Detroit Tigers 2018 Top 50 Prospects

The Detroit Tigers have hit rebuild mode after ten years of sustained success. Their farm system has went from arguably one of the worst systems to a top fifteen (or better) system with the strength being in pitching. The trades of Justin Verlander, Justin Upton, Ian Kinsler, and J.D. Martinez netted the growth in the system and this list looks vastly different from the start of 2017. It is only going to improve with the addition of whomever they select #1 in July’s draft. The future may be three or four years off, but that should make for some great minor league baseball. Detroit can very much look forward to a new hey-day of pitching led by Franklin Perez, Matt Manning, Alex Faedo, Beau Burrows, and Kyle Funkhouser. They will hopefully lay the foundation for the next Tigers championship chase of the early 2020’s.

Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster






Tier 1

1. Franklin Perez, RHP (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Opening Day Age: 20
2017 Highest Level: AA
Perez was the prize prospect of the Verlander trade at the waiver deadline last August. Perez has yet to pitch in a Tigers affiliate uniform, but he is the consensus number one prospect for the Tigers at every baseball service. Being only 20 and reaching AA last year, Perez relies on a fastball and curveball that are graded at 60 while having above average other pitches as well. His fastball, which can peak at 96, is the star along with his control. He has ace upside, but could end up being a solid #2 or #3 for the Tigers in the near future. Look for him to join the youth movement of starting pitchers in the next couple of seasons with Manning, Faedo, and Burrows. Look for him to return to start the season in AA and if he continues to show the command and strikeout ability he showed with the Astros, look for him to get a promotion to AAA before the end of the season.

2. Matt Manning, RHP  (2017 Midseason: 1)
Opening Day Age: 20
2017 Highest Level: Low-A
Manning was not dropped down from the 2017 update due to his skill or performance.  Manning, whom I profiled last year, was nothing but perfect in his outing in the New York-Penn League last year, which is what earned him a promotion to playoff bound West Michigan. For the Whitecaps, he did struggle initially, throwing duds in his first 3 starts. He ended the year, pitching lights out in game 3 of the division series against Dayton, a game the Whitecaps would lose in extra innings. He has shown strike out ability with is 65 fastball and looks to be a very solid stash in any dynasty league. I would look for him to return to West Michigan to start the year, leading the staff. He could follow the same path of Beau Burrows and end up in Florida to end the year.

3. Alex Faedo, RHP (2017 Midseason: 5)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: Did Not Pitch
Faedo did not pitch for the Tigers last summer after the stellar run to the College World Series championship and MVP with his Florida Gators. Faedo, who was a steal for the Tigers at pick 18 in the 2017 Draft, looks to be another fireballer that should work his way up the system quickly. His fastball and slider will be his strike out pitches and should allow for him to excel in the lower minors. If his college numbers last year(2.26 ERA, and 157 strikeouts) in the very strong Southeastern Conference are anything of what he is capable of, I would look for him to be a true #1 or #2 for the future Detroit rotation. I would look for him to begin his year in Low-A and possibly finishing the year either in High-A or AA barring any injuries.

Tier 2

4. Beau Burrows, RHP (2017 Midseason: 2)
Opening Day Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: AA
Burrows does not drop in this ranking due to his performance or skill set, Manning, Faedo, and Perez are just that good. Burrows split time between High-A and AA. He earned a nod as a Florida State League All star for leading the Flying Tigers with a 1.23 ERA and 62 strikeouts and also appeared in the Futures Game. He struggled initially with the transition to AA, but seemed to find what he was missing towards the end of the year. He still ended the year with a 137 strikeouts (double his career best), a 3.20 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.24. Being only 21 and in AA only says great things about his future. His fastball is still his go to pitch and his uptick in strikeouts is a good sign that he is mastering that and his other pitches. He has the makings to be a solid #2 or #3 starter.

