The Detroit Tigers are in the midst of a complete tear down and rebuild, and with that there’s realistic expectations that need to be set. This is essentially the first year that the Tigers will see the fruit of their labor when it comes to prospects and what the future may hold. The best that the Tigers could hope for this year is the development of their young potential stars. The pitching prospects are deep and if we have learned anything over the last couple of seasons you need three top tier pitchers to have a chance in the postseason. The hitting isn’t as deep but there’s a couple of guys from last season, that would be nice to see marked improvement.
The top prospect in the system is RHP Casey Mize and if last year was any indication he is ready for a chance in the big leagues. Mize has the potential to be the ace of the staff in the next season or two and for the rebuild to be successful he is one of the main pieces. RHP Matt Manning is another prospect that will get his chance this season to make an impression and will get a lot of big league innings. Manning isn’t as highly regarded as Mize, but if he ends up being a number two the Tigers will be thrilled. Another name to watch that we haven’t seen in the big leagues yet is RHP Franklin Perez. He was injured for the majority of last season but if the year starts off right for him, he should be a mid season call up. Alex Faedo is another prospect in the super deep pitching ranks that the Tigers can call on in the future and could see time as an August call up.
The hitting prospects for the Tigers are not as highly ranked or as big league ready as their pitching counterparts. Most of the development this year will have to come from players with some big league experience already. Catcher Jake Rogers, Outfielder Christin Stewart, and newcomer Outfielder Troy Stokes Jr. will lead the charge for the young players this season. Outfielders Derek Hill, Daz Cameron, and Third Baseman Isaac Paredes are all players that could make an impact this season. The best hitting prospect is Outfielder Riley Greene but he was just drafted last season and will need a year or two more in the minors before he will be able to make an impact. If the Tigers could get some productivity out of players like SS Sergio Alcantara, SS Willi Castro, and Jeimer Candelario that will go a long way as far as the watchability of this season
There will be a ton of new names this season wearing the Old English D while the team continues its rebuilding effort. While there is no expectation of this team even hitting the .500 mark, I think this season will give us fans a glimpse into the future and give us hope going forward. The pitching looks like it will be the strong suit in the future, but patience will be key as the young players learn how to play in the big leagues.