Detroit Tigers Midseason Top 50 Prospects

The Tigers have officially hit the rebuild mode, so as a farm system, it is time to improve. The Tigers made July trades and did strengthen the system, but this will be a multi-year process. Let’s take a look at the midseason update and see who is up and who is down compared to my preseason 2017 Tigers Top 50 prospects.

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. Matt Manning, RHP (Previous: 2)
Age: 19 (DOB 01/28/1998)
Manning has finally started playing in games in a Tigers uniform. After spending the beginning of the year in extended spring training, Matt dominated in Short A ball. He pitched 33.1 innings there, going 2-2, with a 1.89 ERA. He also piled up the strikeouts, getting 36. He was promoted to a playoff bound low-A West on August 4th and has struggled so far to make the transition, but he is only 19, so development takes time. He definitely shows why he is so widely regarded and is a well-deserved #1 in our Tigers Top 50. I’ll look for him to continue his development and I don’t think this is his first stop in West Michigan, as I would think the Tigers keep him there next spring. He looks like the next great Tigers ace in the making and someone I have stashed in my leagues and you should too.

Tier 2
2. Beau Burrows, RHP (Previous: 5)
Age: 20 (DOB 09/18/1996)
Burrows has had a very productive season, pitching in both High-A and AA. He dominated in the Florida State League, earning an all-star bid. He did not get to participate, as he was soon promoted to Erie. He also participated in the 2017 Futures Game, so he is definitely showing signs of what we can expect with a little more development. He has hit a few snags in Erie, but his 4.38 ERA in AA is deceiving, as two bad starts are leading to an inflated ERA. On the year, he is pitching to a 2.84 in 120.1 innings with 126 strikeouts. It does appear he is having a little growing pains in AA, but from what I’ve seen of him, he has the makings of a solid number 2 or 3 starter.
3. Christin Stewart, OF (Previous: 4)
Age: 23 (DOB 12/10/1993)
Stewart has had a productive year in AA and was an All-Star in the Eastern League this year. He is hitting .261/.344/.509 with 22 home runs, 23 doubles, a 3 stolen bases. The only worrying state I see is the strikeouts, as he does strike out about 30% of the time. He does have the makings of a big league power hitter; I think his defense will hold him back. I think another year of seasoning in AAA and he’ll be ready for Detroit in 2019, but I do think he gets a call up sometime in 2018 or even competes for a spot.
4. Jeimer Candelario, 3B (Previous: N/A)
Age: 23 (DOB 11/24/1993)
Candelario is new to the Tigers, coming over in the deadline trade that sent Alex Avila and Justin Wilson to the Chicago Cubs. Jeimer was the #1 prospect in that system and is the best infield prospect the Tigers have had in some time. Jeimer has not been in the Tigers system long, but he is indeed Major League ready. For the year in AAA, he has hit .258/.342/.499, hitting 15 homeruns, 31 doubles, and only has struck out 89 times in 349 at bats.  He is definitely ready for a starting role and is blocked at 3rd Base currently by Nicholas Castellanos. I have a feeling there will be some deals made this winter to find Jeimer a permanent spot on the big league roster next year, so he is definitely worth keeping for then. He is definitely appearing to be the Tigers 3rd baseman of the future.
5. Alex Faedo, RHP (Previous: N/A)
Age: 21 (DOB 11/12/1995)
Faedo is the latest in a series of high profile starting pitchers drafted by the Tigers. Alex was taken 18th overall in the 1st round out of the College World Series winning University of Florida. The Tigers have shut him down for the year due to his high innings, so on the year in college he put together a solid year, pitching 123.2 innings with a 2.26 ERA and had 157 strikeouts. He also was named the most valuable player in the College World Series. I would expect him to follow the same route of Kyle Funkhouser, starting the year in West Michigan, with a midseason promotion to Lakeland. He’ll go as far as his plus fastball and slider can take him, which should be a spot in Detroit’s future rotation.