5. Daz Cameron, OF (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Opening Day Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: Low-A
Cameron has been a player that I have kept my eye on since he was drafted in the 1st round by the Astros. Coming over in the Verlander trade in his breakout year, only excited me more. He is a fringe top 100 prospect and seems to finally be developing the hitting that has been missing in his minor league career. Cameron has the makings to be the Tigers centerfielder of the fielder. Between his speed and developing bat, he has the makings to be a strong top of the order bat. He looks like he could be a player that could possibly be a 15 home runs and 30+ stolen base player. I’m very excited to see how he develops in High-A this year and he is an important piece of the Tigers rebuild.

6. Kyle Funkhouser, RHP (2017 Midseason: 6)
Opening Day Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: High-A
Funkhouser spent the majority of the second half of 2017 dealing with an injury with an elbow injury. Now fully recovered, he hopefully can return to his early 2017 form. He was dominating the A level and piling up the strikeouts. He finished his 62 innings of work with 83 strikeouts and a 2.44 ERA across both levels of A ball. Funkhouser is a prospect very much worth stashing as he has 1st round talent and was a steal for the Tigers in the 4th round of the 2016 draft. His command was what caused him to drop in the draft, but he showed no issues with in 2017. He should be a quick riser in the system if he can stay healthy. He has the look of a solid #3 starter. Look for him to start his year back in High-A and end the year in AA.

7. Christin Stewart, OF (2017 Midseason: 3)
Opening Day Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: AA
Stewart is the best pure power hitter in the Tigers system and this is confirmed by winning his second straight Tigers minor league Prospect of the Year award. If you are looking for a home run hitter in your fantasy lineup, Stewart is your guy. In his All Star season for the Sea Wolves, he mashed 28 home runs, two off of the 30 he hit in 2017. His other power numbers improved as he hit more doubles and triples then he did in the previous year. He is a defensive liability, so he will be limited to right or left field. He should start the year in Toledo and I would expect him to reach Detroit later this year or in 2019.

8. Mike Gerber, OF (2017 Midseason: 12)
Opening Day Age: 25
2017 Highest Level: AAA
Gerber, another of the Tigers MiLB All Star players for 2017, can do a little bit of everything. Added to the 40-man Roster to prevent his selection in the Rule 5 draft, he is a jack of all trades. He can play all over the outfield, hit home runs, steal bases, and hit for average. He has the makings of a player that can compete for a starting position, but at his worst will be a great fourth outfielder. He made the jump to AAA to end the season and continued doing what he does best. Look for him to reach Detroit this year, at worst as a September call-up.

9. Isaac Paredes, SS (2017 Midseason: 7)
Opening Day Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Low-A
Paredes has all the makings to be a great infielder. He can play all over, but from the looks of it, he’ll either end up as SS or 2B. He is still young and hard to project, but being in Low-A at 19 is already an accomplishment. He has more pop in his bat then speed, but he looks like he could end up with some slight power. His bat cooled off to end the year, but again, with his age, he still has some time to fill out. I think the bat returns and he could be a decent hitter, with the previous ability to hit some home runs. I think he’ll return to Low-A to start the year and possibly earn a promotion later in the year. He is still a couple years out from contributing to the big league club.

10.Jake Rogers, C (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: High-A
Rogers, recently ranked as the best defensive catcher in the minor leagues by MLB Pipeline, Rogers’ strength will be his glove. Hitting just over .260 over the year, his bat will not be what gets him to the big leagues. He’ll probably follow the trend of recent Tigers catchers that favor defense over offense, but should be able to contribute offensively here and there to make him worth starting in the near future.

11. Victor Reyes, OF (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: AA
Reyes was the Tigers Rule 5 pick from the Diamondbacks. He appears in line to be the fourth outfielder for the team for the year. Reyes is a contact hitter, so I would never expect him to hit for a large amount of power. He should use his speed to snag some bases, but his value will be a year or two down the road as he develops. He has never played over AA and he must remain on the Tigers 25 man roster to stay with the team. So he may have some value this year, but I believe 2019 and 2020 are where he fully develops and snags a full time role in one of the outfield spots with Gerber and Stewart.

