| Detroit Free Press
Detroit Tigers Tarik Skubal explains how he modified his changeup grip
Detroit Tigers left-hander Tarik Skubal checks in Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, to discuss how he is gearing up for the 2021 season.
Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press
Another prospect list, another crop of Detroit Tigers recognized.
On Thursday, MLB Pipeline released its annual top-100 rankings, where the Tigers landed five prospects within first 25 names on the list: third baseman Spencer Torkelson, right-hander Casey Mize, outfielder Riley Greene, left-hander Tarik Skubal and righty Matt Manning.
Torkelson leads the pack at No. 3 overall, followed by Mize (No. 11), Greene (No. 21), Skubal (No. 24) and Manning (No. 25). There are no other Tigers on the 2021 top-100 list. Torkelson, Greene and Manning are still waiting for their MLB debuts, while Mize and Skubal got their call-ups in August.
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Before Thursday’s announcement, Torkelson was fourth, Mize fifth, Manning 20th, Greene 25th and Skubal 42nd.
Torkelson moved up one spot as San Diego Padres left-hander MacKenzie Gore dipped from third to sixth. The top two prospects in baseball — Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco and Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman — hold the same positions.
Here’s the new top 10, according to MLB Pipeline: Franco (Rays), Rutschman (Orioles), Torkelson (Tigers), Jarred Kelenic (Mariners), Julio Y. Rodriguez (Mariners), Gore (Padres), Bobby Witt Jr. (Royals), CJ Abrams (Padres), Ke’Bryan Hayes (Pirates) and Nate Pearson (Blue Jays).
Torkelson has yet to play a true professional game, as the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the minor leagues in 2020. He was selected No. 1 overall in last year’s draft and is likely to start the upcoming season in High-A West Michigan.
Greene is expected to begin in Double-A Erie. Manning seems set for Triple-A Toledo, unless he can crack the 26-man Opening Day roster out of spring training.
Manning, the No. 9 overall pick in 2016, posted a 2.56 ERA, 148 strikeouts and 38 walks in 113⅔ innings for Double-A Erie. Greene, the No. 5 overall selection in 2019, finished with a .271 batting average, five home runs and 28 RBIs in three levels of the minors. He hasn’t played above Single-A.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Mize logged a 6.99 ERA, 26 strikeouts and 13 walks in 28⅓ innings in the majors last season. Skubal, picked in the ninth round of the 2018 draft, finished with a 5.63 ERA, 37 strikeouts and 11 walks in 32 innings.
Earlier this month, Baseball America released its top-100 list: Torkelson (No. 5), Skubal (No. 20), Mize (No. 28), Manning (No. 30) and Greene (No. 31).