With Spring Training winding down in Lakeland, Florida some of the Tigers prospects have eyes on making the big league team while others have been optioned and could come up later in the year. Here is an update on how various Tigers prospects have fared in the major league spring camp.
Jimenez is my #1 Tigers prospect. Joe spent the vast majority of his spring pitching for his native Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. With Puerto Rico reaching the championship, he missed considerable time in big league camp. He pitched in four games for a total of three innings. He allowed four hits, with no runs, a walk, and two strikeouts. He looked decent. He has been assigned to Minor League Camp and is projecting to start his year in AAA Toledo. I would expect for him to spend the year there or come up mid-way through the year depending on the status of the big league club.
Dixon is my #12 Tigers prospect. All indications seem to be that Dixon will make the big league club this year. He is out of Minor League options so he cannot be sent down to AAA Toledo without going through waivers. The tigers have indicated all spring long that they do not want to lose him. He does not appear to be in line for regular playing time. Dixon is a glove first shortstop and is hitting .268 with a .300 OBP this spring without any steals or home runs. This is what I would expect from him in the Majors, but he does have speed, so he could steal a couple bags. I do not think he is draftable to start the season, but may be worth picking up on waivers (if available) if Jose Iglesias is traded or goes down with an injury.
Jones is my #9 Tigers prospect. He is still in big league camp and is fighting for the starting center field job. It appears he’ll at least snag a platoon of that. I think the job is his and that he is ready defensively, but I think his bat needs a little catching up. He may be worth a late round flier or a pick up on the cheap. If his bat heats up, watch out. He has a good offensive spring as well and fared well in the Arizona Fall League. His stats this spring have included 3 stolen bases, a .324 average, a .390 OBP, and 2 home runs. The word of caution on him is that in his limited time in the majors last year, he did not fare well. So he is definitely a high upside pick that I wouldn’t invest in heavily.
Nesbitt is my #48 Tigers prospect. When I saw he was a non-roster invite, I did not have high hopes for him. He is stayed with the Major League club and while the stats don’t show it, he has pitched much better. He was optioned to the in the last round of stats . I ultimately think he’ll end up in Toledo and may get the call up to the big league club as a reliever later in the year. He is not worth picking up unless he is called up and your league tracks holds.
Jaye is my #19 Tigers prospect. He had an invite to Spring Training. He did not fare well in big league camp. During his time with the team, he gave up eight runs over three innings in three games. He’ll start the season in AAA Toledo. I would not expect him in Detroit this summer unless there are mass injuries or the team falls out of contention and trades away its core.
Greiner is my #30 Tigers prospect. He was a non-roster invite to Spring Training. While in limited action he had some decent numbers, he was optioned to Minor League Spring Training. I would expect him to spend most of his time at AA Erie this year.
Gerber is my #9 Tigers prospect. He was a non-roster invite and had an awful time with the big league club. He went 1 for 18. He was a quick cut to the Minor League side and looks to start the year in AA Erie or AAA Toledo. I would not expect him in Detroit this year.
Baez is my #14 Tigers prospect. He had a very good spring and was optioned to Minor League camp. He had a stat line including a save, 7 innings pitched, 9 strikeouts, and a 2.57 ERA in his five games. He looks to have a bright future. It appears he’ll start the year either in Lakeland or in Erie. From what I saw, he is definitely a sleeper in my book and worth stocking in your minor leagues if you have deep minor league rosters.
Stay tuned for further analysis as games start up in the spring!
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.
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