6. Kyle Funkhouser, RHP (Previous: 3)
Age: 23 (DOB 03/16/1994)
Funkhouser was on the fast track in the Tigers system until an injury set him back. He is on the path to recovery and hopefully he can pick back up where he left off. On the year between low-A and high-A, he has pitched to an impressive 2.44 ERA, all in 12 starts over 62.2 innings. He does have a complete game shutout and 83 strikeouts as well. If he can get over the injury bug, he appears to be a solid 2 or 3 starter to fit into a potential great Tigers starting rotation.
7. Isaac Paredes, SS (Previous: N/A)
Age: 18 (DOB 02/08/1999)
Paredes was acquired in the trade with the Chicago Cubs that also netted Candelario. While not ranked as high as Candelario, I think Isaac may be the long-term prize in this trade. Isaac has settled in nicely in low-A West Michigan and has played well for the playoff bound Whitecaps, hitting .290/.397/.516 in his 17 games. On the year he is hitting .277/.351/.420, with 2 stolen bases, 11 homeruns, and 27 doubles. He does look like he could develop into a very strong batting shortstop and I think he has the ability to stick there. Since he is only 18, he is a long way off from the majors, but is definitely a major new talent in the Tigers system.
8. Dawel Lugo, 3B (Previous: N/A)
Age: 22 (DOB 12/31/1994)
Lugo was the centerpiece of the trade with the Diamondbacks in July. He has been playing 3B for Erie in AA, but I think he is more destined to settle in at second base due to the Candelario trade. Since joining the Tigers system, he has not been much of an offensive force, but that appears to be part of the entire team struggling as of late. On the year, he is hitting .271/.316/.424 with a pair of steals and 12 home runs. I believe it will be the bat that takes Dawel as far as he goes, but I think another year of development is needed. I’m thinking he’ll break 2019 as the starting 2b or another infield spot depending on trades. He has tremendous upside and I look forward to see if he develops on that.
9. Joe Jimenez, RHP (Previous: 1)
Age: 22 (DOB 01/17/1995)
Jimenez took a tremendous drop in my rankings, as his short stint in the majors has not looked great and the Tigers have mostly used him for mop up duty. In Toledo, he we practically unhittable, putting up impressive numbers over his 26 games. He had a 1.44 ERA, with 5 saves, and 36 strikeouts while with the Mudhens. He has had some injury concerns that made him miss some time as well. While his MiLB numbers have looked tremendous, they have yet to translate to the Majors, where he has a 12.54 ERA over his 9.1 innings pitched. The big thing that stands out to me is his ability to strikeout the batter has not been apparent, so I can’t be as high on him until he works out the kinks. With Shane Greene taking over the closer role for a rebuilding team, I don’t know if he makes a push for the closers job with next year. He could be the team’s main setup man next year, so if you are in a league that tracks holds, he may be worth snagging. But all I’m seeing is his value drop in fantasy.

Tier 3
10. Mike Gerber, OF (Previous: 12)
Age: 25 (DOB 07/08/1992)
Gerber has rebounded nicely in his second season in Erie, being named a 2017 Eastern League All-Star. The former 15th round pick is starting to show some real potential and could potentially see time in Detroit next year. On the year, he is hitting .305/.378/.476 with 9 homeruns, 9 stolen bases. I do think he has the potential to be a good table setter/top of the order type player and may even be able to sneak in 20 steals a season. He did have a right oblique strain that caused him to miss over a month, so I think his numbers could have been even better. He looks to be the future of the outfield in Detroit with fellow teammate Christin Stewart.
11. Bryan Garcia, RHP (Previous: 26)
Age: 22 (DOB 04/19/1995)
Garcia is the one of the highest risers in my rankings. The 2016 6th round pick has shot up 3 levels this year, starting in low-A and currently sitting in AAA Toledo. Bryan is a power arm and looks to be up for late inning work when he eventually reaches the big league team. So he may be up for holds and/or saves, if your league tracks these. On the year, he is pitching to a 1.88 ERA, with 17 saves in 20 opportunities, and 75 strikeouts in 48 innings of work. I think he’ll be a September call up and have a shot to make the big league team out of spring camp in 2018.
