So it finally happened, the Tigers made the big decision to become sellers. The first victim of an awful season, that has them near last place in the American League, is J.D. Martinez. The all-star outfielder has been talked about for weeks about being on the move. For the Diamondbacks, they are getting a talented hitter to help them make the push in the competitive NL West. For the Tigers, this signals the rebuild that has long been talked about in Tigers fan circles. The day has come and it is a sad one. Let’s take a look at what was received from the Diamondbacks.
3B, Dawel Lugo (#4 Prospects 1500 and MLB.com, #2 Baseball America)
Lugo is the prize of this trade. He was ranked as high as the #2 prospect in Arizona’s system and as the best hitter in the system by Baseball America this year, Lugo will look to fill the hole of decent third baseman in the Tigers system. Lugo has been playing the for the Diamondbacks AA affiliate, Jackson Generals. For the year, he has played in 88 games, sporting a .282/.325/.428 line. He profiles as a probably as a .270 – .290 hitter, with a little power. He seems to project as a player who at his best could hit 15 homeruns for the year and slug a good deal of doubles in big Comerica Park.
He doesn’t have much speed, but does have the capabilities to stick at third base. If he develops, he could slot in as the future Tigers second or third baseman at his best. I think he falls more into a utility role, playing all over the infield. He isn’t the sexy kind of prospect I would have thought would be the star of the deal for J.D., but he does have solid potential and will easily slot into my Tigers Top 50, landing in the top 20 easily as a Tier 2 or 3 prospect. According to Al Avila when interviewed by Fox Sports Detroit, he’ll start his Tiger career by reporting to the Double AA Erie Seawolves and teaming up with other strong hitters including Mike Gerber and Christin Stewart. Avila said the plan is for him to continue his development in AAA Toledo next year. I would project him as hitting the Major Leagues as a September call-up in 2018 or fighting for a role during 2019 Spring Training. He isn’t an exciting prospect, but one I’ll be watching closely.
SS, Sergio Alcantara (#14 Prospects 1500, #15 MLB.com)
As the second piece of the trade, I could have hoped for just a tad more, not to say that Alcantara is not a decent prospect. Alcantara profiles as more of a defensive type of shortstop, something the Tigers seem to crave. He profiles as a contact type hitter and does not have much power or speed. His base stealing has spiked this year. with him already having swiped 11 on the year, 2 up from his career high last year. He is batting .279/.344/.362.
The stat that stands out to me is the kid knows how to take a walk, so that does help his OBP. He has 34 on the year, again, a career high. I picture him as a more Jose Iglesias type player, flashy defense and enough of a bat to not kill your team. On the high side, I think he could be a .250/.260ish hitter with a couple of steals, but nothing to write home about. He’ll slot into my Top 50 as a Tier 3 prospect, probably in the 20 – 35 range. Per Avila, he will be reporting to High-A Lakeland for the remainder of 2017.
SS, Jose King (#25 Prospects 1500)
King may be the sleeper of this trade. While not highly regarded, we did rank him as our #25 Diamondbacks prospect here at Prospects 1500. The big draw, according to Al Avila during his Fox Sports piece, is that this kid is young and is a very high upside pick. Being only 18 and playing in Rookie ball (where he’ll continue in a Tigers uniform), he has a great deal of potential. I like what I see so far and he does seem to be a buy low type sleeper candidate.
Since the rookie leagues have just started for the year, he has only compiled stats over 13 games, batting .261/.333/.348. His numbers last year were spectacular (again, Rookie ball) where he hit .350/.402/.413 with 21 stolen bases. He doesn’t have much power, but he does seem like the top of the order tablesetter that will steal bases, as Al Avila said they graded him as a 70 for speed. This kid could be a potential starting shortstop, batting, .270 and stealing 30-40 bases a year. I love this pickup and he will fall into my Top 50 as well. I think he is actually a better long term prospect than Alcantara, and will probably fall in the 20-35 range in my midseason update as a Tier 3 type prospect. He definitely seems like someone that can rise in the system in the next couple of years.
Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Keith Allison