Tigers officially switch West Michigan and Lakeland in minor league hierarchy

Detroit News

The Detroit News
 |  The Detroit News

The Detroit Tigers’ minor league affiliates for 2021 will be Triple A Toledo, Double A Erie, High Single A West Michigan and Low Single A Lakeland.

The Detroit News reported on the pending affiliation changes on Nov. 12.

West Michigan and Lakeland switch in Single A hierarchy, as the as Florida State League teams move to Low A and the Midwest League gets a promotion to High A.

“Player development has never been more important to our organization than it is today, and after a significant review process with each of the clubs and Major League Baseball, we’re excited to invite these affiliates to move forward as part of the Tigers family,” Tigers general manager Al Avila said in a written statement. “These clubs play a key role in our long-term plan for sustainable success, to ensure our players are in the best position for growth and development to become impactful contributors at the Major League level.”

This has been the first change to the Tigers’ minor league system since 2001,  when Erie replaced Jacksonville as the Double A affiliate.

Toledo has been the Tigers’ Triple A affiliate since 1987, Lakeland has been in the organization since 1967 and West Michigan has been a Tiger Single A location since 1997.

More: Tigers cap Hinch’s staff by hiring Jose Cruz Jr. as hitting instructor

“All of us with the Tigers player development department know how fortunate we are to have such great partners at our affiliates, and look forward to continuing these relationships,” said Dave Littlefield, Detroit Tigers Vice President of Player Development. “Each of them stands out across Minor League Baseball for having quality baseball facilities and passionate fan bases, and we’re hopeful to continue having our players develop there for years to come.

“Moving the Whitecaps to be our Advanced A affiliate will improve our organization’s efficiency in significant ways, including having our High A and Double A affiliates closer to each other, while putting our Single A and Rookie League teams at the same world class complex in Lakeland,” said Dave Littlefield, Tigers vice president of player development.

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