The Detroit Tigers were busy up to the last minute of the waiver trade deadline tonight, completing two big deals involving outfielder Justin Upton and longtime ace Justin Verlander. The Tigers finally put the league on notice that they are in rebuild mode. Let’s take a peek at the newest Tigers entering a now, well stocked minor league system.
Justin Upton Trade
Grayson Long, RHP (Prospects1500 Angels #12)
Long was the main piece acquired in the Justin Upton trade with the Angels. There is also a potential for a player to be named later. Grayson has spent most of the year pitching for the Angels AA affiliate and was a 3rd round pick for the Angels in the 2015 draft. He looks to be a #4 or #5 starter when he makes the bigs and appears to be the type of player that can eat up innings. He won’t wow with strikeouts, but he has the ability to be a solid contributor down the road. On the year, he is pitching to a 2.69 ERA, 125 strikeouts, a WHIP of 1.17, and 42 walks. I think he’ll project out to be a 3-4 ERA pitcher that can easily put up 150-200 innings in the majors. He easily slots into my Top 20 Tigers prospects and will make a future update.
Justin Verlander Trade
Franklin Perez, RHP (MLB Pipeline #45 overall, was Astros #3, Baseball America #32 overall, Prospects1500 Astros #6)
Perez is easily the star of this trade. Highly regarded and not far off from the majors, this is a major get for the Tigers. He has a solid fastball that can touch 96, but usually sits between 92 and 94 MPH. With his makeup, he looks to be a middle of the rotation starter, but has the upside to maybe be a #2 starter. Between A and AA this year for the Astros, he has a 3.02 ERA, 78 strikeouts, a 1.14 WHIP, and is allowing opposing pitchers to only hit .220 against him. He easily is a Top 5 prospect in the Tigers system and could make the case for #1. Stay tuned for my end of season update to see where he slots in.
Daz Cameron, OF (MLB Pipeline was Astros #9, Prospects1500 Astros #7)
Cameron is someone I’ve had my eyes on in dynasty leagues for a while. He is the speedy centerfielder that the Tigers are missing in their system. He has the make-up to be a better version of Derek Hill and I am overjoyed that he was included in this deal. He has the make-up to have some pop in his bat and will steal quite a few bases over the course of a season. He has started spent the year in A ball and is hitting .271/.347/.467 with 32 stolen bases and 14 home runs. He profiles as a centerfielder (he overtakes Derek Hill in my opinion) and I think he’ll hit 15 – 20 home runs a year and probably steal 40 bases. He is a Top 10 prospect in the Tigers system and will slot in there in my next update.
Jake Rogers, C (MLB Pipeline was Astros #11, Prospects1500 Astros #39)
Rogers is the final piece in the Astros trade. From what I’ve seen on him, I’ll be higher on him, as he does have the makeup to be one of the better catchers in the Tigers system. He has spent the year in A ball and is hitting .263/.352/.472 with 14 stolen bases and 18 home runs. He’ll probably slot into the 20-30 range in my rankings and will in my opinion be the second best catcher in the Tigers system behind Sam McMillan. He looks like he’ll be more of a defensive catcher, but I like the power he is showing in his bat, so I think he could be a solid addition to the major league team if he ever gets there.
Article featured image of Grayson Long – courtesy MLB.com
Nick Bradford is a writer for Prospects 1500 covering the Detroit Tigers. He resides in southeast Michigan with his wife and daughter. He is an avid fan of the Tigers, the Mudhens, and anything baseball (fantasy or MLB). He is a graduate of Central Michigan University and works as a support manager for a software company. Follow me on Twitter at @firedupchippewa.