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Detroit Tigers Top 20 prospects for 2018: mid-season review

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Checking in on the Tigers system

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
Matt Manning
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Continuing with our mid-season organization reviews, we turn our attention to the Detroit Tigers farm system.

This list was originally published March 1, 2018 and revised on March 14, 2018.




1) Franklin Perez, RHP, Grade B+: Age 20, signed by the Houston Astros out of Venezuela in 2014; came over to Detroit in Justin Verlander deal; bust season due to injuries, missed early part of year with strained lat, now on DL with sore shoulder and won’t pitch the rest of the year, in between posted 6.52 ERA in 19 innings, 14/8 K/BB between rookie ball and High-A and didn’t look much like his normal self.

2) Matt Manning, RHP, Grade B+: Age 20, first round pick in 2016 from high school in Sacramento, California; 3.19 ERA in 90 innings between Low-A and High-A, 116/40 K/BB, 68 hits; needs to cut down on walks but a very solid year overall, stock holding.

3) Beau Burrows, RHP, Grade B+: Age 21, first round pick in 2015 from high school in Weatherford, Texas; 3.99 ERA with 105/50 K/BB in 108 innings in Double-A, 91 hits; still some inconsistency with command but stock holding, projects as workhorse.

4) Alex Faedo, RHP, Grade B/B+: Age 22, first round pick in 2017 from University of Florida; 3.67 ERA in 101 innings between High-A and Double-A, 89/28 K/BB, 85 hits; has given up 11 homers in 40 innings in Double-A; has dominated in some starts and been hit hard in others, stock level.

5) Jake Rogers, C, Grade B: Age 23, third round pick by the Houston Astros in 2016 from Tulane, traded to Tigers in Verlander deal; hitting .208/.305/.394 with 14 homers, 37 walks, 98 strikeouts in 289 at-bats in Double-A; excellent defensive catcher; bat has solid power, hasn’t hit for average overall but much of this was due to severe slump in May (.122); still intriguing although contact concerns are legitimate.

6) Isaac Paredes, SS, Grade B: Age 19, signed by the Chicago Cubs out of Mexico in 2015, traded to Cubs at the 2017 deadline in Justin Wilson/Alex Avila deal; hitting .264/.345/.447 with 13 homers, 40 walks, 63 strikeouts in 356 at-bats between High-A and Double-A; very reliable glove, good feel for the strike zone, power developing, and very young; stock moving up rapidly, at least a B+ now.

7) Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Grade B: Age 24, fourth round pick in 2016 from University of Louisville; 3.96 ERA in 98 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 96/49 K/BB; went on disabled list in late July with broken foot and will miss rest of season; stuff held up but command was more inconsistent this year.

8) Christin Stewart, OF, Grade B-/B: Age 24, compensation pick in 2015 from University of Tennessee, .251/.343/.453 with 18 homers, 50 walks, 90 strikeouts in 371 at-bats in Triple-A, very much in line with past performances; power/patience hitter unlikely to hit for high averages, ready for a trial soon.

9) Gregory Soto, LHP, Grade B-: Age 23, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2012; broke out in 2017 but a step back this year with command troubles in High-A, 4.66 ERA in 93 innings, 100/65 K/BB, just 80 hits; whiffs and low hit rate are nice and point to upside but needs tighter control obviously.

10) Daz Cameron, OF, Grade B-: Age 21, compensation round pick in 2015, son of former major leaguer Mike Cameron, came to Tigers in Verlander deal; fine season, .281/.364/.435 with eight homers, 22 steals, 47 walks, 115 strikeouts in 398 at-bats, stock ticking up.

11) Sam McMillan, C, Grade B-: Age 19, fifth round pick in 2017 from high school in Live Oak, Florida; hitting .176/.312/.237 in the New York-Penn League; defense has been quite good so far, hit in rookie ball last year but hasn’t matched it in the NY-P; very young of course, I still like his potential long-term.

12) Michael Gerber, OF, Grade B-/C+: Age 26, 15th round pick in 2014 from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska; just .214/.279/.417 with 13 homers in Triple-A, .172/.286/.217 in 23 major league at-bats; given his age he’ll likely bounce between AAA and the majors as an extra bat the next few seasons; solid glove.

13) Dawel Lugo, INF, Grade C+/B-: Age 23, originally signed by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Dominican Republic in 2011; traded to Diamondbacks in 2015 then to Tigers in 2017; hitting .271/.283/.353 with two homers, 10 steals, eight walks, 58 strikeouts in 436 at-bats in Triple-A; versatile glove helps, can run a bit, but lack of power and miniscule walk rate makes him an empty-batting-average type.

