Detroit Tigers fire Triple-A Toledo manager Tom Prince after first-place finish

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers have fired Triple-A Toledo manager Tom Prince, leaving the Mud Hens with a vacancy entering the offseason.

Prince, 57, carried Toledo to a first-place finish in the Midwest Division and a 74-56 record in 2021. He was informed Tuesday that he would not return for 2022, a source with knowledge of the situation told the Free Press.

For now, the Tigers seem prepared to keep the rest of their minor league managers into next season: Arnie Beyeler at Double-A Erie, Brayan Pena at High-A West Michigan and Andrew Graham at Low-A Lakeland.

TIMELINES: How AJ Hinch nailed the timetable for Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson

OFFSEASON: Tigers could improve fast with money from Ilitch and smart moves from Avila

The success from the Mud Hens marked their third winning season since 2012 and their best record since 2007. By the end of the year, the roster featured a handful of rising prospects on the offensive side: Spencer Torkelson, Riley Greene, Ryan Kreidler and Kody Clemens.

Toledo infielder Aderlin Rodriguez earned the Triple-A East MVP award for hitting .290 with 29 home runs and 94 RBIs across 116 games. The 29-year-old made 43 starts at first base, 31 starts at third base and 41 starts at designated hitter.

Behind Prince’s dismissal is an overhaul in the Tigers’ player development department.

BACK IN BASEBALL: AJ Hinch didn’t know if he’d get another chance. Tigers sure glad he’s theirs

OUTLINING OFFSEASON: Will Detroit Tigers sign All-Star shortstop, trade prospects?

The restructuring began in late August, when vice president of player development Dave Littlefield was demoted to a new role. The Tigers replaced him in September with Ryan Garko, the new head of player development, who has a knack for analytics and coach development.

Prince was a big-league catcher for 17 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1987-93), Los Angeles Dodgers (1994-98), Philadelphia Phillies (1999-20), Minnesota Twins (2001-03) and Kansas City Royals (2003).

PROSPECTS: Tigers sending Spencer Torkelson, Riley Greene to Arizona Fall League

ACE OF FUTURE: Casey Mize sets ‘foundation’ for ace status with rookie year he’s proud of

He began his post-playing career in 2005, when Littlefield — then the Pirates general manager — tabbed him as a minor-league coach. Prince remained with the Pirates’ organization until 2019, when Littlefield hired him to run the Mud Hens.

In the aftermath of Littlefield’s demotion, the Tigers moved on from Prince, too, despite the Mud Hens’ stellar performance in 2021.

Contact Evan Petzold at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter

Articles You May Like

Watch Top 100 Prospects countdown Thursday on MLB Network
Tigers will have plenty of options to figure out open spot at third base
Detroit Tigers’ Edwin Uceta, once lauded prospect, ready for new chance after waiver claim
MLB Power Rankings: The worst-case scenario for all 30 MLB teams this season
Pistons LIVE 1.26.23: Dwane Casey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *