The road to Detroit will take Spencer Torkelson to Class A West Michigan and Riley Greene to Double-A Erie when the Minor League season begins next week. Rosters were revealed for the entire Tigers farm system on Thursday as prospects get ready for their first Minor League games in nearly two years. Full-season affiliates begin play next Tuesday.
The assignments for Torkelson and Greene went as expected. Both were non-roster invites to Major League camp this Spring Training, but both showed the impact of lost Minor League time while flashing their potential to move quickly through the system.
Torkelson, the top overall selection in last summer’s MLB Draft, becomes the first top overall pick to pass through West Michigan in franchise history. He joins fellow 2020 Tigers pick Dillon Dingler, Daniel Cabrera and Trei Cruz at West Michigan in the Whitecaps’ first foray into High-A ball. Parker Meadows and Bryant Packard return, joining Cabrera in what should be a stacked outfield, along with reliever Zack Hess.
Franklin Pérez, who will pick up his career after being limited by injuries to 27 innings over three years in the Tigers organization, will also be part of the pitching staff.
Add it together, and the Whitecaps’ roster includes eight of MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Tigers prospects, four of them in the top eight.
Greene, the Tigers’ top Draft pick two years ago, will leapfrog High-A and make his Double-A debut after 57 professional games in 2019. His advanced hitting skills and instincts for the game have been on display in big league camp between back-to-back Spring Trainings and Summer Camp last year. He’ll be the star prospect on a SeaWolves roster that is used to having top prospects following the star-studded 2019 rotation that included current Tigers Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, along with top pitching prospect Matt Manning.
Ryan Kreidler, the Tigers’ 25th-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, makes a bigger jump after spending his 2019 season at Short Season Class A Connecticut. The versatile infielder, Detroit’s fourth-round pick in 2019 out of UCLA, made a big impression as an extra player in Spring Training games.
Like West Michigan, Triple-A Toledo will feature eight prospects from MLB Pipeline’s Tigers Top 30. Topping the list is Manning, who gets his anticipated promotion to Triple-A after 26 starts for Erie. He’s expected to get the Opening Day assignment, anchoring a six-man rotation that includes fellow prospects Rony García and Logan Shore, along with veteran big leaguers Drew Hutchison and Wily Peralta.
Isaac Paredes, who made his big league debut in Detroit last summer, and Zack Short, who made his debut last week, highlight a Mud Hens infield that includes Kody Clemens and Renato Núñez. Daz Cameron, Derek Hill and Christin Stewart form the outfield, along with super-utility player Brady Policelli and outfielder/catcher Eric Haase. Jake Rogers returns behind the plate.