12. Joe Jimenez, RHP (2017 Midseason: 9)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: MLB
Jimenez struggled immensely in the major leagues, but was a stud when he was in Toledo, so he still has quite a bit of potential. With Shane Greene taking over the closer role last season and the Tigers non-tendering Bruce Rondon, the opportunity is there for Jimenez to snag the setup role. A good chunk of Jimenez’s time last year was in mop up duty, so he just needs to be given a chance. With a new Tigers staff, I’m excited to see the role he plays in 2018. If he can start snagging holds he’ll start to have the value and start moving to that closer role I think he is destined for.

13. Gregory Soto, LHP (2017 Midseason: 13)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: High-A
Soto was picked as the Tigers pitching prospect of the year for 2017. His 2.25 ERA, 144 Strikeouts, and 1.31 ERA (with a 12-2 W-L record) between both levels of A ball were impressive. His skill set can play to either the bullpen or as a starter, but he can still use a little season. His strength is his fastball and that will be what helps him progress. If he finishes polishing his other steps, I could see him making the big league team in a year or two. He looks to start the year in Erie and he looks to be yet another strong starter in the Tigers system.

14. Austin Sodders, LHP (2017 Midseason: 12)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: High-A
Sodders is one of my favorite prospects in the Tigers system. Other services don’t rank him as high, but I feel like he is a diamond in the rough for the Tigers. At every level he has pitched at, he has produced. I actually thought he was the best pitcher in the Tigers system last year and he has the numbers to back it up. Between both A levels, he pitched to a 1.81 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 139 Strikeouts all over 139 innings. The mix for a starting pitcher is full with prospects in the Tigers system, but he has the makings to make it. I think he ends up as a solid #4 or #5 pitcher, but could push to be a #3. Erie will be his first real test next year and if he can produce, I don’t see any reason he doesn’t make it to Detroit in 2019.

15. Bryan Garcia, RHP (2017 Midseason: 11)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: AAA
Garcia had one of the craziest rises I’ve seen in years. Starting the year in Low-A, he was able to work himself all the way to AAA to end the season. Accumulating 17 saves over four levels last year, he has the ability to be a solid back of the bullpen arm. He should be in the mix for a spot out of spring training this year and I think he’ll make an appearance in Detroit at some point. Eventually between him and Jimenez, I think the two set up a very solid 1-2 punch to close out games.

Tier 3

16. Grayson Long, RHP (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: AA
Long was the main piece in the Justin Upton trade on the Tigers very busy waiver deadline day last August. While not flashy, he does have the ability to eat innings. I think his peak is as a #5 starter, but he may end up in the bullpen as a middle reliever. If that happens, he’ll have practically no value in fantasy leagues. He is one to keep an eye on and I’m excited to see him first hand in Toledo later this year.

17. Sam McMillan, C (2017 Midseason: 17)
Opening Day Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
McMillan is another of my favorite prospects in the system. The Tigers 5th round selection, he has the makings to be a solid backstop. While not excelling at anything, he is definitely a jack of all trades type player. He is still years away and I think at some point, he will back up Jake Rogers or take the starting job from him because of his bat. He is a worthy stash or a player to keep an eye on.

18. Jairo Labourt, LHP (2017 Midseason: 19)
Opening Day Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: MLB
Labourt was another of the Tigers prospects to make an appearance in the Futures Game in 2017. He reached the majors on the his breakout year. He should be in the mix for a bullpen job this spring and should be in the fight for a back end spot. If he can secure a spot that can grab holds, he is a worthy player on your roster. If not, his value will not be there and he’ll soon drop down this list dramatically.

19. Matt Hall, LHP (2017 Midseason: 14)
Opening Day Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: AA
Hall is an interesting player. He is going to be hurt by the Tigers most recent additions as they definitely potentially block the path to the majors as a starter. He has posted solid numbers at every level he has pitched at, while matching or beating his career numbers every year. He has the makings to be a solid #4 or #5 starter and could be some of the younger guys to the major leagues due to his age. He should start the year in Toledo but will most likely be one of the first to get a chance should an injury occur.

