Tigers not inclined to fast-track No. 2 prospect Keith 

Detroit Tigers

Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris has heard the speculation about No. 2 prospect Colt Keith moving up from Double-A Erie — maybe to Triple-A Toledo, and maybe even to Detroit. But Harris indicated that they’re not inclined to fast-track the highly regarded slugger, at least not to the Major Leagues.

“Colt has been really, really fun to watch all year,” Harris said in a Monday media session at Comerica Park. “In many ways, he embodies the offensive approach we’re trying to build around in this organization. He’s swinging at the right pitches. He’s accessing his power almost every night. If you don’t catch yourself, it’s easy to forget that he’s the youngest player on the team and he’s one of the youngest players in all of Double-A, and he missed some valuable reps over the course of his young career due to injury.

“Right now, I see all this speculation about promotions for him. The best thing that Colt can do right now is focus on getting better every day. The standard he’s setting at that level, being obsessed with trying to get better every day, is the standard that we want to have at all levels. I think the development goals for him right now are continuing to see different types of pitching, working to refine his defense at both third base and second base, and making up for some of those lost reps that he had so far in his young career. If he continues to do that, he’s gonna be just fine.”

“As a general point in this organization, we are going to prioritize seeing different types of pitching,” Harris said. “We’re gonna prioritize getting as many reps in different game situations against different pitchers as possible. If you study offensive performance throughout the game right now, especially over the last four or five years, you’ll see that this level is littered with players who raked throughout the Minor Leagues and got to this level and struggled. The gap between Triple-A pitching and Major League pitching has never been wider than it is right now.

“I want to see all these players up in Detroit just as bad as all the fans do, but I have an obligation in my position to make sure that they are prepared to be able to hit this pitching. Additionally, I think if you look at our Toledo team right now, there are a few players that had remarkable years last year, who are struggling in Toledo right now. That’s a good thing. We want our young hitters to face struggles before they get to this level, fight through those struggles, figure out what pitchers are doing to them and adjust back to them.

“I wouldn’t entirely rule out a jump from Double-A to the big leagues for any of our players moving forward, but it’s really hard to make up for the reps that they could get against different types of pitchers in Triple-A.”

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