiked in 2019 (32% that year, 21% career), but it’s hard to know whether that was because Short struggled with Triple-A pitching or because of a broken hand suffered at the start of the year. At the Cubs’ alternate site for much of 2020, Short was traded to Detroit for Cameron Maybin at the deadline. His leg kick looks like it’s been toned down this spring, but he didn’t make the team out of camp because he missed time due to both the COVID and concussion protocols (he was hit in the head with a pitch). The tools here indicate a good middle infield bench player. Short can play both second base and shortstop, he’s patient and can hit pitches in most of the zone, and he’s going to have doubles power when he makes contact. (Alternate site) 22. Bryant Packard, LF Drafted: 5th Round, 2019 from East Carolina (DET) Age 23.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 55/55 35/55 30/30 35/40 40 Packard was an interesting buy-low guy in the 2019 draft. His power output dipped during his junior year at East Carolina because of injuries (back and wrist), but he had a stock-up summer after the draft, slashing .296/.392/.422 across three levels. He is patient, swings with verve, has above-average raw power, and looks like a potential Lucas Duda type from a body and swing standpoint. He’s sometimes guilty of simply swinging through the center of the zone rather than guiding his barrel to the pitch location, but his hands are really loose and fast. The shaky feel for the barrel slides him below some other role-player types in the system from a certainty standpoint. (Fall Instructional League) 23. Colt Keith, SS Drafted: 5th Round, 2020 from Biloxi HS (MS) (DET) Age 19.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 45/50 25/50 40/35 40/50 55 One of the more intriguing two-way players in the 2020 draft, Keith was seen by many teams as unsignable after the first three rounds. But the Tigers did their homework and took a chance on him in the fifth and final round, ultimately landing him with a slightly over-slot bonus of $500,000. Keith offers an intriguing combination of size, strength and athleticism. He’s an average runner despite his big frame and his mechanically sound swing produces consistent hard contact. A shortstop in high school, he’ll slide over to third base as a pro, and while his actions and glove work need some tightening up, he projects as average at the hot corner with a well above-average arm that sat in the low-to-mid 90s on the mound. Keith is raw and needs considerable reps and instruction to reach his potential. He might not be ready for a full-season assignment this spring, but with the Tigers focusing him solely on being a position player, they hope to simplify his development a bit. (Fall Instructional League) 24. Jake Rogers, C Drafted: 3rd Round, 2016 from Tulane (HOU) Age 25.9 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 192 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/30 50/50 40/50 40/40 70/80 70 Rogers was a third-round pick in 2016 despite a career .233/.333/.309 batting line during his three years at Tulane. One of the best defensive catchers in recent drafts, Rogers was a key part of the 2017 Justin Verlander deal with Houston, and while he’s shined behind the plate and displayed some raw power, big questions about the bat remain. Any discussion of Rogers begins with his defense. He’s a quiet receiver with soft hands and he excels in the catcher intangibles with excellent game calling and on-field leadership. He’s gunned down nearly 50% of opposing base stealers as a pro, and while his arm strength is plus, it’s his accuracy that really stands out, with throws consistently on a line and on the bag. Overall, it’s a very valuable defensive package, but Rogers’ bat will ultimately define his playing time. While he has plus raw power, we has a well-below average hit tool thanks to a grooved swing that gives him little plate coverage and leads to plenty of swing-and-miss. The floor here is a fine defensively-minded backup catcher, but that is also the most likely ceiling. (Alternate site) 25. Paul Richan, SP Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from San Diego (CHC) Age 24.