20. Derek Hill, OF (2017 Midseason: 20)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: High-A
Hill is a prospect other services love. I don’t share their feelings and he has not had a healthy season yet since being drafted in the first round in 2014. We are coming up on his 4th season in the Tigers organization and he hasn’t passed High-A. That is a red flag to me. His speed is his strength and he is a tremendous defender, I just don’t know if that is enough to carry him to Detroit or make him fantasy relevant. With Daz Cameron entering the system, he hinders Hill’s path as well. 2018 is his make or break year in my opinion. If he can stay healthy and actually hit consistently, he may be worth a fantasy look.

21. Artie Lewicki, RHP (2017 Midseason: 16)
Opening Day Age: 25
2017 Highest Level: MLB
Lewicki got his chance in Detroit near the end of last season. He only made one start and then finished the year working out of the bullpen. If he sticks in the bullpen, his value is non-existent, as he will not be getting holds. He has the stuff to snag the #5 starter slot for the rebuilding team, but he won’t have long term value in my eyes as the stronger starters up this list make their way up.

22. Dawel Lugo, 3B (2017 Midseason: 8)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: AA
Lugo is a very interesting prospect. The Tigers acquisition of Jeimer Candelario, who graduated from this list, makes his path to the majors a little trickier. The Tigers have been using him primarily as a 3B since coming over from the Diamondbacks, but I think he needs to move to 2B or Candelario will need to make a position switch for him to work. His bat hasn’t caught up with his defense, so another year or two in the minor leagues may be needed to fine tune everything. He is worth keeping and eye on and is definitely a part of the Tigers future plans, I just don’t know where he fits into the infield today.

23. Sandy Baez, RHP (2017 Midseason: 21)
Opening Day Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: AA
Baez is also an interesting prospect. Used as a starter, he has the stuff to be used in either position. I think he makes the switch to the bullpen eventually, as he has an electric fastball. He could be in the mix for a late inning relief job or as a #5 starter here in the near future. I’d look for him to repeat the year in AA.

24. Zac Houston, RHP (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: High-A
Houston, the Prospects 1500 Relief Pitcher of the Year, was a player that in retrospect should have been ranked in the last update. He has done nothing but impress with both his performance in A ball and in the Arizona Fall League. Racking up 91 strikeouts and 10 saves to a 2.17 ERA, he was impressive. He could be a force in the future Tigers bullpen and will get his shot. He should get a shot at AA this year and may end the year in AAA. He’s a prospect worth keeping an eye on and adding in deeper leagues.

25. Jake Robson, OF (2017 Midseason: 23)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: High-A
Robson is a speedy outfield who just keeps impressing. He stole 21 bases, but also was caught stealing 18 times. So if he can work on this, stealing 30 bases in a season couldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for him. He won’t impress with his power, but with his combination of speed and ability to get on base, he could be a solid leadoff hitter and solid outfielder for the Tigers.

26. Gerson Moreno, RHP (2017 Midseason: 24)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: AA
Moreno, with one of the best fastballs in the system, struggled with his control upon his promotion to Erie. His fastball, which will be what gets him to the majors, can hit 99 and he is working on his off-speed pitches to better be ready for the major league bullpen. He was a Florida State League All-Star last year and has that type of potential. If he can get over his control issues upon his return to Erie this spring, he could find himself in Detroit as a September call-up or next season. He looks to me to be destined for a set-up or closing role, where he will have competition. But he does look like a solid lock to crack the major leagues at some point and at a minimum accumulate holds.