14) Grayson Long, RHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 23, drafted by Los Angeles Angels in third round in 2015 from Texas A&M, traded to Detroit in Justin Upton deal; out all year with thoracic outlet syndrome.

15) Victor Reyes, OF, Grade C+: Age 23, signed by Atlanta Braves from Venezuela in 2011, traded to Arizona, then selected by Tigers in Rule 5 draft; has held roster spot all year with speed and defense but not much of a hitter to this point, .220/.232/.268 in 123 at-bats, has stolen seven bases in eight attempts.

16) Sandy Baez, RHP, Grade C+: Age 24, signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011; 5.57 ERA in 94 Triple-A innings, 79/42 K/BB, 100 hits; not a great year, stuff fits better in bullpen I think.

17) Derek Hill, OF, Grade C+: Age 22, first round pick in 2014 from high school in Elk Grove, California; .235/.293/.305 in High-A, 24 walks, 96 strikeouts, 33 steals, 298 at-bats; exciting defense and speed but hitting has been weak his entire career with no real signs of improvement.

18) Sergio Alcantara, SS, Grade C+: Age 22, signed by the Diamondbacks out of Dominican Republic in 2012, over to Detroit as part of the J.D. Martinez trade; hitting .286/.340/.354 with one homer, 30 walks, 77 whiffs in 367 at-bats in Double-A; makes contact, defense seems solid, can hit for average but lacks power.

19) Tyler Alexander, LHP, Grade C+: Age 24, second round pick in 2015 from Texas Christian; 3.75 ERA in 48 innings in Double-A, 35/9 K/BB; less effective in Triple-A at 4.59 in 70 innings, 43/10 K/BB, 93 hits; stuff look too short to be more than a fifth starter/Quadruple-A arm but sometimes these guy surprise.

20) Matt Hall, LHP, Grade C+: Age 25, drafted in the sixth round in 2015 from Missouri State University; 1.88 ERA in 86 innings, 113/35 K/BB, 57 hits combined between Double-A and Triple-A; success as both a starter and reliever, ready for a shot now.


Anthony Castro, RHP; 3.18 ERA in 93 innings in High-A, 79/35 K/BB; gave up 10 runs in 10 Double-A innings

Tom De Blok, RHP; 3.15 ERA in 46 innings in Low-A, 30/16 K/BB; moved up to High-A and hit harder with 5.98 ERA, 41/20 in 56, 65 hits, went on disabled list last week

Mark Ecker, RHP; 3.78 ERA in 50 innings in Double-A, 46/26 K/BB, went on disabled list two weeks ago with sore shoulder

Edwin Espinal, 1B; Hitting .247/.338/.331 in Triple-A, not enough for this position.

Jason Foley, RHP; Injured

Bryan Garcia, RHP; Injured

Alfred Gutierrez, RHP; 3.22 ERA in 95 innings in High-A/Double-A, 101/33 K/BB, 85 hits; however more hittable at higher level (43 in 32)

Zac Houston, RHP; 1.85 ERA in 44 innings in AA/AAA, 70/20 K/BB, just 22 hits; ready for a pen trial.

Artie Lewicki, RHP; 4.76 ERA in 34 major league innings, 27/11 K/BB, 42 hits; will bounce around for years as a 11/12 man.

Troy Montgomery, OF; Excellent in High-A (.345/.435/.431), ineffective in Double-A (.227/.346/.287)

Gerson Moreno, RHP; Tommy John.

Joey Morgan, C; .233/.328/.326 in Low-A, not very good with the bat but will stay employed due to defense.

Jake Robson, OF; Nice season, .296/.385/.456 between Double-A and Triple-A

Elvin Rodriguez, RHP; Also a nice year and easy to overlook, 3.61 ERA in 97 innings in Low-A, 95/30 K/BB, breakthrough potential next year.

Ronny Rodriguez, INF: .338/.365/.558 in Triple-A, .171/.225/.183 in the majors; bench depth at this point but will be 27 next year and you know what that means.

Gresuan Silverio, C; .253/.306/.323 in the NY-P; defense is raw

Austin Sodders, LHP; 4.05 ERA in 47 innings in High-A, 41/8 K/BB, went on disabled list in late May.

Paul Voelker, RHP: 2.86 ERA in 57 innings in Triple-A, 45/22 K/BB; could be nice bullpen arm or chairman of Federal Reserve Board; aggressive stance on inflation may cause recession.


Quite a few pitching injuries here but the Tigers have significant arm depth which helps mitigate it a bit. 2018 draftee Casey Mize would rank number one in the system now. Isaac Paredes would be number two or three.

Niko Goodrum is interesting; I had him as a Grade C pre-season after he was signed over from the Twins system, though he did get mentioned as a sleeper back in March.