Written By: John Moore
Follow Him on Twitter: @ajohnmoore
Follow Prospects Worldwide on Twitter: @ProspectsWorldW
**Right below is the Tigers Top 20 list simplified. Scroll further down for FULL Present/Future Grades, FV, ETA and summaries on EACH PLAYER ranked in the system! Tons of Statistics on each player as well! Some player highlights, future outlooks and more, enjoy!**
If you like Podcasts, Click here to take a listen to the Tigers Top 20 Pod where you can hear our prospect Analysts discuss the Top 5 prospects, and 5 others they find interesting in the system! Who doesn’t like more prospect analysis?
|1||Casey Mize||RHP||1st Round: 1st Overall – 2018 Draft|
|2||Spencer Torkelson||1B/3B||1st Round: 1st Overall – 2020 Draft|
|3||Riley Greene||OF||1st Round: 5th Overall – 2019 Draft|
|4||Matt Manning||RHP||1st Round: 9th Overall – 2016 Draft|
|5||Tarik Skubal||LHP||9th Round – 2018 Draft|
|6||Isaac Paredes||3B||Trade with Cubs – 2017|
|7||Dillon Dingler||C||2nd Round – 2020 Draft|
|8||Joey Wentz||LHP||Trade with Braves – 2019|
|9||Daniel Cabrera||OF||Comp Round B – 2020 Draft|
|10||Alex Faedo||RHP||1st Round: 18th Overall – 2017 Draft|
|11||Franklin Perez||RHP||Trade with Astros – 2017|
|12||Gage Workman||3B||4th Round – 2020 Draft|
|13||Parker Meadows||OF||2nd Round – 2018 Draft|
|14||Daz Cameron||OF||Trade with Astros – 2017|
|15||Wenceel Perez||SS||International FA Signing – 2016|
|16||Jake Rogers||C||Trade with Astros – 2017|
|17||Beau Burrows||RHP||1st Round: 22nd Overall – 2015 Draft|
|18||Nick Quintana||3B||2nd Round – 2019 Draft|
|19||Willi Castro||SS||Trade with Indians – 2018|
|20||Alex Lange||RHP||Trade with Cubs – 2019|
1. Casey Mize RHP – Erie Seawolves (AA)
23 Years Old – Throw: R – Bats: R – 6’3” 220 lbs. – ETA: 2020
In a system frequently praised for its pitching talent, Mize stands out from the rest. He earns the top ranking due the fact he has a front-of-the-rotation type arsenal and is very close to being Major League ready. There was already a very good chance we would see him in the Major Leagues this season but Jordan Zimmermann’s recent injury and subsequent placement on the 45 day IL has only increased the chances of us seeing him in the majors this summer.
Since being drafted with the first overall pick in the 2018 draft, Mize has impressed at each of his minor league stops thus far. After starting the 2019 the Tigers Florida State League Affiliate in Lakeland (High-A), he finished the year with Double-A Erie. With Erie he finished with a 3.20 ERA, 2.98 FIP and a 3.13 xFIP with a 23.5% K% and a 5.6% BB% over 78.2 innings pitched.
While the cutter is his best pitch overall, Mize can confidently rely on all of his other offerings to attack Major League Quality Hitters. Mize is a very polished pitcher who has shown above average current command. He will likely spend many years pitching at the front of the Tigers rotation and the injury concerns are one of the few obstacles standing in between him and his potential ceiling.
He didn’t break camp with the Major League team but this is more of a result of Major League Baseball’s service time and free agency eligibility rules than it is a statement of his Major League readiness (despite recent comments made by Tigers General Manager Al Avila). In order to get his rights for the 2027 season the Tigers will need to keep him off the Major League roster until July 29th. Given this fact, it is likely we see Mize fairly early into the shortened 2020 season.
2. Spencer Torkelson 1B
20 Years Old – Throw: R – Bats: R – 6’1” 220 lbs. – ETA: 2021
NO PROFESSIONAL STATS
The Tigers #1 overall pick from this June’s draft is as sure fire of a bet as they come to make a huge impact offensively at the Major Leagues. It is very rare for a guy who projects as a first base/DH type long term to be selected first overall, but Torkelson’s bat is special enough that he warranted that selection. He looks like a guy that will move very quickly through the ranks of the farm system due to his already advanced tools and approach at the plate.