27. Blaise Salter, 1B (2017 Midseason: 31)
Opening Day Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: High-A
Salter is arguably the best 1B in the Tigers system. He seems to be a player that can hit for a good average, but does have some pop in his bat with 10-15 home run potential. If he continues to hit in his most likely stop in Erie this year, I could see him fighting with Dominic Ficociello for a starting 1B job in 2019 depending on what the Tigers do with Nick Castellanos when Victor Martinez is no longer the full-time DH and most likely Miguel Cabrera moving to that spot. Salter is definitely a prospect to keep an eye on.





Tier 4

28. Cam Gibson, OF (2017 Midseason: 30)
Opening Day Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: High-A
After a strong first half of the season, Gibson earned a promotion to Lakeland. He didn’t post as good as numbers as in Low-A, but still had the best season of his career. He looks to be a player as he develops that could compete for a bench spot. He does have a little bit of speed and pop in his bat and at his best could hit 10-15 home runs and steal 10-15 bags in the big leagues. 2017 will be a make or break season for him in my opinion due to his age, so how he does in his most likely return to Lakeland will be telling.

29. Dominic Ficociello, 1B (2017 Midseason: 27)
Opening Day Age: 25
2017 Highest Level: AAA
After being named an Eastern League All-Star, Ficociello finally got his chance at AAA. He didn’t perform to his AA numbers, but should get another chance if he doesn’t make the major league team as he is a non-roster invite. His numbers are not sexy, but he is a solid ball player. He won’t hit a crazy amount of home runs or stolen bases, but could hit for a good average and have a decent OBP. He could be in line with Edwin Espinal for a call up if Miguel Cabrera struggles with another injury plagued season.

30. Jose King, SS (2017 Midseason: 25)
Opening Day Age: 19
2017 Highest Level: Rookie
King is a speed first player that came over in the J.D. Martinez deal. Probably not as highly ranked in other lists, King is a speed guy who as he develops I think has the potential to be a big time base stealer. With some outlets ranking him as having 70 speed, this is his best tool. He does look to stick at shortstop but he is a long way away. I’m intrigued to see how he develops and would be surprised if spends another year in the Rookie leagues or starts in Short Season A ball. He is definitely a player to keep and eye on and could shoot up this list in coming years.

31. Troy Montgomery, OF (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: AA
Montgomery came over to the Tigers from the Angels in the Ian Kinsler trade in December. He was the main piece, but he definitely needs to develop a little more. His 20 games in AA didn’t show much after having a decent year in the A ball. His best tool is 60 grade speed, which could set him up at best to be a good top of the order hitter. He has the looks to be more of a fourth outfielder and his speed could play to his advantage in the spacious outfield of Comerica Park.  He should start the year in Erie but a strong spring could earn him a look in Toledo.

32. Sergio Alcantara, SS (2017 Midseason: 18)
Opening Day Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: High-A
Alcantara did not play well for Lakeland after coming over in the J.D. Martinez trade. He is still young and has time to develop, but he is never going to be a bat first player. He does have some speed and probably could steal 15-20 bases a year if he can get on base. He is a part of the mix for the future of the Tigers infield, probably slotting in at SS or 2B.

33. Edwin Espinal, 1B (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Opening Day Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: AAA
Espinal was signed to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training in November. He had the best year of his career last year in the Pirates system and then elected free agency. He has some nice pop on his bat and has hit for a nice average and OBP at every level. He hit a career best 15 home runs last year, but none of those came at the AAA level, which concerns me a tad. He does provide depth for the major league roster as Miguel Cabrera has not been able to stay healthy the last couple of years. My guess would be he starts the year in Toledo and gets a call up sometime during the year. His value hinges on the health of Cabrera or even Victor Martinez, as I bet his bat could slide in for either player.

34. Tyler Alexander, LHP (2017 Midseason: 29)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: AA
Alexander has been in a free fall over the last year. His performance in AA this year was very much out of his career norms, with his ERA a almost two runs higher, but he continued to strike out batters. He has the potential to be a #5 starter, but I think if he rights the ship he is more of a spot start starter or gets relegated to the bullpen, which will definitely hurt his value.