12. Austin Sodders, LHP (Previous: 27)
Age: 22 (DOB 04/29/1995)
Another high rise on my list, Sodders has been nothing but impressive this year in West Michigan and Lakeland. The 2016 7th round pick across two levels has pitched to a 1.85 ERA over 121.1 innings and has 111 strikeouts. With the starting pitching depth that the Tigers possess, he is a nice surprise and if he keeps this up, could find himself as a solid #4 in Detroit in 2 seasons.
13. Gregory Soto, LHP (Previous: 30)
Age: 22 (DOB 02/11/1995)
Soto was just promoted to Lakeland after a strong year in West Michigan. An international signing, Gregory has finally started to hit his stride and has dominated this year. On the year he has pitched to a 2.34 over 107.2 innings as a starter. I don’t know if he sticks their long term, but he is an intriguing starting prospect that I’ll be keeping a close eye on.
14. Matt Hall, RHP (Previous: 13)
Age: 24 (DOB 07/23/1993)
Hall has been pretty lights out for most of the year and earned a promotion to AA in early August. The 2015 6th round pick doesn’t excite with his pitches, but knows how to get outs. He could make the majors as a reliever or starter, but I’m not sure which at this point. He has had a rocky start to AA, so it just depends on the adjustments he makes from here.
15. Jacoby Jones, OF/CF (Previous: 8)
Age: 25 (DOB 05/10/1992)
Jones has been stuck in Toledo most of the year. He is having an awful year with the bat and at this point, I’m unsure if it will develop. On the year, he is .243/.313/.387 with 9 homeruns and 12 steals. At this point, he appears more to be a defensive first player. If the bat could develop, he could be a starter at the major league level, but at this point, I think he’ll be more of a utility or defensive replacement type player.
16. Artie Lewicki, RHP (Previous: 15)
Age: 25 (DOB 04/08/1992)
Lewicki only moved down because of the talent that has been added to the system. He has had a solid year across AA and AAA. On the year, he is pitching to a 3.67 ERA over 127 innings. He may have a chance to start in Detroit next year, as he could be a decent stop gap until the some of the younger higher ranked pitchers make it up the system. I don’t think he’ll be anything more than a #4 or #5 starter.
17. Sam McMillan, C (Previous: N/A)
Age: 18 (DOB 12/01/1998)
McMillan was the Tigers 5th round pick this year. The Tigers have assigned him to the rookie leagues and he has been performing well for an 18-year-old. It is hard to predict out what he’ll be, but the consensus is that he could be a solid hitter and have average to above average catching skills. So I think he sticks as a catcher and it will be how his bat that develops to see how far he goes. On the year, he has hit .272/.419/.413 with 3 homeruns.
18. Sergio Alcantara, SS (Previous: N/A)
Age: 21 (DOB 07/10/1996)
Alcantara is a glove first infielder that came to the Tigers in the Diamondbacks trade. He hasn’t done anything since hitting the Tigers system, but if he hits for a decent average, he could stick as an infielder on the big league team. I think he sticks as a shortstop, but he could fall anywhere between 2B, 3B, or SS.
19. Jairo Labourt, LHP (Previous: 29)
Age: 23 (DOB 03/07/1994)
Labourt is having a break out season. Named to the Futures game, he has made it to AAA. On the year, he is pitching to a 2.00 ERA and does have 4 saves. He has the ability to be a late inning reliever and I’m curious to see what the Tigers do when he gets to the major league level. He could potentially be a setup man or closer, so holds and saves are a possibility.
20. Derek Hill, OF (Previous: 9)
Age: 21 (DOB 12/30/1995)
Hill has lost some of the luster in my eyes. I have him ranked lower than many others. Derek has not had a health season since he was drafted by the Tigers. His speed is his biggest asset; I just worry if the bat can keep up. On the year in low-A, he is hitting .282/.346/.427 with 11 stolen bases. I need to see him advance a level to move him back up. He has amazing talent; I’m just worried his injury history will keep him from the major leagues.
