Detroit Tigers 2019 Midseason Top 50 Prospects

Casey Mize, Erie Seawolves, warming up in the bullpen May 20, 2019 in Hartford, CT. Photo credit - Scott Greene, @Scotty_Ballgame on Twitter

The 2019 version of the Detroit Tigers is arguably the worst team in the MLB. In fact, at least offensively speaking, they are currently in the conversation for one of the worst offenses in MLB history. Seasons like this can’t help you from wondering who the guys in the system are that could help in the coming years to turn this Detroit Tigers team around. Well, luckily for you I am here to help you in your search.

Below you will see a tier system that we use to rank players. It gives you an indication of what type of production we think you can expect from a particular player at the MLB level. My preseason list provided you with a full write up on each of the 50 guys listed. For the midseason edition I am providing you with a write up for each of the guys in the top 3 tiers and simply rank the rest for you.

Note: My list is constructed with fantasy purposes in mind over real life MLB rankings. For hitters, things like defense are greatly diminished and offense is enhanced. For pitchers, relievers lose a lot of value and starting pitchers are graded more for strikeouts, ERA and WHIP than being guys who are able to simply eat up a lot of innings.

So sit back, grab a pen, notepad and something to sip on because I’ve got your Detroit Tigers prospects covered.


Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster


Tier 1

1. Casey Mize, RHP
Preseason rank: 1
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: AA
ETA: 2020

I will be honest, I strongly considered another player for the #1 spot on this list.  Listen, there is no argument that Mize is a special talent.  He has every chance in the world to become an ace in the big leagues. Mize has all the makings that you are looking for to be the ace of your staff. Whether you like a mid 90’s FB that is easily controlled and has excellent life, a mid 80’s slider that he varies in speed as necessary, or a devastating splitter that is a signature strikeout pitch, Mize has you covered.  My concern for him is quite simply health.  Every Tigers fan held their breath when Mize left a game with what appeared to be an arm injury in June.  The Tommy John light went off in a lot of heads. Thankfully, Mize has since returned to the mound.  However, it couldn’t help but to remind you of the injury concerns that have haunted him in the past.

2. Matt Manning, RHP
Preseason rank: 2
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: AA
ETA: 2020

The aforementioned “other player” that was considered for the #1 spot is none other than Matt Manning. His delivery and command have seen improvements this year. This kid has the stuff to be a front-line starter in the big leagues. Manning boasts a low 90’s fastball that he can bump up to 95-96 as needed. His change-up lags behind the FB but his curveball is a legitimate strikeout pitch and has the chance to be plus plus. He leads the Eastern League in strikeouts and there is still an outside chance that he pitches for the Detroit Tigers this September.

3. Riley Greene, OF
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: A-
ETA: 2022

The Detroit Tigers took him with the 5th overall pick in the 2019 draft.  While most fans were hoping that Andrew Vaughn or J.J. Bleday would fall, I think given time they will be happy with the pick.  Greene boasts a potential 70 hit tool with his bat.  He won’t be winning any HR titles but he is going to be a big time hitter when his time comes.  Greene has already blown through the GCL and will probably spend the rest of the year in Connecticut.  Look for him to start the 2020 season in A ball with West Michigan.  From there how quickly he is able to move will be up to him.  I think my 2022 ETA is a little bit aggressive but if the first 75 AB’s is any indication of the type of player the Detroit Tigers drafted my estimate could well prove right.


Tier 2

4. Isaac Paredes, 3B/SS
Preseason rank: 4
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: AA
ETA: 2020

Paredes hasn’t blown anyone away so far this year. That is not to say he hasn’t been good. He is putting up a respectable slash line of .256/.351/.374 with 4 HR and 24 RBI in 148 AB.  Those numbers are in line with what he has done through his career.  So repeating these numbers in his first taste of AA is nice to see.  For the Tigers to return to prominence they are going to need Paredes to bring a big bat to Detroit.

5. Alex Faedo, RHP
Preseason rank: 5
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA
ETA: 2020

I was questioned a lot because of my higher than most ranking on Faedo to start the year.  So far my faith in Faedo has been rewarded.  He is second in the Eastern League, behind Manning, in strikeouts this year.  His command has been incredible as he has a 5.94 SO/W rate. Don’t be surprised to see Faedo and others from the terrific Erie rotation make their way to Toledo at some point this year before joining the Detroit Tigers at some point in 2020.

6. Tarik Skubal, LHP
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: AA
ETA: 2021

Did you notice the preseason ranking of n/a ? Ummmmmmm yeah, my bad Tarik! I left him unranked to start the year and boy was I wrong. Skubal had only thrown 22.1 innings prior to this year. While his numbers were good I just was not a believer yet and I wanted to see a larger sample size. Well now he has given me a larger sample size and he has been impressive. He has a 5.11 SO/W rate this year and his numbers have only improved since being moved up to AA.