Over his 3 year career at Arizona State he hit .337/.463/.729 with 54 homeruns over 129 games. Torkelson has also already shown the ability to hit with wood bats as he did well in the Cape Cod League and with the USA Collegiate National Team.
There are few questions about the bat with Torkelson and he seems like as sure of a bet as any to have a huge impact offensively in the Major Leagues. He looks like a guy that will be able to hit 40 homeruns a year with a batting average around .280-.290.
There are however, questions about his defense. He was announced as a third baseman on draft night, but will likely be limited to first base long term which will drastically hurt the overall profile. Despite a seemingly inevitable move to first, the Tigers appear keen on having him work as a third baseman early in his pro career. I’m unsure how to feel about this and personally feel they should just keep him at first and let him mash his way quickly into the Tigers lineup. Already an advanced approach at the plate and could see the Majors as early as next year.
3. Riley Greene OF – West Michigan Whitecaps (A)
19 Years Old – Throw: L – Bats: L – 6’3” 200 lbs. – ETA: 2022
Greene was widely regarded for his bat as a draft prospect and early in his pro career, Greene has impressed defensively this spring/summer and it looks like he may have some strides there since draft night. He made numerous impressive plays in the outfield during summer camp and below is perhaps the most noticeable.
Greene is a guy that looks like he could potentially stick in center, but would probably work best long term in one of the corner outfield spots. While Greene doesn’t have quite the same offensive upside as Torkelson, he will likely provide more of an impact defensively. His bat is nothing to scoff at however. He was widely considered one of the top high school hitters in the 2019 draft, Greene has done nothing to hurt his offensive reputation during his time in pro ball so far.
Greene is one of the most exciting young players I’ve seen come thru the system in quite some time and looks like a guy that could potentially be an all star during his career. It has been a long time since the Tigers have had a young position player prospect as must watch as Greene and he looks like a potential future all-star. He isn’t as close to be Major League ready as some of the other guys on this list, but Tigers fans should still be very excited about the future potential of Greene.
4. Matt Manning RHP – Erie Seawolves (AA)
22 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’6” 215 lbs. – ETA: 2021
Manning has been a steady riser through the ranks of the Tigers farm system since being drafted 9th overall in the 2016 draft. Manning is a very gifted athlete who has made impressive developmental strides during his time in the Tigers system. He is also close Major League ready, but will likely need to implement a higher spin efficiency slider into his arsenal if he wishes to reach his ceiling. He wasn’t very impressive during Summer Camp where his biggest highlight was getting taken deep by Riley Greene, and the overall quality of his arsenal looked diminished overall as his fastball looked straight and he was unable to consistently locate his curveball.
Despite the uninspiring performance during Summer Camp, many are rightfully still very optimistic about Manning’s future, myself included. He’s a guy with good make-up and has shown the ability throughout his pro career making the adjustments he needs to make. If Manning see’s Major League action this year, and I think there’s a pretty good chance he does, it likely won’t go very well for him at first. After making the adjustments he needs to however, he could be a #2 or #3 starter at the Major League level.
5. Tarik Skubal LHP – Erie Seawolves (AA)
23 Years Old – Throws: L – Bats: L – 6’3” 215 lbs. – ETA: 2021
Skubal has risen quickly up prospect lists since being drafted in the 9th round of the 2018 draft. He pitched in both High-A and Double-A last year and was very impressive at both stops. His numbers from Double-A last year have caused me to do a double take almost every time I look at them. Over 42.1 Double-A innings last year he had a 2.13 ERA, a 1.26 FIP and a 1.27 xFIP while striking out 48.2% of opposing hitters and walking 10.6%.
His fastball sits typically sits 92-95 touching 97 but play up due to his deceptive delivery and the good life on the pitch. Recent video has also recently emerged from at training facility in Colorado that showed him touching 100.6.