21. Sandy Baez, RHP (Previous: 14)
Age: 23 (DOB 11/25/1993)
Baez has been pitching well on the season to a 3.86 ERA over 88.2 innings. He is using his plus fastball to his advantage, as he has struck out 92 batters on the year. He has only dropped down the list due to all the new talent in the system. He definitely has upside and I’m excited to see how he develops in AA next year.
22. Spencer Turnbull, RHP (Previous: 11)
Age: 24 (DOB 09/18/1992)
Turnbull has spent most of the year in Lakeland, but did recently earn a promotion to Erie. He has a plus fastball, but is behind the curve on his development because of injuries. He’s had a solid year, posting a 3.56 ERA over 96 innings. All of this as a starter. He has the stuff to stick as a starter, but faces a good deal of competition in the system for one of those spots.
23. Jacob Robson, OF (Previous: 49)
Age: 22 (DOB 11/20/1994)
Robson is a big riser in my rankings, because of his very solid year. He has come out of nowhere to me, but I did get my first look at him in West Michigan. Jacob is a speedy outfielder, that I think can hit for contact, but there is not much power. Between West Michigan and Lakeland, he is hitting .300/.380/.390 with 17 stolen bases. He has been caught stealing 15 times, so I think realistically as he develops he could easily be a 20 – 30 stolen base guy if he earns regular playing time at the big league level.
24. Gerson Moreno, RHP (Previous: 18)
Age: 21 (DOB 09/10/1995)
Moreno is a flamethrower who has spent most of his season split between Lakeland and Erie. In Erie, he had the looks of a lock down closer, compiling 8 saves. Since his promotion to Erie, it has been the reverse, as he has struggled mightily. On the year, he has pitched to a 4.14 ERA, 8 saves out of 10 opportunities, and has struck out 61 in his 45.2 innings. He is holding opponents to a similar average between the levels, it does appear that he is just having some bad luck. The stuff is there to be a lockdown late inning reliever, so I still have high hopes for him.
25. Jose King, SS (Previous: N/A)
Age: 18 (DOB 01/16/1999)
King was a part of the trade with the Diamondbacks this year. Jose may turn out to be the gem of this trade, but he is a long way off. He has been playing in the rookie leagues since he has joined the Tigers system. His numbers since joining the Tigers system have been nice, but again, he is only 18, so there is still room to develop. He does look to be an infielder, either a SS or 2B and does have some nice speed. He won’t develop much power I see. On the year, he is hitting .295/.328/.369 with 6 stolen bases.
26. Myles Jaye, RHP (Previous: 19)
Age: 25 (DOB 12/28/1991)
Jaye has spent most of the year in AAA Toledo as a starting pitcher. His stats haven’t been eye dropping and I don’t think he’ll stick as a starting pitcher, as there are better options in front of him. So he may drop further in my next update, as he may be headed for long relief or at best, a #5 starter. On the year, he has pitched to a 4.04 ERA over 120 innings.
27. Dominic Ficociello, 1B (Previous: 28)
Age: 25 (DOB 04/10/1992)
Ficociello started the year in Erie and had a strong start to the season. He has since earned a promotion to AAA, where in 21 games he his bat hasn’t translated. On the year, he is hitting .291/.363/.421 with 8 home runs and 11 swiped bags. I’m not sure how he fits in Detroit, but if his bat gets back to the level it was in Erie, I’m sure the Tigers will find a spot for him.
28. Jose Azocar, OF (Previous: 6)
Age: 21 (DOB 05/11/1996)
Azocar has had a very down year. He is hitting .226/.251/.303. He has 12 stolen bases as well. His bat will need to develop more to use his plus speed. If his bat continues to struggle, he can be ignored in fantasy, as he will not have any appeal.