7. Parker Meadows, OF
Preseason rank: 8
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: A
ETA: 2022

Meadows is going to be a rare case at the top of these rankings where the stats don’t line up with the ranking.  He is slashing a paltry .245/.332/.365 bu don’t let that fool you because he is the real deal. He is on average 2 years younger than the guys he is playing against in West Michigan. He has the tools to be an impact player at the MLB level but he needs the time for it all to development. I think he is going to end up being a stalwart in the Detroit Tigers outfield as soon as 2022.

8. Daz Cameron, OF
Preseason rank: 6
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: AAA
ETA: 2019

Daz drops 2 spots in these rankings but don’t let that foot you, I still like this kid a lot. Riley Greene was put ahead of him and the breakout of Skubal is what has pushed Cameron back. I still think he has 20/20 potential while playing a solid OF for the Detroit Tigers. He is very likely to play some games in Detroit starting in September at the latest.

9. Franklin Perez, RHP
Preseason rank: 3
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A+
ETA: 2021

Perez is a tough guy to rank right now. Purely speaking of skills he is easily a top 5 prospect in this system. The problem for him is that he has pitched a grand total of 27 innings since 2017. It has been injury after injury for him and that makes it difficult to rank him. When healthy Perez has a plus fastball/curveball combination in addition to at least an average change up and slider. His FB sits between 92-94 but he can reach back for 96 when he wants to. He has a very tight curveball that he throws with a lot of spin and is a great compliment to his FB. His slider and changeup both come in as average to above average with the changeup having a nice fade and the slider still a work in progress. His diverse pitch arsenal and solid command with all his pitches amounts an upside of a #2. The question for him right now is, will he ever get and stay healthy ?

10. Beau Burrows, RHP
Preseason rank: 10
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: AAA
ETA: 2019

I think that long term Burrows place with the Detroit Tigers will be in the bullpen. In the mean time he is almost certain to be the first of their stable of arms to reach the big league rotation. He has good command of his mid 90’s fastball and power curveball. Burrows still needs to work on getting more consistency and control out of his slider and changeup though. His 2.50 SO/W rate is right in line with his career but it definitely leaves a lot to be desired. I think that ultimately his stuff will play up in the bullpen, which as I mentioned earlier, where I eventually expect him to wind up.

11. Jake Rogers, C
Preseason rank: 16
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AAA
ETA: 2019

My note to start the article should be called the Jake Rogers clause. As a total package I think Jake Rogers has a chance to have a good, long career for the Detroit Tigers. He is going to be able to stick around because defensively I think he is an elite Catcher. For fantasy purposes the only way that helps is because it means he will get a lot of plate appearance because he will get plenty of playing time. So for my purposes Rogers bat is where the rubber meets the road. Rogers career slash line of .241/.337/.437 isn’t very appealing, granted for a Catcher it isn’t terrible. So before you kill me on the ranking of Rogers know that for real life purposes I would put him as a top 5 Detroit Tigers prospect. However, for the purposes of these rankings he falls just outside of the top 10.



Tier 3

12. Nick Quintana, 3B
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A
ETA: 2021

The Detroit Tigers selected the Arizona 3B in the 2nd RD of the 2019 draft. While Quintana is probably better with his glove than his bat, he certainly is no slouch at the plate. That is not a knock on his bat, that is a credit to his excellent defense at the hot corner. One reason I might be higher than most on him is that he is not afraid to take a walk. A player with a patient approach and good plate discipline has always been an attribute I value greatly. How quickly he can adjust to professional pitching will dictate how quickly he moves through the system.

13. Willi Castro, SS
Preseason rank: 13
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: AAA
ETA: 2019

Castro is a guy that I think should have made his MLB debut already. He has slashed .297/.379/.440 in AAA this year. Throw 16 stolen into the mix and I think he is the guy for the job right now. I have always expected him to be the first impactful middle infielder to get his shot. His defense has been suspect and I would expect that has at least been part of why he is still in Toledo. However, I would be shocked if we don’t see Castro in a Detroit Tigers uniform in 2019. For as much as I bash Al Avila, getting him in exchange for Leonys Martin should prove to be one of the better deals they made over these past few years.

14. Andre Lipcius, SS/2B
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A
ETA: 2021

The Detroit Tigers selected the Tennessee infielder in the 3rd RD of the 2019 draft. Lipcius only hit 25 dingers during his 3 years for the Vols but 17 of them came in his final year. He is a bat first player but that’s not to say he isn’t valuable in the field. He is a versatile defender who’s final position might end up based on need more than anything else.