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 40/40 40/40 45/45 45/50 55/60 89-91 / 93 Richan was a money-saving second-round pick by the Cubs in 2018, and his ability to throw strikes made him attractive to Detroit, who acquired him as part of the Nick Castellanos deal the following year. While he’s struggled to keep runs off the board at times, his career ratio of 146 strikeouts against just 25 walks over 153.1 pro innings points to his greatest strength. Richan is an extreme strike thrower, but he also has plus command. His fastball is only in the 90-92 range, but he can locate it and his average, low-80s slider, which serves as his primary secondary pitch. He can take a bit off the breaker for more of a pure curve, which he uses as an early strike stealer, and while his mid-80s changeup is a bit firm, it has decent fade. Richan can be guilty of too many strikes at times, offering too many drivable pitches when he’s ahead in the count. He doesn’t have a weapon that plays well in the zone, so he’ll need plus plus command to find any kind of consistency at the big league level. He has the ceiling of a No. 4 or 5 starter, but also could be the type who bounces between Triple-A and the majors for a decade. (Fall Instructional League) 26. Daz Cameron, CF Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2015 from Eagle’s Landing Christian HS (GA) (HOU) Age 24.2 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/40 50/50 40/45 50/50 50/55 55 Coming off his worst statistical season as a pro, Cameron needed a bounce-back campaign, but instead we had the bizarre cadence of 2020. Cameron was at the alternate site, at one point hit the COVID IL, and had a tough 59 plate appearances in the big leagues during a September look. His above-average speed (Daz covers ground in center and runs well underway, but he takes a while getting out of the box and ran a lot of 4.4s home to first in 2020) plays better in center thanks to excellent reads and jumps, and his arm is average if not a tick above. He can flash average power at times, but his best offensive trait as a pro has been an advanced knowledge of the strike zone. While he draws his fair share of walks, he has also accumulated disturbingly high strikeout totals, with some pointing to a hitch-driven, scoopy swing. Because of his skillbase (fine in center, strike zone feel, some power) Daz still has a shot to end up producing like a 45 or 50 if he can simply outhit where we currently have him projected. If not, then he’s more like a traditional fourth outfielder. (Alternate site, MLB, Puerto Rican Winter League) 27. Jason Foley, SIRP Drafted: 0 Round, 2016 from Sacred Heart (DET) Age 25.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 65/65 45/45 40/40 94-97 / 100 Foley signed as an undrafted free agent after the Tigers saw him throwing in a collegiate wood bat league the summer after he was draft eligible. He was a tall, softer-bodied righty at Sacred Heart who took a little longer to grow into relevant velocity, which has since grown into impact heat. Foley blew out and missed 2018 but his arm strength was back after his Tommy John. His pre-surgery out-pitch was his changeup but he seemed to work more with a slider after he returned. During 2021 spring training, Foley has continued to sit in the 96-99 range with his fastball and those 1500 rpm, low-90s split/changes are being thrown in his outings more than his slider. He has 40+ FV stuff and could be a foundational piece of the Tigers’ 2021 bullpen, but his injury history and age round his FV down a little bit. (Alternate site, Fall Instructional League) 28. Zack Hess, SIRP Drafted: 7th Round, 2019 from LSU (DET) Age 24.1 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 216 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 55/60 40/45 40/45 93-95 / 97 Hess always had the stuff to start for LSU, but troubles with command and pitch efficiency led to an inability to maintain a rotation slot while there. Drafted in the seventh round in 2019, the Tigers liked what they saw in him during shorter stings and have developed him as a pure reliever. There’s nothing complicated about what Hess does. He’s a long-levered righty who comes in and tries to miss bats with a traditional fastball/slider combination. While he lacks true smoke, he still can sit in the 94-96 range with his fastball, which features good life, and his velocity-driven low 80s slider has missed bats in the minors. It’s an arm-heavy delivery with little load or lower-half incorporation and a tick of violence, and it’s hard to see him ever being in possession of anything resembling above-average command. Hess has had a velocity dip early this spring, but still could move quickly as a potential bullpen piece whose overall game falls a bit short of late-inning leverage situations. (Alternate site) 29. Ryan Kreidler, 3B Drafted: 4th Round, 2019 from UCLA (DET) Age 23.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 45/45 30/40 45/45 45/50 55 High-contact players often have good-looking swings, but not Kreidler, whose minimalistic, ultra-conservative swing is the baseball equivalent of William F. Buckley. Eyeball reports from instructs crushed Krielder for his lack of athleticism but he does have the best feel for contact in the deep group of unsexy college infielders in this section of the list and he’s performed really well in big league spring games each of the last two years. Kreidler’s best defensive fit is at third base, but he’s fundamentally sound enough to stand at a middle infield spot if needed. A conservative, contact-oriented approach coupled with limited raw power shade the projection toward a bench infield/utility type. (Fall Instructional League) 30. Kody Clemens, 2B Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from Texas (DET) Age 24.