29. Tyler Alexander, LHP (Previous: 7)
Age: 23 (DOB 07/14/1994)
Alexander’s value has plummeted in my eyes. He has an ERA that is a tad under 5 and just hasn’t been able to get batters out, as he is allowing opposing batters to hit .311 against him. If he can work on the control and return to prior form, he won’t make the major leagues. He still has a shot, but I need to see if he can get back to prior form.

Tier 4
30. Cam Gibson, OF (Previous: 34)
Age: 23 (DOB 02/12/1994)
Gibson has had a good 2017 compared to his previous seasons, the big growth being with his bat and finally earning a promotion to Lakeland. On the year, he is hitting .271/.346/.479 with 16 stolen bases and 13 home runs. If the bat continues to progress, I think he could potentially make the team as backup outfielder, but we will see how the next two years treat him. He as a long way to go, but the pro game finally seems to be clicking for Cam.
31. Blaise Salter, 1B (Previous: N/A)
Age: 24 (DOB 06/25/1993)
Salter has come out of nowhere for me, but I got the pleasure of seeing him hit live during my visit to West Michigan earlier this year. Blaise doesn’t wow with his power, but he can definitely hit. Between West Michigan and Lakeland this year, he is hitting .309/.359/.449. He has hit 7 home runs on the year. He doesn’t fit the mold of a power hitting first baseman, but hits enough for contact that he could be an RBI and run producing machine. If he keeps hitting at this level, he could definitely be the future 1B in Detroit, a position that is not strong in the Tigers system.
32. A.J. Simcox, SS (Previous: 17)
Age: 23 (DOB 06/22/1994)
Simcox has spent the year playing in Erie and the decline of his bat has continued. On the year, he is hitting .247/.291/.368 with 12 stolen bases and 6 home runs. With the addition of the infield talent the Tigers received in their trades at the deadline, I think this does hurt his potential. I don’t see a spot for him as a starter, as I think Dawel Lugo and Dixon Machado will shut him out of a starting role. So I think at this point, if he makes the major leagues, he’ll be a utility outfielder.
33. Wladimir Pinto, RHP (Previous: 23)
Age: 19 (DOB 02/12/1998)
Pinto, currently sitting on the DL in West Michigan, but has been tremendous to start the year. Used as the closer in Connecticut, Wladimir earned his promotion to full season A ball.  On the year, he is has pitched to a 0.00 ERA and 4 saves in his 10 innings of work. If he can continue to pull closer or setup duty, he may have value down the line.
34. Arvicent Perez, C (Previous: 16)
Age: 23 (DOB 01/14/1994)
Perez, being a defense first catcher, hasn’t put up great numbers this year. He is hitting .227/.263/.307 on the year, but I don’t think he’ll be anything more than a backup if he makes the major leagues.
35. Jason Foley, RHP (Previous: 42)
Age: 21 (DOB 11/01/1995)
Foley is another reliever in the Tigers system. He hasn’t been used in fantasy relevant positions for the most part, but he does have the make-up that could be a closer. For the year he has pitched to a 2.48 ERA with 6 saves, but most of that work is from low-A ball. He hasn’t been as sharp in high-A, so he may a player on the decline in a future update.
36. Victor Alcantara, RHP (Previous: 32)
Age: 23 (DOB 04/03/1994)
Alcantara has spent most of the year in Erie. He did a brief stint in Toledo, but didn’t appear ready for AAA ball. In Erie, he has pitched to a 2.65 ERA, but hasn’t been used in a starter or closer role, so that is the reason for his drop. He has a great fastball, but until he is used in higher leverage situations, his fantasy appeal is low.

Tier 5
37. Joey Morgan, C (Previous: N/A)
Age: 20 (DOB 08/26/1996)
Morgan was not one of my favorite draft picks of the Tigers this year. He was drafted by the Tigers in the 3rd round and has been assigned to Short-A ball. He has not hit well and his numbers in college were a big red flag to me, as he only hit in one of his college seasons. He profiles more as a defensive catcher, so I think there are better catchers in the system. On the year, he is hitting .222/.301/.293. He has not shown any power with 1 homerun. He can be ignored at this point, but is worth watching as he works his way up the system and adjusts to pro ball.
