Image credit: Casey Mize (Photo by Tom DiPace)
UPDATE: The Tigers Top 30 now includes moves made at the July 31 trade deadline.
The Tigers’ farm system is continuing to trend in the right direction as they rebuild their organization from top to bottom. The strength of Detroit’s system lies in its premium pitching and young outfielders, led by future rotation anchors Casey Mize and Matt Manning, as well as potential impact position players Riley Greene and Parker Meadows, who are a bit farther away.
Detroit has a few pieces that could be moved before the trade deadline to infuse their system with even more talent, however. Contending teams would line up to work out a deal for closer Shane Greene, who has posted a 1.06 ERA through 34 innings. Another interesting arm is Joe Jimenez, who has four years left of control and could bring back a few prospects. Lefthander Matthew Boyd has arguably the most trade value on the team, but it remains to be seen if Detroit will move him. Outfielder Nick Castellanos is an impact bat, but his offense-over-defense profile may limit his trade value.
1. Casey Mize, RHP
Mize has dominated the high Class A Florida State League and Double-A Eastern League thanks to his pristine command and pure power stuff.
2. Matt Manning, RHP
An improved changeup and consistent strike-throwing have helped Manning to produce in the Eastern League. While Mize is a safer bet, Manning’s upside may be even a little higher than Mize’s thanks to his athleticism and the quality of his fastball.
3. Riley Greene, OF
Greene’s advanced hit tool has helped him earn a promotion to short-season Connecticut after spending just nine games in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.
4. Isaac Paredes, 3B
Known for his contact-oriented approach, Paredes has hit for more power this season but isn’t getting on base as much in his second go-round in the Eastern League. Scouts are also worried that he’s quickly moving down the defensive spectrum.
5. Tarik Skubal, LHP
Skubal has opened a lot of eyes after dominating the Florida State League with plus control and a plus fastball-curveball combo.
6. Franklin Perez, RHP
The Tigers have barely gotten a chance to see what Perez can do since acquiring him from Houston at the end of the minor league season in 2017. Perez’s shoulder woes have held him back from accruing innings for high Class A Lakeland.
7. Jake Rogers, C
Power and elite defense behind home plate have allowed Rogers to be successful in the upper minors.
8. Daz Cameron, OF
Cameron hasn’t shown he can hit enough to be an everyday outfielder, but his defense and athleticism give him a solid chance to be a fourth outfielder.
9. Alex Faedo, RHP
Faedo’s velocity is back, and he has shown improvements with his slider. He looks to be on the brink of a promotion to Triple-A Toledo.
10. Parker Meadows, OF
A second-round pick in 2018, Meadows received an aggressive assignment by being sent to the low Class A Midwest League this season. The outfielder is holding his own at the plate while showing off top-of-the-scale speed and good feel to play center field.
11. Willi Castro, SS.
12. Beau Burrows, RHP
13. Joey Wentz, LHP
14. Kody Clemens, 2B
15. Wenceel Perez, SS
16. Sergio Alcantara, SS
17. Greg Soto, LHP
18. Nick Quintana, 3B
19. Logan Shore, RHP
20. Sandy Baez, RHP
21. Paul Richan, RHP
22. Anthony Castro, RHP
23. Bryan Garcia, RHP
24. Alex Lange, RHP
25. Matt Hall, LHP
26. Travis Demeritte, OF
27. Jacob Robson, OF
28. Danny Woodrow, OF
29. Elvin Rodriguez, RHP
30. Sam McMillan, C
RHP Casey Mize has dominated both the Florida State League and Eastern League although a shoulder injury has dampened speculation over whether he was ready for his first major league callup.
RHP Matt Manning is sixth in the Eastern League in innings pitched and is striking out more than one batter per inning in part due to an improved changeup.
RHP Alex Faedo has seen the velocity return on his fastball, allowing him to strike out an impressive 90 batters in just 78 innings.
LHP Tarik Skubal is throwing a ton of strikes and received a promotion to Double-A Erie at the beginning of July.
OF Travis Demeritte has found the new Triple-A baseball suits his power-oriented game, and he seems more comfortable defensively now that he’s in left field consistently. Demeritte’s profile is as a potential backup outfielder with a little bit of infield ability as well. He’s been unprotected and unpicked twice in the Rule 5 draft, but this year has helped him regain some prospect status and he’s still only 24 years old. The Tigers acquired Demeritte from the Braves on July 31.
LHP Gregory Soto did not perform well in his big league stint, and he’s had difficulty against International League competition since returning to the minors. His control has been sub-par and needs more polish to get back on track.
3B Isaac Paredes isn’t hitting like he did last year in his return to Double-A Erie. He’s not getting on base as frequently or hitting for extra-base power.
LHP Matt Hall is giving up more than one hit per inning in the International League, and he gave up two hits per inning in his brief stint at the big league level.
OF Daz Cameron is struggling for Triple-A Toledo, averaging more than one strikeout per game. Cameron’s hit tool has always been his biggest concern, but his speed, power and defense gives him a chance to contribute even if he’s a below-average hitter.
LHP Joey Wentz has struggled to find his normal velocity for much of this season. When he’s sitting 91-93 mph, his changeup plays well. When he’s 88-91 mph (which he’s been at times this year), hitters can feast on his fastball and his changeup isn’t as effective either. The Tigers acquired Wentz as part of the Shane Greene trade on July 31 from the Braves.
RHP Alex Lange is giving up fewer runs, but he still needs to work on harnessing control of his arsenal. He’ll join the Tigers system after being included in the Nick Castellanos Cubs deal.
RHP Beau Burrows was suffering from shoulder inflammation and tendinitis, which put him on the injured list in late April, but he’s since returned and is now accruing innings with Double-A Erie.
RHP Bryan Garcia has seen time on the injured list as he begins his comeback from Tommy John surgery, which the righthander underwent in February 2018.
A shoulder issue has landed RHP Franklin Perez on the injured list a few times this season, and he’s pitched just seven innings through early July.
RHP Casey Mize was shut down with a shoulder injury in mid-June, but he has returned to make two rehab starts with high Class A Lakeland.
OF Christin Stewart has seen plenty of time in left field for the rebuilding Tigers although he hasn’t hit for much power just yet, with just six home runs in 200 major league at-bats.
RHP Spencer Turnbull has been a lynchpin for Detroit’s rotation so far this season, sporting a 3.29 ERA through 87.2 innings.
3B Dawel Lugo has split time between Triple-A Toledo and Detroit this season, but he’s hit just .207/.233/.317 in 82 at-bats with the Tigers.