Skubal was able to use this fastball to completely overpower minor league hitters last year, but he won’t be able to be as reliant on the pitch in the majors. His command comes and goes, but it looks like he was able to be a little more consistent with it overall last season. His slider is currently above average and he mixes in a occasional curve and change-up that will both need to prove to be more consistent offerings if he wishes to be able to rely on them consistently against Major League quality pitching. Skubal looks like a guy that potentially projects as a mid-rotation type starter, but there is definitely some reliever risk if he isn’t able to develop a third above average pitch.
He wasn’t cleared under Major League Baseball’s health and safety protocols to return to action until very late in summer camp, but there is definitely a chance we see him in some form in Detroit this summer. Don’t get me wrong, he’d be much more valuable as a starter long term, but Skubal is a guy that could be a potentially lights out high leverage reliever at the Major League level right now. I worry about his ability to translate his past success to Major League success, especially after facing the lineup a couple times, without his other secondaries taking a step forward.
6. Isaac Paredes 3B – Erie Seawolves (AA)
21 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 5’11” 225 lbs. – ETA: 2021
Originally signed by the Cubs during the international signing period in 2015, The Tigers acquired him as part of the return for Alex Avila and Justin Wilson at the 2017 trade deadline. Despite playing shortstop before signing and early in his pro career, he now is viewed as likely a third baseman or possible second baseman due to his defensive limitations.
Like Faedo, he also went on the IL early in summer camp due to still undisclosed reasons but was cleared under Major League Baseball’s health and safety protocols to return to action on July 17th. He is another prospect that is pretty close to Major League ready, but there doesn’t appear to be a good chance we will see him at the Major League level unless the team runs out of patience, or there is a rash of injuries, with the current options at third.
Paredes is a guy that has shown an advanced approach at the plate and has shown the ability to hit for some power.
His profile is mostly carried by his hit tool and he will definitely need to hit if he wishes to carve out any sort of significant Major League Career as a move off shortstop seems inevitable at this point. Potential rumors of some make-up concerns have have me a little less confident in him reaching his ceiling.
7. Dillon Dingler C
21 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’3” 210 lbs. – ETA: 2022
NO PROFESSIONAL STATS
The Tigers 2nd round pick from this past June’s draft despite being projected as a first rounder on many experts boards prior to the draft.
Dingler’s overall offensive performance improved in each of his 3 seasons at Ohio State which culminated in him hitting .340/.404/.760 this year with more homeruns than any of his previous seasons in much less at bats due to the Covid-19 shutdown. He has also shown a good approach at the plate. There are some concerns how his hit tool will translate against upper level/Major League pitching as he has mostly been a guy that took advantage of mistakes made by college pitchers in the past.
He has shown very good catch and throw ability behind the plate and good receiving skills behind the plate. He has both the durability and defensive acumen to be able to stick behind the plate as an everyday catcher moving forward. and both has the durability and as a guy that will be able to stick behind the plate in an everyday role moving forward. The seemingly inevitable implementation of the automated strike zone likely hurts his overall profile, but he still does look like a guy that can be a below average regular at the Major League level.
8. Joey Wentz LHP – Erie Seawolves (AA)
22 Years Old – Throws: L – Bats: L – 6’5” 210 lbs. – ETA: 2021
Acquired from the Braves for closer Shane Greene at the 2019 trade deadline. After the trade he pitched in 25.2 innings for Double-A Erie and had a 2.10 ERA, a 2.27 FIP and a 1.86 xFIP with a 37.8% K% and a impressive 4.1% BB%. He underwent Tommy John surgery in March so he’ll be out until at least 2021. He would’ve headed to Triple-A under normal circumstances this year so he is also closeish to Major League ready when he returns.
Wentz’s arsenal isn’t particularly overpowering but he throws strikes and isn’t afraid to attack hitters. His fastball is typically sits 90-92 T94 with some arm side run. The change-up is his best pitch overall and he is able to use it to generate swings and misses using good deception and late movement. His curveball also feature good movement and looks around average at present with the potential to improve if he is able to improve the consistency of it.
Overall, Wentz projects as a guy who is a potential back-end starter at the Major League level.
9. Daniel Cabrera OF
21 Years Old – Throws: L – Bats: L – 6’1” 196 lbs. – ETA: 2022
NO PROFESSIONAL STATS
The Tigers 62nd overall pick from June’s draft out of LSU and like Dingler was viewed as a good value pick for the Tigers since not many draft experts had him lasting until pick 62. Over his 3 year career at LSU he hit .305/.392/.518 with 22 home runs over 502 at bats.
