Image credit: Riley Greene (Photo by Tom DiPace)
Justin Coleman: Hey everyone, let’s get this chat started!
Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware):
- Name a sleeper from down deep in the minors: low A or short season.
Justin Coleman: Besides some of the draft guys that made it that far, I might point towards Eliezer Alfonzo. Not a high ceiling, but good bat-to-ball skills and some feel for receiving.
- Skubal over Greene?? Please explain!
Justin Coleman: To be clear, this isn’t a knock on Greene. His talent is very real, and so is the bat. Skubal has excellent stuff from the left side. I remember seeing him pitch this year and I was blown away– four pitches, good tempo, smart guy, under control. Skubal could find himself at the front of the rotation sooner rather than later if he keeps trending the way he is.
Ken (Lakewood CA):
- Rogers may end up as the Detroit back stop in the future. Is there hope for his bat or will he be in the line up for his defense and hitting 9th in the line up?
Justin Coleman: His defense is pretty legit, I don’t think that is much of a concern. He knows how to handle a pitching staff, which is key at the big league level. The bat might develop some more pop but wouldn’t be impactful enough to hit higher than 7th or 8th in the order.
- Can Paredes be a first division regular at 3B? Maybe a 280/360/450 line with average defense. Or is his upside an average regular? And does he get a shot as a regular in the 2nd half of 2020?
Justin Coleman: If he continues to mash in the upper minors this coming season, you might see him get a call up later on in the year. This is a bat first guy, and I feel like he will have to work hard to keep his defense hovering near average. His feel for hitting could develop into something near that slash line. Paredes will need to keep his body concerns in check if he is going to fit at third base long term. I think he is an average regular for now with upside to be better than that.
Jack Crow (Massachusetts):
- Derek Hill showed some improvement in the send half numbers wise. Does this signal any sort of real change in his ability to hit?
Justin Coleman: Hill has all the skills in the outfield and is an excellent defender, but the bat has always been the question. I would need to see more of a track record in a positive direction in order to proclaim that his ability to hit has experienced a positive overall change.
- Do you think Nick Quintana’s bad start to pro ball a serious concern moving forward? Or likely a case of a guy worn down after a really long season?
Justin Coleman: In this case, I think Quintana just wore down after the long season. I’m curious to see how he responds and adapts in 2020.
Sean (Virginia Beach):
- Was there any consideration for Joey Wentz top 10? He had a nice 20-30 innings pitched in minors after being acquired from Braves.
Justin Coleman: Yessir. I did consider him– thought it was a nice pickup for them. Can’t have too many arms!
Jake (Schaumburg, IL):
- Hi Justin, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today! What are the chances that Skubal ends up having a better MLB career than Mize or Manning? 15%? I would not have been offended if Skubal were #1 on this list. Thank you, Jake
Justin Coleman: Hey Jake, thanks for the question– I don’t like placing percentages on guys etc. What I can say is that Skubal has the upside that belongs towards the mid-to-front of the rotation. That is a prettttyyy darn good group right there, and could make for an excellent front of the rotation.
- Thoughts on Adinso Reyes’ chances of shooting up the rankings with a strong performance in the states in 2019?
Justin Coleman: Very good! He is talented and hit well in the DSL (.331/.379/.508). He could be a power hitting infielder who sticks on the left side of the infield.
Dj titek (Detroit Michigan):
- Do the tigers got any first basemen with some pop in the minors)
Justin Coleman: Not exactly…
- I thought it was interesting that Mize’s risk level was “high”, while Manning’s was “medium”. Most people flip the two when talking about those players. Is that basically just an acknowledgment of Mize’s injury history?
Justin Coleman: I think Mize is ahead on stuff, but the injury history is there. Manning might not have the ace-like upside but fits the bill of a mid-rotation starter and is more durable at this point, hence the “medium” risk tag.
Jack Crow (Massachusetts):
- Is there a hitter or two not in the top 10 that you are especially excited about?
Justin Coleman: Hmm, probably Roberto Campos. He is very far away, but there is serious power in the bat. He tracks pitches well for a young prospect and could end up being a RF masher in the future if he can get to the power in-game.
- Wenceel Perez had a real tough year. His W ratio wasn’t too bad but the rest wasn’t great. How do you feel about him for 2020 ? Thanks and I really enjoy your work and my subscription 🙂
Justin Coleman: Thanks for the kind words, we certainly appreciate it here at BA! I think the lack of power probably hurts him for a long term outlook. He can play up the middle and move around effectively, but if its a low impact bat, it would be tough to see him as more than a second-division guy or utility player.
Ken (Lakewood CA):
- Is it just me, or are the Tiger pitching prospects at the very least better than average compared to other systems? And deep? Mize shoulder issues kind of troubling. Maybe Manning at 6’6″ has some issues repeating his delivery? Skubal would seem to be a #1 SP prospect in many systems. Faedo is a former 1st round pick, yet he is almost overlooked. If Perez doesn’t have the history of health issues, it’d be a group of 5 impressive SP prospects! Am I wrong?