15. Kody Clemens, 2B
Preseason rank: 11
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: A+
ETA: 2021

Clemens is a guy that has fallen a bit in the rankings but I am not down on him. Again, it is simply a matter of other guys jumping him, not so much him falling. Regardless, this is a guy that will go as far as hit bat will take him. Dynasty owners will love his above average raw power with a slight uppercut swing that gives some natural loft. His hit tool isn’t quite as far along but he does have a good plate approach. I could see Clemens’ ceiling being in the .260 neighborhood with 20 home runs. Not too shabby for a middle infielder. He has even managed to sneak in 9 SB this year. Those are surprising because Clemens is graded as a 40 runner and never stole more than 5 bags in college. Clemens has plus bat speed and in time I think his advanced knowledge of the strike zone will allow him to be someone who ends up with an average hit tool.

16. Elvin Rodriguez, RHP
Preseason rank: 15
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A+
ETA: 2021

I have remained higher on Elvin than most in the industry but people are starting to catch up now. He hasn’t had the breakout in 2019 that I was hoping for but his numbers are pretty much in line with Lakeland to his career numbers. The only real exception is his walk rate is at the highest it has been in his career but it isn’t a concern for me unless it starts to really rise. His arsenal consists of a mid 90’s fastball that has nice movement, a terrific hard curveball that is his out pitch and a quickly developing changeup. I am interested to see if the Tigers push him to AA to test how quickly he can move through the system. He has the upside of a #3 starter that could also end up as an impact bullpen arm if the top end arms in this system develop and don’t leave any room for him in the rotation.

17. Wenceel Perez, SS
Preseason rank: 9
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: A
ETA: 2021

Pronounced like Pencil, Wenceel is the first of the guys in these rankings that I am actually down on. To be fair I was probably too high on him after 2018 but his potential along with his numbers gave me every reason to make him a top 10 prospect in the Detroit Tigers system. He has came back to reality in 2019 posting a .219/.285/.299 to this point. He is on a nice SB pace as he has already swiped 12, but he has been caught 8 times which is a bit concerning. His defense is also becoming a concern for me. He has 20 errors so far in 2019 and in the couple of games I watched him this year he made some errors on fairly routine plays. I do believe that long term he will be fine defensively.  To be a big league asset for the Detroit Tigers Perez is going to need to be a speedy leadoff type hitter. I am less convinced he will be that guy than I was 6 months ago.

18. Anthony Castro, RHP
Preseason rank: 38
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AA
ETA: 2020

I am a bit higher on Castro than most. I think his stats are a little deceiving because I think his stuff is better than the numbers he is producing. So far in 2019 he has thrown 65.2 innings in AA as both a starter and reliever. He has produced a 4.11 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 1.93 SO/W. Those numbers aren’t great, as I said. However, I like his above average FB that can reach 96 and his slider has really turned into a weapon (as you will see below). Castro is a guy I would personally like to see the Detroit Tigers give a shot in the bullpen in 2019 but ultimately I would suspect 2020 is his time frame.

19. Kingston Liniak, OF
Preseason rank: 22
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: A
ETA: 2022

I liked the Detroit Tigers finally getting on board with selecting some toolsy high school bats in last years draft. It is a high risk/high reward strategy but it was exactly what the Tigers system needs as it desperately lacks potential impact bats. With all of that being said, Liniak is a very raw prospect but with a lot of promising tools. His calling card right now is his plus speed which is seen more in the field than on the basepaths. He has the potential for a 50 hit tool but his power isn’t likely to be more than 8-12 homers a year. He could develop into a .270 hitter with 10/30 potential sitting atop the Tigers lineup. Guys like Liniak will be fun to watch as they develop over the next few years.

20. Kyle Funkhouser, RHP
Preseason rank: 12
Age: 25
2019 Highest Level: AAA
ETA: 2019

Funkhouser is a guy I have been higher on than most up until this point. Coming out of Louisville in 2016 I thought the Detroit Tigers got an absolute steal with him in the 4th RD. I have been waiting for his advanced arm to show up and pave his way to their big league rotation. Funkhouser has a fastball that sits in the low 90’s with decent life. His secondary pitches and sudden lack of control is where my concerns lie. None of his secondary pitches show any reason to think they will be plus. The best of those pitches is probably his slider which could be plus, but he does not show any consistency with it. His changeup and curveball both exist but aren’t nearly MLB ready, which is a problem at his advanced age. I still think there is a chance that he gets some starts for the big league club but I no longer think he has much of a shot of being a steady contributor as a starting pitcher. The best bet for him at this point is turning into a quality reliever.