38. Mark Ecker, RHP (Previous: 20)
Age: 22 (DOB 05/27/1995)
Ecker has had a fine season pitching to a 3.16 ERA with 7 saves. But since his promotion to Erie, he has not been pitching in a role that has fantasy appeal. So that is the reason for his drop. He has good stuff, but until he pitches in something with some fantasy appeal, he can’t be ranked higher.
39. Adam Ravenelle, RHP (Previous: 22)
Age: 24 (DOB 10/05/1992)
Ravenelle has had a solid season, there are just better players in front of him. For the year, he has pitched to a 3.89 ERA over 44 innings. He has pitched mostly in relief which is why he is this low. He doesn’t have much fantasy value at this point unless he gets into more of a closers role, which has not been in.
40. Garrett McCain, OF (Previous: N/A)
Age: 21 (DOB 02/28/1996)
McCain is a new addition to our Top 50 and a new Tiger. Garrett was a 10th round pick out of Oklahoma State University, where he excelled as an outfielder. Garrett is a high average, base stealer, something the Tigers seemed to be targeting this year. Garrett has started is career playing in Short Season A, where he has hit .267/.353/.298 with 3 stolen bases. He hasn’t shown any power, but he does have speed and defense that I think can take him up the system. He is someone that I will be watching progress for the years to come.
41. Grayson Greiner, C (Previous: 25)
Age: 24 (DOB 10/11/1992)
Greiner has not had a great year based on his career numbers. The former 3rd round pick has spent the year in Erie, compiling a batting line of .240/.326/.443, but has smacked a career high 13 homeruns. My hope is he can make some adjustments and finish the year strong. But I’m feeling more and more that he is nothing more than a career backup at this point of his career, as the Tigers have added catching depth that I feel projects out better and is blocked at the major league level by two controllable catchers in John Hicks and James McCann.
42. Anthony Castro, RHP (Previous: N/A)
Age: 22 (DOB 04/13/1995)
Castro is new to our list and barely missed out in April. An international signing by the Tigers years ago, his development has been slowed by Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss 2015, so this year he has gotten his first crack a low-A ball. He has a plus curveball and average speed fastball. It seems the Tigers are being careful with him due to the previous injury and that appears to be paying off. As a member of the Whitecaps starting rotation, he has compiled over a career high 98.1 a 2.75 ERA, an 9-5 record, a 1.18 WHIP, 90 strikeouts, and does feature a complete game shutout as well. He has done this while holding opposing hitters to a .229 AVG. He appears in-line to finish the year with career highs in everything and I look forward to his development at higher levels next year and beyond.
43. Francisco German, RHP (Previous: 40)
Age: 20 (DOB 12/26/1996)
German has lost a little luster in my eyes, but not enough to drop him off the list. Francisco started the year in Connecticut as a reliever, with disastrous results. He was dropped to the rookie leagues, where he has exceled as a reliever. On the year, he has thrown for 5.84 ERA (so high due to his Short A issues), but has only had a 1.86 ERA in his last 20 innings in the GCL. He has played for a couple years in the GCL, so I’m ready for him to make the leap. I hope he gets another shot up north later in the year, but he could be on the way of the list if he can’t make the jump to the next level.
44. Luke Burch, CF (Previous: N/A)
Age: 23 (DOB 04/18/1994)
New to the Top 50 is Burch. He was the Tigers ninth round pick out of Kent State University this year in the draft and has been playing in Short Season A ball. The Tigers appear to be using him as a CF, but he had the skills to play a variety of positions. He is a more contact hitter and showed some good speed in college. This season, he has transitioned well, hitting .260/.325/.388 with 7 stolen bases. I’d like to see his plate discipline improve just a tad, as I feel he could get on base more.  He is definitely one I’ll be watching to see how he develops over the remainder of this season and next.