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 55/55 40/45 40/40 40/40 50 Clemens had a pretty strong 2019 in the Florida State League (his .238/.314/.411 line was above league average there), albeit as an old-for-the-level hitter whose sourced, proprietary xStats were below his batting line. He spent his 2020 summer playing in the Constellation Energy League in Texas and didn’t perform especially well there, then finished the year in instructs. Clemens generates consistent hard contact because of the strength in his wrists and hands, he has a low-ball proclivity and can put balls out to left-center. His lower half and hands often appear disconnected, which can result in ugly contact that’s still hit hard because of Clemens’ strength. He’s likely a lower OBP part-time infielder with some pop, capable of playing a passable 3B/2B. His approach was a little loose during 2020 and needs to be more discerning in 2021. (Constellation Energy League, Fall Instructional League) 31. Jack Kenley, 2B Drafted: 8th Round, 2019 from Arkansas (DET) Age 23.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 45/50 30/40 50/50 45/50 50 There’s nothing new on Kenley, who was neither at the alt site nor instructs: Even on a loaded Arkansas team, Kenley stayed under the national scouting radar since he didn’t play much until his junior year, and was an infielder without much power who didn’t play shortstop. He shows 45 raw power in BP, but has a flat swing plane that’s geared for line drives and contact. He seems like a candidate for a swing change, but could also carve out a role as a lefty-hitting, contact-oriented bench bat infielder along the lines of Tommy LaStella before he suddenly had power. (At-home dev) 32. Wilkel Hernandez, SP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Venezuela (LAA) Age 21.9 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/55 50/55 40/50 35/50 90-93 / 96 Hernandez is one of two rookie-level Angels pitchers Detroit received in the Ian Kinsler (Hernandez) and Justin Upton (Elvin Rodriguez) trades from a few years ago. Of the two, Hernandez has experienced a more dramatic uptick in velocity. Both had been in the 88-92 range with frames that portended more, but in 2019, Hernandez was suddenly 90-93 and up to 96, then 92-96 during instructs last fall. He’s added velocity without losing the touch and feel that made him a viable starting pitching prospect on the Arizona backfields, and he now has pretty good command of his fastball and a low-80s, 10-to-4 curveball. Unfortunately, Hernandez got hurt during instructs and needed Tommy John in November, which means he’ll miss all of 2021. (Fall Instructional League) 35+ FV Prospects 33. Keider Montero, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (DET) Age 20.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/50 50/60 40/50 35/45 93-95 / 96 Montero is an interesting young prospect with big arm strength for his age. He was 91-94 in 2019 then 94-96 during 2020 instructs. His slider is crude, a mostly horizontal-breaking pitch in the 78-82 range. It currently relies on location to be effective and is crushable when it’s in the zone, but Montero sure does have impressive velocity for a 20-year-old and is in an org that’s become quite good at developing pitchers. He was not as physically projectable as most pitchers his age, but the velo is here, so that matters less. (Fall Instructional League) 34. Franklin Pérez, SP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Venezuela (HOU) Age 23.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 197 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 50/60 45/50 55/60 40/50 87-90 / null While he wasn’t the best known player sent to Detroit in the Justin Verlander trade, many felt Pérez was the best prospect. Unfortunately, a series of injuries, including multiple shoulder issues, have limited him to less than 30 innings during his Tigers tenure. Pérez still has untapped potential, but he’s not the young arm he used to be. He didn’t take the mound until late in his amateur career, but he’s an athletic right-hander capable of reaching the mid-90s, and features a pair of effective breaking balls with a natural ability to generate spin. He shows flashes of a solid changeup, but hasn’t received the necessary reps to refine the pitch. He throws plenty of strikes, but needs to improve his location within the zone. He still has No. 3 starter potential, but he’s also now 23 and has yet to pitch in more than 20 games or throw 100 innings in a season. 