35. Kody Eaves, 3B (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Opening Day Age: 24
2017 Highest Level: AAA
Eaves was someone who fell off the list last year. This was until his Arizona Fall League where he exploded hitting .337/.389/.554 against some pretty elite competition. He should be spending the year in AAA, so I’m excited to see if he can take that momentum into 2018.

36. Alvaro Gonzalez, SS (2017 Midseason: 49)
Opening Day Age: 17
2017 Highest Level: DNP
The more I read and see about Gonzalez, the more I like. I’m really intrigued by him. He seems to have some pop and looks to be an excellent defender. He could either stick and SS or 3B and since he is only 17 is a long way off. I’ll be excited to see how he performs in the Rookie leagues later this summer.

37. Joey Morgan, C (2017 Midseason: 37)
Opening Day Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: Short Season A
Morgan didn’t have a terrible year at Short Season A ball, but didn’t wow with any of his numbers. He doesn’t hit for much power and seems to be much more of a defensive catcher. He probably ends up more as a backup catcher with Jake Rogers being the better prospect as of today.

38. Spencer Turnbull, RHP (2017 Midseason: 22)
Opening Day Age: 25
2017 Highest Level: AA
Turnbull was added to the 40-man roster to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft. Turnbull has been used only as a start during his career and had a strong year in High-A. His AA numbers, were not great and it makes me wonder if he can transition. He is someone I think at this point of his career that seems destined for the bullpen if he makes it to Detroit.

39. A.J. Simcox, SS (2017 Midseason: 32)
Opening Day Age: 23
2017 Highest Level: AA
Simcox didn’t have a terrible year in AA, the Tigers just added strong middle infield talent which drops him down these rankings. He looks to be more of a utility type player at this point, as I would expect him to be behind Lugo, Alcantara, and current Tiger Dixon Machado for playing time.

40. Jose Azocar, OF (2017 Midseason: 28)
Opening Day Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: High-A
Azocar is someone who did not have a strong 2017 season. He entered last year with strong expectations after an excellent 2016 campaign. All of his numbers were down and what would get him to the majors, his speed, was his only shining point. With his 12 steals he had a lowly .220/.246/.292 year. He will have to fight for playing time with Cameron, Hill, and possibly Gibson in the mix for an outfield spot in Lakeland, where I expect him to repeat.

41. Gabriel Quintana, 1B (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Opening Day Age: 25
2017 Highest Level: AA
Quintana was an Eastern League All-Star for a strong first half. He tailed off towards the end of the season but put up decent numbers for Erie. 1B is a position of weakness in the Tigers system, so he may have a chance to sneak up the list or to the Majors, but he is a fringe prospect at this point without much upside.





Tier 5

42. Dane Myers, RHP (2017 Midseason: 50)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: Short Season A
Myers, the Tigers’ 6th Round pick in 2017, finished the season in Connecticut. He had a low ERA of 2.33 with a 0.88 WHIP which has me excited for a starter. I’m excited to see what he can do in West Michigan if given the opportunity to start. He could be a sneaky good pick if he keeps this up.

43. Anthony Castro, RHP (2017 Midseason: 42)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: Low-A
Castro continued the work he was doing since our last update, finishing the year with a solid 2.40 ERA to go along with his 21 starts and 95 strikeouts. He has plus pitch in his curveball and I think that is what will take him up the system. He is worth keeping an eye on and looks to be a solid starting pitching prospect that is a couple years off.

44. Mark Ecker, RHP (2017 Midseason: 38)
Opening Day Age: 22
2017 Highest Level: AA
Ecker did not have a terrible year pitching between High-A and AA. He record 10 saves on the year with a 3.06 ERA. The issue with Ecker is that he is overshadowed by stronger relief pitchers higher on the list, which may limit his ceiling. In the end, he looks to settle into a middle relief role if he makes the majors.