His defensive limitations will keep him at a corner outfield spot, but he has shown an arm more than capable of playing in both right and left field. Given the corner only profile, Cabrera’s profile will be very dependent on the bat is he wishes to have an impact career as a big leaguer. This shouldn’t be too much of a concern for Cabrera however scouts have long raved about his swing and he has shown both the ability to hit for average and power from the left side.
I don’t think we’ll see him for a few years at the Major League level and he was left off of the Tigers 60 player pool for summer camp. He projects as a potential low end Major League start but is more realistically a fourth outfield type with the chance to provide a good bat off the bench.
10. Alex Faedo RHP – Erie Seawolves (AA)
24 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’5” 230 lbs. – ETA: 2021
Faedo has been a steady riser through the farm system after being selected 18th overall in the 2017 draft. He spent 2019 at Double-A Erie where he had a 3.90 ERA, a 3.57 FIP and a 2.96 xFIP with a 28.3% K% and a 5.3% BB% over 115.1 innings. He got cleared to return to practice on the final day of summer camp and will head to Toledo to work with the taxi squad to begin the season.
Faedo has been a steady riser through the system after being selected in the first round in 2017. He primarily relies on a fastball/slider mix but he does mix in an occasional change-up. His fastball velocity started coming back to him last year, which improved his overall status as a prospect that was way down in 2018.
He definitely has the frame to stick in a Major League rotation, but I think it is much more likely we see in in pitching out of a Major League bullpen given the lack of a third pitch he can confidently rely on. Out of college, Faedo was projected as many to be a potential front-end starter at the Major League level, but his prospect status has taken a significant hit since then.
11. Franklin Perez RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (A+)
22 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’3” 197 lbs. – ETA: 2022
Acquired as part of the return for Justin Verlander at the waiver trade deadline in 2017. What once looked like a very promising career has been derailed by injuries to the point where he has only appeared in 27 total innings combined over the last 2 seasons. When healthy however, he has still flashed promising stuff at times which leads to him still being ranked 11th ranking on my list.
When right his fastball typically works in the 93-95 range but has been clocked up to 97. He also throws a curveball that has shown plus potential and a slider and change-up both with above average potential. The lack of command and injury concerns obviously hurt him but if he is able to put it all together and stay healthy he could definitely be a back-end starter in the Major Leagues.
We got a little look at him during Summer Camp and wasn’t overly impressive. He was reassigned to the Tigers Alternative site in Toledo on July 20th and it’s really unlikely we see him at the Major League level this year unless things go terribly array for the Tigers.
12. Gage Workman 3B
20 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: S – 6’3” 180 lbs. – ETA: 2023
NO PROFESSIONAL STATS
Despite being selected as a college junior, Workman is extremely young still. He is a very good athlete with a projectable 6’3″ frame. He has played shortstop in the past but projects best long term at third base. He is solid defensively at the hot corner and even pushed Spencer Torkelson off the position during their college careers at Arizona State.
Workman is a switch hitter who has shown good raw power in batting practice who will be able to translate it into more in game power as his body fills out. Questions lie primarily with his hit tool as he has shown swing and miss and will definitely need to improve his approach if he wants to reach his potential.
He has good tool overalls, but I’m skeptical of the Tigers ability to correctly develop the bat and as a result don’t think he’ll hit enough to earn regular Major League time. Time is definitely on his side and I want to see how he looks against other Minor League competition before forming a full opinion, but he could potentially be a below average Major League regular.
13. Parker Meadows OF – West Michigan Whitecaps (A)
20 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: L – 6’5” 205 lbs. – ETA: 2023
Meadows is the brother of Tampa Bay Rays Outfielder Austin Meadows and is another guy who is a few years away from the Majors. He spent the entire 2019 season with West Michigan after being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft and he definitely disappointed.
Meadows consistently shows 3.9-4.0 home to first times so his speed is graded as plus-plus currently. He has also shown good defensive abilities in the outfield and projects as a guy that will likely be able to stick in center long term. He has a projectable frame which will allow him to translate more of the raw power he has shown in batting practice to in game power.
