Tigers Believe In 'Aggressive' Isaac Paredes' Potential
Shortstop Isaac Paredes has this tattoo.
It’s on his right wrist. It's the Major League Baseball logo, outlined with seams of a baseball.
Paredes has this tattoo to remind him every day of his end goal: to make the major leagues one day.
"It’s just a reminder,” Paredes said through a team translator. "You've got to have the strength and the makeup and the work ethic to achieve your goals.”
The 19-year-old has plenty of time before he’s in position to reach Detroit, but the Tigers are high on Paredes, whom they acquired last July in a swap with the Cubs that cost them veterans Alex Avila and Justin Wilson.
In that deal, which looks like a big win for the Tigers, the team also acquired third baseman Jeimer Candelario, the club's projected big league third baseman. Paredes, who signed out of Mexico in 2015, is just getting acclimated to life with his new team.
He spent last season in the low Class A Midwest League and hit .252/.338/.387 with 11 home runs in 124 games. He switched affiliates, from South Bend to West Michigan, after the trade.
"It was completely unexpected,” Paredes said of the trade. ". . . It was tough at first, but I felt a lot more comfortable as the year went on.”
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The 2016 first-rounder improved the extension in his delivery, producing a big season he finished at Double-A.
Paredes reported to camp coming after a strong season in the Mexican Pacific League, where he hit .370 in 15 games.
The Tigers believe Paredes can hit. Where he ends up defensively, however, remains to be seen. At first glance, he’s a bit pudgy in the mold of a Jhonny Peralta at shortstop. But the organization’s recent acquisitions show a strong preference for middle infielders, believing that players with that kind of defensive ability can move to other positions—perhaps second or third base—with ease.
At the plate, Paredes describes himself as an aggressive bat. "Even when I was signed," he said, "I would always say that I’ve been an aggressive hitter.”
He appears destined for high Class A Lakeland this season and has the raw ability to rank near the top of future Tigers prospect rankings.