The Tigers have moved out of the days when Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson topped their prospect rankings, just as they graduated Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Matt Manning from prospect status a year before. Now comes the test of what Detroit’s investment in player development can do with the next level of talent.
It’s a test for vice president of player development Ryan Garko, whose influence can be seen all over the system after a year in charge. It’ll be just as big of a task for the Tigers’ next general manager, because Detroit’s mantra on building sustainable success through the farm system isn’t expected to change.
Despite the Tigers’ miserable season at the Major League level, Detroit’s prospect depth has subtly paid off, turning Beau Brieske and Garrett Hill from mid-level prospects to viable Major League starters. Joey Wentz will likely get the opportunity to do the same down the stretch.
That said, the next round of potential breakout Tigers prospects is in the lower levels, between Draft picks Jace Jung and Peyton Graham and the crop of international signings at Single-A Lakeland with Cristian Santana, Roberto Campos and Manuel Sequera.
Here’s a look at the Tigers’ top prospects:
1. Jackson Jobe, RHP (41st in MLB)
2. Jace Jung, 2B (74th in MLB)
3. Wilmer Flores, RHP
4. Ty Madden, RHP
5. Peyton Graham, SS
Complete Top 30 list »
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the preseason list:
Jump: Wilmer Flores, RHP (Preseason: 16 | Midseason: 3) – The younger brother of the Giants’ infielder by the same name (different middle names) looked like a future reliever going into the season, but he has dominated as a starter at High-A and Double-A with a wide pitch repertoire.
Fall: Gage Workman, SS (Preseason: 12 | Midseason: NR) – The former fourth-round Draft pick has big league potential defensively, but his high strikeout rate — a concern last year — has grown worse, topping 40 percent.
New to the list
Here are the players added to the Top 30 from outside the organization:
2. Jace Jung, 2B (1st round Draft pick)
5. Peyton Graham, SS (2nd round Draft pick)
19. Troy Melton, RHP (4th round Draft pick)
20. Luke Gold, 3B (5th round Draft pick)
No. 7 prospect Ryan Kreidler has dealt with repercussions from a broken hand suffered back in April for much of the season, but he’s been back with Triple-A Toledo since July 29. Notably, the Tigers have started giving the shortstop more time at second base and third base in preparation for a potential move to Motor City, and that’s saying something because they consider him their best Minor League defensive infielder. It may just take more proving that Kreidler is fully healed this time from the hand issues to punch his ticket to Detroit.
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools — 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 60 — Jace Jung
Power: 60 — Kerry Carpenter (Jace Jung)
Run: 60 — Parker Meadows (Peyton Graham, Wenceel Perez)
Arm: 65 — Dillon Dingler
Field: 55 — Dillon Dingler (Ryan Kreidler, Izaac Pacheco, Parker Meadows, Abel Bastidas, Josh Crouch)
Fastball: 70 — Elvis Alvarado
Curveball: 60 — Wilmer Flores
Slider: 65 — Jackson Jobe
Changeup: 60 — Jackson Jobe
Control: 55 — Brant Hurter (Wilmer Flores)