21. Bryant Packard, OF
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A
ETA: 2021

The Detroit Tigers selected the East Carolina outfielder in the 5th RD of the 2019 draft. He brings a polished bat into their farm system after having a terrific college career. He started off in Connecticut but quickly proved he was ready for a bigger challenge and got moved up to West Michigan. He has continued to hit well and should finish the season in the Midwest League. I think Packard has the upside of a .280 hitter with 20 bombs. He isn’t going to steal any bases but he should provide average defense.

22. Carlos Guzman, RHP
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A
ETA: 2022

From what I am hearing the Detroit Tigers are shutting down Guzman for the remainder of the 2019 season. That is a shame because this is a guy that I think is a n underrated guy in the system. He was having a solid year in the Midwest League. Through 7 starts he had a 2.73 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 27 K’s in 33 innings. However, his control wasn’t great as he walked 18 batters. He has an athletic delivery and features three pitches. The gem of his arsenal is his circle change-up. Guzman throws it with confidence, extending both sides of the plate. His fastball sits 92-94 mph. Guzman also throws a slider. At present, it’s a fringe pitch, which doesn’t concern me. A slider is easier to learn than a change-up for most players. Based on his athleticism and command of the change-up alone, Guzman is a guy to keep an eye on when he returns to action in 2020, probably back in West Michigan.

23. Eliezer Alfonzo, C/1B
Preseason rank: 28
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: A-
ETA: 2022

Unless you really follow Detroit Tigers prospects this is a name you are almost certainly unfamiliar with. He is one of my favorite Tiger prospects and obviously I am much higher on him than pretty much anyone else. He has a career minor league slash line of .318/.405/.375. Granted, he only has 1 HR he does possess in buckets my favorite trait when looking at prospects. He has walked more than he has stuck out and by a bit. He has 58 walks compared to 47 whiffs. I expect those numbers will change as he gets more AB’s against better competition but the skill set is there.  This is a kid I will be keeping a close eye on and hoping that I saw something in him that others have missed.



Tier 4

24. Roberto Campos, OF
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 16
2019 Highest Level: n/a
ETA: 2024

25. Brock Deatherage, OF
Preseason rank: 14
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: A+
ETA: 2021

26. Jose De La Cruz, OF
Preseason rank: 17
Age: 17
2019 Highest Level: RK
ETA: 2024

27. Bryan Garcia, RHP
Preseason rank: 18
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AAA
ETA: 2019

28. Jacob Robson, OF
Preseason rank: 20
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AAA
ETA: 2019

29. Gregory Soto, LHP
Preseason rank: 25
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: MLB
ETA: 2019

30. Wilkel Hernandez, RHP
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: A
ETA: 2021

31. Hugh Smith, RHP
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A
ETA: 2021

32. Ulrich Bojarski, OF
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: A
ETA: 2021

33. Derek Hill, OF
Preseason rank: 42
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA
ETA: 2021

34. Adinso Reyes, SS
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 17
2019 Highest Level: RK
ETA: 2023

35. John Schreiber, RHP
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 25
2019 Highest Level: AAA
ETA: 2019

36. Logan Shore, RHP
Preseason rank: 29
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AA
ETA: 2020

37. Jose Azocar, RHP
Preseason rank: 31
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA
ETA: 2021

38. Sam McMillan, C
Preseason rank: 43
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: A
ETA: 2022

39. Ryan Kreidler, SS
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A
ETA: 2022

40. Sergio Alcantara, SS/2B
Preseason rank: 40
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA
ETA: 2020

41. Zac Houston, RHP
Preseason rank: 19
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AAA
ETA: 2019


Tier 5

42. Danny Woodrow, OF
Preseason rank: 23
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AAA
ETA: 2019

43. Matt Hall, LHP
Preseason rank: 24
Age: 25
2019 Highest Level: MLB
ETA: 2019

44. Cooper Johnson, C
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A
ETA: 2022

45. Zack Hess, RHP
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A
ETA: 2021

46. Sandy Baez, RHP
Preseason rank: 37
Age: 25
2019 Highest Level: MLB
ETA: 2019

47. Jack O’Loughlin, LHP
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: A-
ETA: 2022

48. Wladimir Pinto, RHP
Preseason rank: n/a
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: AA
ETA: 2021

49. Esney Chacon, OF
Preseason rank: 30
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: RK
ETA: 2022

50. Pedro Martinez Jr, 3B
Preseason rank: 45
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: RK
ETA: 2023




About Dave Eddy 5 Articles
Dave Eddy is a sports fanatic focusing on Baseball, MiLB prospects and Fantasy sports. With a quick wit and an impressive amount of sarcasm he brings you top notch information that will help you win your leagues or just dominate arguments with your friends. Feel free to reach out to him with any questions, comments or to say hello via Twitter @CorporalEddy

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