45. Wenceel Perez, SS (Previous: 46)
Age: 17 (DOB 10/30/1999)
Perez is a switch hitter from the Dominican Republic. Signed last year as part of the international signings, I was hoping to see big things out of him in the rookie leagues this year. He has done nothing but impress so far. On the year, he is hitting .313/.380/..346 with 13 stolen bases. He seems to be more of a speed, defense first type player, so I wouldn’t expect him to put up much power numbers. Since he is only 17, he is hard to project out, but worth keeping an eye on in the Tigers system.
46. Spenser Watkins, RHP (Previous: 47)
Age: 24 (DOB 08/27/1992)
Watkins has had a fine season in West Michigan. He is sporting a 8-2 record, a 3.23 ERA, over 94.2 innings. Spenser really at this point, I’d like to see him get a chance at a promotion, but there really isn’t room for him in Lakeland. He does have a problem with the injury bug as well, landing on the 7-Day DL on 7/31, his second stint in just over a year. He is worth keeping an eye on, but he needs to replicate the numbers at higher levels to be worth keeping in all but the biggest keeper leagues.
47. Reynaldo Rivera, OF (Previous: N/A)
Age: 20 (DOB 06/14/1997)
Rivera is a 2nd round pick out of Chipola Junior College. I haven’t been shy in my dislike of this pick and I’ll probably be one of the few to rank him this low. I felt there was much better talent on the board at the time and will stick to my guns on that. Reynaldo has been assigned to Short Season A ball and has looked anything but the player he was at Chipola. In 47 games, he has batted .200/.267/.303, with only 2 homeruns and 9 doubles. He has also struck out 44 times. This pick has bust written all over it to me, as he has not looked like the power hitter he was at Chipola. I haven’t seen anything yet to make me a believer, but I hope the Tigers can help him find the cause of his struggles. I would love nothing more than to move him up this list and be proved wrong.
48. Eudis Idrogo, LHP (Previous: N/A)
Age: 22 (DOB 06/06/1995)
Idrogo barely missed making my last update in April. Eudis was a signing out of Venezuela and has been slowly working his way up the Tigers system. He has been an important cog in the Midwest League leading Whitecaps and has looked very impressive.  For the year, he is 6-6, with a 2.90 ERA, and 94 strikeouts over 124 innings at the time of this writing.
49. Alvaro Gonzalez, SS (Previous: N/A)
Age: 16 (DOB 09/16/2000)
Gonzalez was an international signing this year out of Venezuela. He has yet to play in a Tigers uniform, but was a highly regarded prospect, ranked the #23 best international prospect by MLB Pipeline and #39 by Baseball America. Due to his age, I would look to see him stick to the Rookie leagues and the Dominican leagues for the near future. To me, he looks like a Dixon Machado player, who just graduated of this list, someone that can hit for a decent average and play great defense. Scouts think he’ll profile better at 3B as he continues to grow.
50. Dane Myers, RHP (Previous: N/A)
Age: 21 (DOB 03/08/1996)
Myers was a 6th round pick out of Rice University in this year’s draft. He has been playing in Short Season A ball and has done very well. He has started seven of the eight games he has pitched in. In those eight games, he as an 0-2 record, a 2.56 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 22 strikeouts, and is holding opposing pitchers to a .183 AVG. Dane profiles out as a starter, as he does have four pitches, with is main pitch being his two-seam and four-seam fastball that can hit the mid-90’s. He is one I’ll be excited to see how he develops.
Just Missed the Cut:
Zac Houston, Felix Viloria, Colby Bortles, Brad Bass, Jack O’Laughlin, Alfred Gutierrez
Dixon Machado, SS (Previous: 10)
Age: 25 (DOB 02/22/1992)
Has played for the Tigers and has exceeded rookie limits.
Drew Smith, RHP (Previous: 21)
Age: 23 (DOB 09/24/1993)
Drew was the player to be named later in the Mikie Mahtook trade. Has since been traded by the Rays to the Mets for Lucas Duda.