2021 feels like a make-or-break season for him. He came out sitting 85-88 in his first spring outing and topped out at 90 in the second. (Injury rehab, at-home dev) 35. Elvin Rodriguez, SP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Dominican Republic (LAA) Age 23.0 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 40/45 50/50 50/55 40/50 89-93 / 94 Rodriguez was an advanced pitchability righty with physical projection when Detroit acquired him from the Angels for Justin Upton. He seems to have finally had a little velocity bump, sitting 93-94 last fall when he’d only ever topped out around there before. He still has some room for more mass on his frame, even at 23, but he’s likely to settle in this velocity band long-term. He really repeats, has good arm-side command of his fastball, his curveball has enough depth to at least induce weak contact, and he’ll occasionally show you an average changeup. This is a backend starter package and a fairly low-variance one at that, especially if Rodriguez can hold this little velo uptick over the course of a whole season. (Fall Instructional League) 36. Beau Burrows, SP Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2015 from Weatherford HS (TX) (DET) Age 24.5 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 40/50 40/50 45/55 45/50 88-91 / 95 Burrows has had some injuries (shoulder inflammation, biceps tendinitis, oblique strain, all in 2019) and his velocity to start 2021 is way down compared to his injury-riddled ’19 and ’20 when he was 90-94; he’s been 88-91 so far this spring. He’s looked like a No. 4/5 starter in the past but needs his velo to pick up as the season gets underway to even be a backend starter going forward. (Alternate Site, MLB) 37. Andre Lipcius, 3B Drafted: 3rd Round, 2019 from Tennessee (DET) Age 22.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 50/50 30/40 45/45 50/55 55 Lipcius moved from first base as a freshman, to shortstop as a sophomore, to his natural home of third base as a junior at Tennessee, and then all over the infield during his first taste of pro ball. He hit for more power in his draft year than was expected given a contact-oriented approach (Lipcius ditches his leg kick with two strikes, and he’s willing to softly poke balls the other way). He projects as a multi-positional bench infielder. (Fall Instructional League) 38. Jose De La Cruz, RF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (DET) Age 19.2 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/50 50/60 25/55 45/30 40/50 60 De La Cruz has a right field prospect toolkit straight out of central casting — plus raw power, plus arm, average underway speed, some contact issues at present — and a year of 2019 DSL statistical performance arguably derived from his burly physical maturity. De La Cruz’s 2019 Trackman data is very strong (it’s still on The Board), especially for his age, but the look he had at 2020 instructs was one scouts are skeptical of given just how big he is for his age and where his lack of athleticism will likely push him on the defensive spectrum. He has the power to clear the corner outfield bar but will need to perform from a contact perspective to start to satisfy the industry. (Fall Instructional League) 39. Angel De Jesus, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (DET) Age 24.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 65/65 45/45 30/35 91-95 / 96 There’s no change here, as De Jesus was neither at the alt site nor instructs: De Jesus signed at 19 and had been slow to develop (he spent parts of three seasons in the DSL) until 2019, when he skipped a level, then earned a mid-year promotion to Hi-A. He throws hard — 91-96 with huge extension — and his fastball has relevant movement up and away from lefty batters. He’s well-built but not very athletic, and he throws a lot of non-competitive pitches because he struggles to repeat his release. He’s an up/down relief type who was ascending rapidly in 2019. (At-home dev) 40. Wladimir Pinto, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Venezuela (DET) Age 23.1 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 45/50 30/35 30/35 94-97 / 98 Pinto still looks like an option year relief prospect based on his arm strength. His upper-80s slider has a chance to be a big league out pitch based on its velocity, but even at that velocity, it doesn’t appear to have the shape of a bat-missing pitch. He went unselected in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft. (Fall Instructional League) 41. Sam McMillan, C Drafted: 5th Round, 2017 from Suwanee HS (FL) (DET) Age 22.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 40/45 30/35 40/35 45/50 55 McMillan is an athletic, well-built catcher with doubles pop. His swing has an awful lot of extraneous movement before his hands fire and this contributes to heinous swing-and-miss, but there’s still enough ability here for McMillan to be a backup or third catcher. (Fall Instructional League) 42. Carlos Guzman, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Venezuela (DET) Age 22.