Justin Coleman: Detroit has stockpiled a very nice group of arms– it’s really impressive. Manning repeats relatively well for a big guy, and we will see what happens with Mize’s injury issues. Faedo bounced back, and Perez has upside to him.
BJ (Lake Orion, MI):
- Which of these Tigers hitting prospects do you think is most likely to develop into something worthwhile – Parker Meadows, Bryant Packard, Nick Quintana, or Kody Clemens?
Justin Coleman: Hmmm.. my bet would be on Clemens or Meadows. Clemens is closest to the big leagues thanks to his polish. Meadows has the five tools but he needs for the hit/power to come along more in the coming season.
Tyler S (Framingham, MA):
- As a fan with easy access to CT, Erie and Toledo opponents I’ve seen a lot of action of 9 of these top 10. The outlier being Franklin Perez, who I’m not even certain if he exists at this point considering I’ve been hearing all talk but no action since the Verlander trade. Are his tools really that polished the upside is still above other starters in the upper minors like Wentz, Burrows and Funkhouser? So much so that they trump the long term durability concerns?
Justin Coleman: I totally understand where you are coming from regarding Franklin Perez. The stuff is there, obviously the injury history is of note, but I think he has a higher upside than someone like Funkhouser, Wentz or Burrows. The upside and his age probably play to him. Funkhouser, Wentz and Burrows are all back-end of the rotation or bullpen arms in terms of ceiling.
- What do you make of where Parker Meadows is at this stage of development? He didn’t fall on his face in West Michigan, but it wasn’t good, either, and for some reason he was bunting for hits on a daily basis. Is he about where you’d expect given his profile coming out of HS? Or would you say last year was possibly even a set back for him?
Justin Coleman: I don’t think I’d call it a set back since it’s his first taste of full season pro ball, but the bat lagged behind a bit this season as you noted. You’d think he would develop more pop as he matures and grows into his 6-foot-5 frame.
Marcus (St Louis):
- Hey Justin, Which pitchers in the minors are you excited to watch this upcoming season that aren’t in the top 10. Doesn’t have to be projected starters but any major league contributing pitchers.
Justin Coleman: Very good question. I think Anthony Castro might be a good candidate. Pitched alright at AA, flashes a plus-plus cutter. I know he has been worked as a starter and reliever but it would be fun to convert him to the bullpen and let him air it out. Elvin Rodriguez is another one who comes to mind. Still some projection there, nice three-pitch mix.
- How would you compare Joey Wentz to Alex Faedo as prospects? Seems like Wentz is still looking for the velo he lost while Faedo apparently found his, but most reports I’ve read suggest Wentz has been secondary stuff and seems more likely to be able to get through a line-up a couple times as a starter so I was surprised Faedo was ranked so much higher on your list. Am I off on that?
Justin Coleman: Well, Wentz isn’t far from the top 10, let’s put it that way. Faedo did regain his velocity from his amateur days. Both have started upside, although Faedo has a slightly better track record against hitters in the upper minors.
Warren (New London):
- Daz Cameron has always reminded me a lot of Austin Jackson, who had some good years for the Tigers even if he wasn’t all that one might have hoped. Daz’s 2019 was disappointing, but he was very young for AAA. Could he still be as good as Jackson was?
Justin Coleman: It was disappointing, but Cameron has solid tools and an advanced feel for the game which should help him get to Detroit. Probably doesn’t have the highest ceiling, but a second-division regular fits the bill. I’m not big on comps, but I understand what you mean by mentioning Jackson– he had a few very nice seasons but mostly was a solid player throughout his career.
- What are your thoughts on Joey Wentz? How close is he to the top 10?
Justin Coleman: Verrrry close. I like him, good pitch mix, works north to south effectively. Back end starter type, got off to a good start with the Tigers after the deal.
Ken (Lakewood CA):
- Castro is seen as a good glove SS. Yet his minor league stats show up as good at every level. Was he over-matched when he came up to the Tigers last year? Or do they see him as being a guy with a positive bat as well for the future?
Justin Coleman: I think sometimes we forget that the upper minors to the big leagues is also a significant jump which can take time to adjust to for many players. I think his bat-to-ball skills will show better in the big leagues next season, which should help him reach his ceiling of a second-division or utility option type.
Jason (Pleasant Hill, CA):
- What to make of RHP Logan Shore? Did he come close to making the Top 10 list?
Justin Coleman: He didn’t come close– interesting arm, not many strikeouts… maybe his plus changeup plays up in the bullpen?
- who do you think the tigers will take with the first overall pick in the 2020 draft and why ?
Justin Coleman: No idea, but I’m excited to see who they select– plenty of good options!
Justin Coleman: Alright everyone, that is it for today. Thanks for the all the questions. This system is pretty good and Tigers’ fans have every reason to be excited, especially regarding the pitching staff. Have a great holiday season! Till next time. -JC