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A prospect you’ve probably never heard of: Zach Shepherd, 3B, Detroit Tigers

Lets take a look at a under the radar guy in the Detroit Tigers system that not many people, outside of those that keep very close tabs on the Tigers farm system have probably heard of. He’s a 19 year-old third baseman named Zach Shepherd that plays for the Tigers Midwest League Affiliate, the West Michigan Whitecaps.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

A prospect for your consideration: 19 year-old third baseman Zach Shepherd, who plays for the Detroit Tigers Midwest League Affiliate, the West Michigan Whitecaps.


Zach Shepherd is a 19 year old from Australia playing in full season ball. So far this year he has hit .263/.347/.384 with a .342 wOBA and a 115 wRC+ in 70 games. He started at third base for the east team in the Midwest League All-star game in Peoria last week, and he ended up going 0-1 with a strikeout. In his ABL (Australian Baseball League) career he is a .239/.349/.343 hitter in 91 games.

Scouting Report:

Shepherd bats and throws from the right side. He is listed at 6-3, 185 pounds, born September 14, 1995.

I’ve seen Shepherd play six times this year already and one of the very first things that stands out about him is his defense. His defense at third base can only be described as egregious. Currently it looks like a 30 glove at third. I don't see him improving his defense at third enough to be able to stay at that position long term. Due to this and his below average speed he profiles as a corner outfielder. His arm looks to be about average.

On the other hand, his hit tool is solid; I’d currently give it 50 potential with a really good-looking swing. He has a little leg-kick and shows decent bat-speed. Currently his power is mostly gap power, but there is some physical projection left and as he adds size and strength he will develop the ability to hit into a little bit of home run power. I’d give the power 45 potential.


Shepherd profiles as a corner outfield type long-term. For me, his ceiling is a fourth outfielder. As a fourth outfielder he would give a team a solid bat off the bench with a little bit of power. Given the lack of high-upside talent in the Detroit system and as a crazy person who keeps close tabs on this system, I find Shepherd pretty interesting.