Tigers sign No. 2 prospect Keith to 6-year extension

Detroit Tigers

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers signed infielder Colt Keith to a six-year contract extension worth $28,642,500 that runs through the 2029 season and includes club options for the 2030, 2031, and 2032 seasons.

Keith will make $2,500,000 in 2024, $3,500,000 in 2025, $4,000,000 per season from 2026-27, and $5,000,000 per season from 2028-29. The deal also includes a $2,000,000 signing bonus, $10,000,000 club option for 2030 with a $2,642,500 buyout, $13,000,000 club option for 2031 with a $1,000,000 buyout, $15,000,000 club option for 2032 with a $2,000,000 buyout, and escalators for the club option salaries. If all options are escalated and exercised, the contract would be worth $82,000,000 over nine years.

Keith, drafted in the fifth round of the 2020 MLB Draft, has excelled during his journey through the Tigers player development system and is currently ranked by MLB Pipeline as the club’s No. 2 prospect, and No. 22 in all of baseball. The 22-year-old lefthanded hitter is a native of Zanesville, OH and attended Biloxi High School (MS).

“This is a very exciting day for the Detroit Tigers, Colt, his family, and our fans,” said Detroit Tigers President of Baseball Operations, Scott Harris. “Colt has done everything we’ve asked of him during his young career, improving all facets of his game and asserting himself as one of the sport’s most promising young players. This contract demonstrates our faith in Colt and this organization’s commitment to acquire, develop, and retain young talent.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to reach this agreement, securing my place in this organization for years to come,” said Keith. “Since being drafted in 2020, all the coaches and staff have been invaluable in helping me and my teammates grow on and off the field. There’s a reason I felt strongly about making a long-term commitment to be here, and being surrounded by incredibly talented teammates and coaches is a big part of that. I’d also like to thank my family, fiancé, agent, and friends for their tireless support throughout my life and career. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I know this is a big accomplishment, but ultimately my mission is to be the best player possible and help win a World Series Championship for Tigers fans everywhere.”

The 2023 season was a highly successful one for the then 21-year-old Keith, during which he powered through Double A (59 games) and Triple A (67 games). In his third Minor League season, and first reaching the Triple A level, Keith put together a combined slashline of .306/.380/.552 with 38 doubles, 27 homers, and 101 RBI. Among all full season Minor League players last season, he ranked third in extra-base hits (68), fifth in total bases (280), and tied for eighth in RBI (101).

While in Erie in 2023, he posted a .325/.391/.585 slashline, belting 14 home runs and 18 doubles, while driving in 50 RBI. Among all qualified hitters across the Double A level at the time of his promotion to Toledo (June 23), Keith ranked second in total bases (144); third in extra-base hits (34); fourth in slugging percentage (.585); fifth in batting average (.325), doubles (18) and home runs (14); and sixth in RBI (50). His performance earned several accolades from the Eastern League in 2023, including two Player of the Week honors (April 23 and May 21), Player of the Month (May) and being named a Post-Season All-Star.

After his promotion to Toledo, Keith ranked as one of the International League’s best hitters even though he was more than five years younger than the average player in the league. During his time with the Mud Hens, he hit .287/.369/.521 with 20 doubles, 13 home runs, and 51 RBI. From the span of his first game in Toledo (June 28) through the end of the season, Keith ranked third in the league with extra-base hits (34) and total bases (136); fourth in doubles (20); and fifth in hits (75) and RBI (51).

Additional accolades earned during his 2023 campaign: MiLB.com Organizational All-Star (also earned in 2022), MLB Futures Game Selection, Baseball America Tigers Minor League Player of the Year, and Minor League Baseball’s Single Game Performance of the Year after going 6×6 and hitting for the cycle (with two home runs) on May 16.

Through his first three professional seasons, Keith has slashed a combined .300/.382/.512 with 60 doubles, 11 triples, 38 home runs, and 164 RBI in 239 games. He played in the Arizona Fall League in 2022, hitting .344/.463/.541 with three doubles, three home runs and 10 RBI. Keith was selected to play in the AFL’s Rising Stars Game.

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