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/55 40/45 50/60 35/50 90-94 / 96 Guzman is listed on the Tigers’ instructs roster but we weren’t able to glean anything new about him, so his report remains the same: Two seasons ago, Guzman was an exciting, new conversion arm who was sitting in the mid-90s and rapidly gaining feel for a good changeup. But in 2019, his stuff was down, his command backed up, and he was eventually shut down with injury. He’s a wait-and-see prospect now. (Fall Instructional League) Other Prospects of Note Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category. Last Cuts Logan Shore, RHP Carlos Irigoyen, SS Shore, 26, has a plus changeup. If he can sit 92-94 like he has this spring, then he could be an important part of the team’s immediate pitching depth. Irigoyen looked good in the fall. He’s 19, short to the ball with doubles power right now, and he has a big frame that could get cut and strong as he reaches maturity. He’s unlikely to be a shortstop if he really fills out but then he might also have big power. Younger Bats Manuel Sequera, SS Abelardo Lopez, OF Pedro Martinez Jr., 3B Sequera, 19, has a shot to stay at short and grow into some pop. Lopez is a corner power bat who signed for about three quarters of a million dollars in July 2019, along with Sequera. This Pedro Martinez, unlike the Rays’ Pedro Martinez (no relation), is the son of Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez. He has 40 present tools and a medium frame, and might get a full-season assignment this year. Relief Types Marco Jimenez, RHP Hugh Smith, RHP Cleiverth Perez, LHP Max Green, LHP Daniele Di Monte, RHP Wilmer Fenelon, RHP Isrrael De La Cruz, RHP Gio Arriera, RHP The barrel-chested Jimenez, 21, has a mid-90s fastball/curveball reliever look. He was into the upper-90s in the fall, and he’ll show you an above-average curveball. Smith is 6-foot-10, he touches 96, and has fringe secondaries. Perez, 21, is a funky lefty with a plus breaking ball and tough angle on his fastball. Green is a lefty up to 97 with a slow but very deep curveball. Di Monte is an Italian 17-year-old with a low-90s fastball and average curveball. His vertical arm slot creates big carry on his heater. Fenelon was the hardest-throwing Tigers 2019 DSL arm, and was up to 96 and sitting 91-93 as an 18-year-old with a stronger current build than most teens. It was his second DSL year. De La Cruz is a converted outfielder with big spin on a low-90s heater. Arriera is 21; he’s the club’s fourth rounder from 2017. He was up to 96 as a starter in 2019. Mature-framed Power Bats and Upper-Level Tweeners Nick Ames, OF Derek Hill, CF Lazaro Benitez, RF Jacob Robson, CF Hill and Robson all have bench outfield ceilings. Robson is more hit tool forward, Hill more defense. Ames is a giant (6-foot-3, 240) who has had big power since high school. He’s explosive but not very athletic. Benitez was 20 in the DSL but hit the ball hard. System Overview The Detroit Tigers have reached the nadir of their current rebuilding process, with sub-.400 winning percentages each of the past four season. But help is on the way. This is a system that has several potential stars who can help soon, as well has some high-ceiling prospects at the lower levels. They are approaching the line between optimism and expectations. 2021 is far too early to call the Tigers a playoff contender, but we should see a step in the right direction. The Tigers are evolving in terms of scouting and player development, as well. They’ve grown in their development and adoption of analytics, and have begun to be less predictable in terms of their draft strategy, though they typically end up with at least one big conference college infielder on Day Two. In the past, they were on big kids who throw hard, but that hasn’t been the case of late. Perhaps the Tigers are comfortable with their upper-level pitching and looking to add bats to the system, and maybe this is just “a best player available” symptom, but in 2019 the club didn’t select an arm until the seventh round, and they used all six of their 2020 picks on bats, with the first five being big performers at big programs. There is going to be attrition among the pitching prospects but assuming good health, most of the next competitive Tigers team’s rotation will pitch in the big leagues this year. Two franchise pillars (Tork and Greene) are rapidly approaching the group of role players (Willi Castro, Jeimer Candelario, JaCoby Jones) who are already in place and will be for a while. There’s a small chance the short-term additions like Robbie Grossman and Julio Teheran contribute to a surprise 2021 if things break immaculately (Mize is healthy, Skubal throws strikes, etc.). Had the club pulled the ripcord on a Matthew Boyd trade earlier than they did, this system might have another big name or two, but it’s also poised to add one in a few months with the third overall pick.