Tigers prospects in spring training gives unusual peek at potential future stars

Detroit Free Press

The true signs of spring come to us more than 1,000 miles away every year.

While the state of Michigan unthaws from snow and ice in mid-February, we are treated to images from Florida to remind us of what summer looks like.

Spring training baseball is a rite of passage, especially for snowbirds looking to escape frigid weather in favor of sun, fun and the sounds of America’s pastime.

For Detroit Tigers fans and followers, Lakeland, Florida, has been their second home for almost 90 years, longer than any other Major League Baseball franchise. But this year, the big names of baseball were missing because of the MLB lockout. Instead, each team invited up to 60 minor leaguers to a minicamp, giving those in the early development of the pro careers a chance to work with team staffs and, if nothing else, provide a sense of normalcy.

For approximately three weeks, the minor leaguers ruled the roost across baseball, and Lakeland was no different, as players on the precipice of their major league dreams put in the necessary work toward that goal. The group of prospects included two of the highest-rated future stars in the game: Spencer Torkelson, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2020, and Riley Greene, the Tigers’ top pick the year before. Both have great chances of making their debuts at Comerica Park this Opening Day.

But several others who were on the main fields at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium will make the majors one day, too. They are nameless, faceless players populating the farm teams now, but one day, a few of them, maybe more, will turn in the hard, anonymous work in central Florida for a screaming crowd applauding a job well done in downtown Detroit.



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