Meadows struggled offensively during his time in the Midwest League last year and will need to make way more consistent quality contact if he ever wants to reach his potential. A big reason for his offensive struggles last year were his swing, which is long mostly due to his 6’5″ frame. If he want’s to carve out a successful Major League career, he will need to fix a lot of stuff with his swing.
I have serious concerns he’ll be able to hit enough to earn regular playing time at the Major League level, but he could be a nice utility outfielder that provides good defense and speed off the bench.
14. Daz Cameron OF – Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)
23 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’2” 195 lbs. – ETA: 2021
Also acquired as part of the package that sent Verlander to Houston in August of 2017, he is the son of former Major League Outfielder Mike Cameron. He spent the entirety of the 2019 season in Toledo after a brief appearance there in 2018 and has definitely struggled offensively during his time in Toledo.
His profile is carried by his glove in center and I find it very unlikely at this point he’ll hit enough to earn regular Major League playing time. He has below average power, but he has shown some ability to hit for power to all fields.
We didn’t get to see any of Cameron during summer camp this year as he was placed on the IL for undisclosed reasons on July 10th and never reported to camp. Cameron’s hit tool concerns lead me to believe that he’ll end up as a utility outfielder at the Major League level.
15. Wenceel Perez SS – West Michigan Whitecaps (A)
20 Years Old – Throw: R – Bats: S – 5’11” 195 lbs. – ETA: 2023
Perez is definitely the furthest from Major League ready of any of the prospects on the list so far as he is 20 years old and spent the entirety of the 2019 season in the Midwest League at West Michigan. He’s Rule 5 eligible this offseason but I find it very unlikely anyone will seriously consider taking given the fact he hasn’t even shown the ability to hit Midwest League pitching consistently yet.
Perez’s profile is currently built around mostly around his speed. He was widely regarded for his defense early in his pro career but struggled defensively last year, making 33 errors in 118 games. It is unlikely he develops much in terms of in game power as he has shown a contact oriented approach during my viewings and has shown a lack of raw power in batting practice.
I was definitely much higher on Perez at this time last year as questions about both his defense and bat have made me bearish on him overall. We’ll see what the future has in store but he currently looks like a guy that could potentially be a bench player at the Major League level.
16. Jake Rogers C – Detroit Tigers (MLB)
25 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’1” 205 lbs. – ETA: 2020
Another piece acquired for Verlander in August 2017. He appeared in 35 games for the Tigers last season and fell only 18 at-bats short of being ineligible for prospect lists. It was a very uninspiring major league debut for Rogers as he struggled against Major League pitching.
The questions with Rogers have always been about his hit tool as he has always been a very good defensive catcher. Perhaps the Tigers recent drafting of Dillon Dingler suggests they’ve soured on Rogers as a result of the offensive struggles and the seemingly inevitable implementation of the automated strike zone which will limit Rogers ability to impact the game with his defense. It is also possible they just selected the best available player and I’m looking too far into this, either way Rogers will need to show strides offensively if he wishes to remain in the Tigers future plans.
Rogers is a very pull heavy hitter who has occasionally shown the ability to have for in-game power.
Rogers impressed in summer camp and appears to have figured some stuff out mechanically with his swing. He has been working with swing expert Doug Latta. This year he’s cut down his leg kick significantly and his swing is shorter and compact which will hopefully improve his timing and overall performance against Major League pitching. He didn’t break cam with the big league clubs but he appears in prime position to see Major League action this season.
As previously mentioned Rogers stands out and is thought of as a prospect mostly for his abilities defensively behind the plate. He has also shown a very impressive arm with elite catch and throw abilities.
17. Beau Burrows RHP – Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)
23 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’2” 215 lbs. – ETA: 2020
Burrows has been a steady riser through the ranks of the Tigers farm system since the team selected him with the 22nd overall pick in the 2015 draft. He was able to remain healthy throughout his pro career until dealing with bicep, shoulder and oblique issues in 2019. Burrows has been a low strikeout high walk guy through the upper levels of the minors that has relied mostly on pitching to weak contact for his success.
I came away very unimpressed with Burrows after my viewing last July. During this outing he was 91-93 T94 and wasn’t flashing very impressive secondary offerings. It seemed like he hadn’t made many significant improvements since his time with West Michigan in 2016. We’ve already seen Burrows make his Major League debut this season and it looked like more of what I saw last year from him. During this outing he was in the low 90’s with his fastball and was struggling with his command and with the consistency on his secondary pitches.
Burrows started summer camp with a very solid outing which he showed a fastball with good life and was able to attack hitters. We got another chance to see Burrows a couple days later in camp which wasn’t nearly as impressive.
He will be pitching middle relief out of the Tigers bullpen and as of right now he looks more like a middle reliever than that of the starter many projected him as coming out of the draft. The combination of his lack of command and overpowering stuff will make it difficult for him to find success at the highest level.
18. Nick Quintana 3B – West Michigan Whitecaps (A Full)
22 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 5’10” 187 lbs. – ETA: 2023
After being selected in 2nd round of the 2019 draft his stock took a massive hit during his pro debut due to the fact he looked completely overwhelmed against Midwest League pitching over 162 plate appearances. Despite being touted as a glove first prospect who would hit for power when drafted, Quintana didn’t flash much in game power during his pro debut.
His profile is currently carried by his defense at third and his arm that will allow him to stick at the position long-term. He also has potential above average raw power and will develop potentially average in-game power with some physical maturation and swing improvements.
Widely viewed as a guy that projected to have potentially average hit and power tools, my viewings last summer raised massive concerns about his offensive abilities. It is possible he was just worn down during these viewings, but they rightfully raised massive concerns about his overall profile. He looks like a guy that could be a potential utility type but until he proves he can make more consistent quality contact and the ability to look competent at the plate against lower minor league pitching I have a hard time projecting a realistic Major League role for him.
19. Willi Castro SS – Detroit Tigers (MLB)
23 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’1” 205 lbs. – ETA: 2020
Acquired for Leonys Martin at the 2018 trade deadline, Castro is another player who got a taste of Major League action in 2019 and fell only 30 at-bats shorts of being ineligible for prospect lists. Like Rogers, Castro is another guy whose questions mainly lie with offensive abilities. As we can see in the numbers he also struggled offensively in his first taste of big league action. In order for him to be an effective Major League he will need to develop a better approach at the plate.
Castro has stood out for his defensive abilities in the past but did struggle quite a bit defensively at times in 2019 and he committed 22 errors during his time in Triple-A last year.
After the struggles he showed defensively last year and the struggles against big league pitching I’m pretty bearish on Castro. With his current skillset, I find it hard to imagine him carving out any sort of significant role in the Major Leagues unless there are significant improvements made. He also was left off the Tigers initial roster out of camp but it is pretty likely he will see Major League action this year.
20. Alex Lange RHP – Erie Seawolves (AA)
24 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’3” 197 lbs. – ETA: 2021
The Tigers acquired Lange as part of the return for Nick Castellanos at the 2019 trade deadline. The 2019 numbers aren’t impressive overall but he was much better during in time in the Tigers organization while working solely out of the bullpen after working only as a starter in the Cubs organization.
The results overall improved after the trade which is perhaps a testament to the Tigers recent improvements in pitching development. According to Kiley McDaniel and Eric Longenhagen at Fangraphs, Lange’s arsenal now looks much different on their high speed footage from his time in the Cubs organization.
When working out of the bullpen Lange’s fastball sits in the mid-90’s. He also has a solid curveball/slider pairing. The curveball is close to 12/6 movement and the slider uses late break to fool hitters. His arsenal also features an occasional change-up.
While he has a solid four pitch arsenal, he throws with a max effort delivery and often struggles with consistency in his release point which causes the issues we see often see with his command.
Despite throwing four pitches and pitching primarily as a starter in the Cubs organization, he is another guy that appears destined for the bullpen in Detroit. His lack of command will really hurt him against Major League quality hitters. He was a late addition to the Tigers player pool at summer camp. He turns 25 in October and is rule 5-eligible this offseason so the Tigers will soon need to find out soon if he is a viable bullpen option at the Major League level.
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