Detroit Tigers Prospects: 2024 Midseason Top 30 Update


The Tigers’ lengthy rebuild continues both in the majors and the minors. Detroit’s pitching has taken a step forward. Tarik Skubal is an ace, Reese Olson and Casey Mize are solid homegrown starters and the Tigers have figured out how to help Jack Flaherty get back on track.

The rebuild of the lineup has much more work to go. Riley Greene has lived up to expectations and Kerry Carpenter can hit, but no one else has claimed a long-term hold on a spot in the lineup. Detroit has made a point of adding pure hitters in recent drafts, but it will take a while for players like Kevin McGonigle and Max Clark to arrive. For now, the Tigers need players like Colt Keith, Justyn-Henry Malloy and Spencer Torkelson to take steps forward.

In the minors, McGonigle and Jaden Hamm have had great years, but overall the system remains in the middle-of-the-pack.

Baseball America subscribers can see the full updated Tigers Top 30 here. Notable risers, fallers, new additions and injury updates are below.

Notable Risers 

Kevin McGonigle, 2B

McGonigle just keeps hitting, and he’s allayed some of the concerns about his defense, as well. Teammate Max Clark has louder tools, but McGonigle is right there with him as a prospect thanks to the extreme confidence scouts have in his ability to hit and be a reliable defender.

Jaden Hamm, RHP

Hamm has been the breakout prospect of the season for the Tigers. He’s the team’s second-best pitching prospect behind Jackson Jobe. Some evaluators think he’ll end up as a late-inning reliever, but others see a mid-rotation starter.

Dillon Dingler, C

Dingler’s defense has long made him a potential big league catcher, but his bat has rarely caught up enough to make him more than a plausible backup. This year he’s hitting for average and power while striking out in only 20% of his plate appearances. There are still concerns about Dingler’s bat speed, but his improvements are encouraging.

Notable Fallers

Wilmer Flores, RHP

The good news is Flores has regained the velocity that made him a pop-up prospect a couple years ago. Flores is sitting 96-98 mph now and has touched 100 working as a reliever exclusively. But he’s also having trouble repeating his delivery, which means he’s not throwing enough strikes and getting hit hard when behind in counts.

Ty Madden, RHP

Madden remains one of the Tigers’ best pitching prospects, but the 2024 season has been an ordeal. After a strong start at Double-A Erie in April, Madden has seemed like a different pitcher since his May promotion to Triple-A Toledo. The command of his fastball has wavered, which is a problem for a pitcher who can get squared up when he catches too much of the heart of the zone.

Justice Bigbie, OF

Bigbie was a breakout star for the Tigers in 2023, but this year has been much more of a struggle. Bigbie is holding his own, but his limitations on defense mean he’s going to have to be an offensive force to carve out a big league role.

Notable New additions

21. Franyerber Montilla, SS

BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

Track Record: Montilla was part of the 2022 international class that also brought the Tigers Josue Briceno. He spent two years in the Dominican Summer League, but he’s proven to be one of the best hitters in the Florida Complex League this year. He’s in the top 10 in most of the league’s offensive categories as of early July.

Scouting Report: Montilla is a twitchy, athletic infielder whose hitting ability is more notable than his solid defensive tools. Montilla has played a lot of third base for the FCL club, but he may be able to stick at shortstop. He has an above-average arm and decent actions. As a hitter, Montilla makes tons of hard contact, combining an ability to spit at pitches out of the zone with an ability to square up and drive balls in the zone.

The Future: Montilla is one of the most well-rounded players in the Florida Complex League and one of the most encouraging pop-up prospects in the Tigers’ system overall.

Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55 | Power: 50 | Speed: 55 | Fielding: 50 | Arm: 55

29. Thomas Bruss, RHP

BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

Track Record: After working out of the Augustana (S.D.) College bullpen, Bruss spent two years pitching for the Frontier League’s Ottawa Titans. He was picked up by the Pioneer League’s Missoula Paddleheads in an offseason trade, but never made it to Missoula. Bruss spent a lot of time over the winter of 2023-24 working with Tread Athletics on retooling his arsenal. He threw a couple of bullpens there where he touched 99 mph with exceptional carry on his fastball, and the Tigers signed him. He has continued to light up radar guns as a reliever at Low-A Lakeland.

Scouting Report: Bruss is a massive 6-foot-8 righthander who attacks hitters with a 95-97 mph fastball and a 90-91 mph splitter with tons of arm-side run. It’s a truly nasty pitch that leads to some horrendously ugly swings. When he’s on, he can throw it arm-side at the bottom of the zone against righties and lefties and watch them screw themselves into the ground trying to hit it. He also throws an inconsistent mid-80s slider, which, at this point, is a welcome relief for hitters worried about his splitter.

The Future: Bruss is a 25-year-old in his first season in affiliated ball, so he’ll need to be on a faster development track than most prospects. But it’s hard to find pitchers who throw as hard as Bruss, especially ones who can mix in a quality secondary offering.

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55 | Splitter: 65 | Slider: 30 | Control: 40

30. Jose Dickson, SS

BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

Track Record: A $397,500 signing out of the Dominican Republic, Dickson is showing flashes of what he could be a few years and 20 pounds from now by hitting for average and stealing bases in the Dominican Summer League.

Scouting Report: Dickson is an athletic, lanky shortstop who has the soft hands, smooth actions and body control needed to stay at shortstop for the long term. He’s a skinny 6-foot-2, 160 pounds presently but should eventually fill out and help turn a slap-hitting approach into a more power-oriented one. Already boasting bat control and a solid eye for the strike zone, he just needs to mature and get stronger.

The Future: Dickson is an international signee who fits the Tigers’ clear organizational direction in acquiring pure hitters. He’s a solid prospect with a lot of room to grow.

Scouting Grades: Hitting: 45 | Power: 40 | Speed: 50 | Fielding: 55 | Arm: 50

Significant injuries

Tyler Mattison, RHP

Mattison had Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. He’s on the full-season injured list and will not return to action until 2025.

Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP

Gipson-Long missed time in spring training with a groin injury. When he returned to action, he went down again with a sore elbow that eventually required surgery. He’ll miss the remainder of the 2024 season.

Izaac Pacheco, 3B

Pacheco is on the 60-day injured list after having surgery for a hand injury.

Wilmer Flores, RHP

Flores has a shoulder sprain that has sidelined him since late May.

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