45. Max Green, LHP (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Opening Day Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: Short Season A
Green, an 8th round pick in 2017 for the Tigers, recorded a save while pitching only in relief in 25.2 IP. He looks to be a strong relief pitcher that may develop over time. He is a pitcher worth keeping an eye on and may be an intriguing prospect a year or two down the road.

46. Elvin Rodriguez, RHP (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Opening Day Age: 20
2017 Highest Level: Low-A
Rodriguez, the player to be named later in the Upton trade, is an intriguing prospect. Rodriguez, the 2017 Pioneer (Rookie) League Pitcher of the Year, dominated. In his 11 starts for the Orem Owlz, he pitched to a strong 2.50 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and had 49 strikeouts in 54 innings. I’m intrigued to see if he can keep that up in Low-A. Being only 19, I do see more time to fill out and he could be a steal if he lives up to what he showed in 2017.

47. Tom de Blok, RHP (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Opening Day Age: 21
2017 Highest Level: Low-A
de Blok is new to our list, as he had a very strong second half for the Whitecaps after transitioning to being a starting pitcher. He looks like someone who could be a fast riser if he keeps up with the development he showed at the end of last season. With a fastball in the low 90’s, my gut tells me he ends up a reliever at the upper levels or as someone who may make a spot start here and there. He is worth keeping an eye on as he moves up to High-A next year.

48. Paul Voelker, RHP (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Opening Day Age: 25
2017 Highest Level: AAA
Voelker played in a shortened season due to his suspension for testing positive for amphetamines. This caused him to drop off my Midseason Tigers Top 50 update and he only sneaks back in with a decent performance on his 33 innings for the year. At this point, he looks to fight for a middle inning relief spot on the major league team. For a team in a rebuild, it looks like he’ll be primarily used for mop up duty for a team that won’t be really good. He isn’t worth picking up unless he somehow secures a setup role later in the season.

49. Reynaldo Rivera, OF (2017 Midseason: 47)
Opening Day Age: 20
2017 Highest Level: Short Season A
The Tigers invested a 2nd Round pick in Rivera last July and so far the pick has bust written all over it. After mashing against inferior competition in college, he did not come close to his career numbers in Short Season A ball. Sputtering to a measly .187/.261/.280 line with only 2 home runs, he didn’t show much power that the scouts have raved about. I hated the pick in July and I’ll stick to it here. I would not draft him this year and if he cannot produce in Low-A ball this spring, he’ll be off this list.

50. Grayson Greiner, C (2017 Midseason: 41)
Opening Day Age: 25
2017 Highest Level: AAA
Greiner was added to the 40-man roster by the Tigers before the Rule 5 draft. This protection seems odd to me, as at this point he seems to just be injury protection as the catching spots on the big league team are currently occupied by James McCann and John Hicks. At this point of his career he seems to have some nice home run power in his bat, but little else that fills a need in fantasy. He’ll start the year again in Toledo and should only get a call up if there is an injury to McCann or Hicks. He has little fantasy appeal at this point of his career, but could be one that surprises if he comes out strong in the spring or during his time in Toledo.

Just Missed:

Wilkel Hernandez, RHP (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Ronny Rodriguez, 2B (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Luke Burch, OF (2017 Midseason: 44)
Alfred Gutierrez, RHP (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Jason Foley, RHP  (2017 Midseason: 35)
Garrett McCain, OF (2017 Midseason: 40)
Jack O’Loughlin, LHP (2017 Midseason: Not Ranked)
Eudis Idrogo, LHP (2017 Midseason: 48)

About Nick Bradford 14 Articles
Nick Bradford is a writer for Prospects 1500 covering the Detroit Tigers. He resides in southeast Michigan with his wife and daughter. He is an avid fan of the Tigers, the Mudhens, and anything baseball (fantasy or MLB). He is a graduate of Central Michigan University and works in software support.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Thursday January 17, 2018 - Fantasy Baseball Links - FantasyRundown.com
  2. 6 Intriguing Prospects Invited To Tigers Major League Camp | Prospects1500

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