Paul Volker, RHP (Previous: 24)
Age: 24 (DOB 08/19/1992)
Was suspended 50 games under the MiLB drug program for a banned drug. He was recently reactivated, but I need to see what he can do after such a layoff and to me he now has an asterisk next to his previous statistics. He could reappear on a subsequent list, but he needs to perform for the remainder of 2017 to do so.
Trey Teakell, RHP (Previous: 31)
Age: 25 (DOB 02/17/1992)
Trey has not returned from an injury and has not thrown since 2015. His age and injury scare me, so I can’t keep him ranked.
Randal Alcantara, 3B (Previous: 33)
Age: 19 (DOB 05/13/1997)
He is an odd man out due to age. He hasn’t developed much yet and his numbers this year have not been jaw dropping. He is someone I’ll keep an eye on, but I don’t see him as a high value player.
Angel Nesbitt, RHP (Previous: 35)
Age: 26 (DOB 12/04/1990)
He has battled injury and bad numbers all year. He had a decent spring, but it has all gone downhill from there. I can’t see him making it back to be a productive member. If he were to make it, he would not be a player worth keeping in any fantasy format.
Joey Pankake, C (Previous: 36)
Age: 24 (DOB 11/23/1992)
Joey has not had a great 2017. Due to the fact the Tigers invested in two catchers in the first 5 picks in this year’s draft, he is not someone I view as having a great future in Detroit. If he rebounds late this year and next year, maybe, but I am doubting the potential to be anything more than a backup at this stage.
Chad Bell, LHP (Previous: 37)
Age: 27 (DOB 04/28/1989)
Chad has been in the Majors since June. He has since pitched over 30 innings and I expect him to pass the rookie limits by the end of the season, so I just don’t view him as a prospect anymore due to the way the Tigers are using him as a long reliever and potential spot starter. He just doesn’t have great fantasy appeal.
Cristhian Tortosa, LHP (Previous: 38)
Age: 18 (DOB 10/30/1998)
He hasn’t been anything more than average in the rookie leagues this year. He is just young, raw, and hard to predict out. He is not worth stashing at this point.
Juan Ramirez, OF (Previous: 39)
Age: 18 (DOB 04/09/1999)
He has been average at best in the rookie leagues and is just very young. He is hard to predict out at this point and just can’t keep him on the list. He’ll be another I keep an eye on, but he isn’t worth stashing for the time being.
Zach Shepherd, 3B (Previous: 41)
Age: 21 (DOB 09/14/1995)
Zach has been downright awful this year, on an otherwise impressive Whitecaps team. Due to the Tigers recent acquisitions in infield help, he doesn’t have any further value, as he is definitely blocked for the time being.
Warwick Saupold, RHP (Previous: 43)
Age: 27 (DOB 01/16/1990)
Warwick is less than an inning away (at the time of this writing) from meeting rookie limits. He hasn’t done anything to warrant use in fantasy and can be ignored for the time being.
Ildemaro Escalona, SS (Previous: 44)
Age: 18 (DOB 02/12/1999)
With the Tigers trade activity and international signings, they have beefed up their middle infield prospects. He hasn’t done much this year in the rookie leagues and I like these new prospects futures muh better. I feel Ildemaro does appear to be the odd man out in that mix. He’ll be a player I keep my eye on, but I like Paredas, Gonzalez, and King much more.
Julio Martinez, LHP (Previous: 45)
Age: 19 (DOB 12/02/1997)
Has not done much in the rookie leagues and is just too young to judge out yet. Another odd man out due to the new additions to the system.
Jack O’Loughlin (Previous: 50)
Age: 17 (DOB 03/14/2000)
His age, time from the Majors, and the new talent in the system just made him the odd man out. He is someone I still will keep an eye on.

Article featured image of Christin Stewart – courtesy @Scotty_Ballgame at Eastern League All Star Classic July 12, 2017

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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