Organization Reports


2020 Organization Report: Detroit Tigers

by Emily Waldon

Organization Grades

Hitting: B- ... Pitching: B+ ... Top-end Talent: B ... Depth: C ... Overall: B-

Minor League Affiliates

Triple-A: Toledo (International League)
Double-A: Erie (Eastern League)
High-A: Lakeland (Florida State League)
Low-A: West Michigan (Midwest League)
Short-season: Norwich (New York Penn League)
Rookie: GCL Tigers (Gulf Coast League)

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1. Matt Manning (RHP) ... 6-3, 185 ... 22 ... 2016 (1) HS (CA)
2017Connecticut (NYPL)33.11.891.2303.
2018West Michigan (Midw)55.23.401.3504.512.32.7.220
2018Lakeland (FSL)51.12.980.9903.311.43.5.172
2018Erie (East)
2019Erie (East)133.22.560.9802.610.03.8.188
Comments: Athletic, mid-rotation starter poised to be an MLB impact arm. Works long arms and legs to produce impressive extension towards attacking the strike zone. Curve is a developing out-pitch and ahead of above-average changeup. Fastball is a lively easy plus offering that plays well in front of his offspeed mix.

Development Path: Finished the regular season second in the Eastern League in strikeouts. Manning led the Tigers top arms with one of the healthiest seasons overall. He’ll start the year in Triple-A and isn’t likely to take too long before another promotion will follow.

Fantasy Impact: With his sizeable upside, Manning has positioned himself as an easy #3 starter. His ability to throw strikes along with the development of his entire arsenal tells us he can adapt. With his frame and increasing velocity, Manning is on track for a realistic Major League debut in 2020.

Upside Grade: 8B

2. Casey Mize (RHP) ... 6-3, 190 ... 22 ... 2018 (1) Auburn University
2018Auburn (SEC)114.23.300.8701.312.29.4.196
2018GCL Tigers West (GCL)
2018Lakeland (FSL)11.24.631.2901.
2019Lakeland (FSL)30.20.880.5201.
2019Erie (East)
Comments: Well-proportioned, front-end collegiate starter with sensational command and the best splitter of his draft class. Able to pound the strike zone with a deceptively fluid delivery and a three-pitch mix grading plus or better across the board. Lively fastball complements vicious mid-to-high 80s splitter and slider. Ability to locate sets him apart.

Development Path: Following his promotion to Double-A in July, Mize dazzled with a complete-game no-hitter in his Eastern League debut. Struggled to bounce back from late-season shoulder discomfort. Likely to be assigned to Triple-A to begin 2020.

Fantasy Impact: With a mix of plus or better pitches, Mize is on track to the role of a #2/#3 future profile. Health will play a big factor and if it’s maintained, he'll likely be fast-tracked due to his advanced feel for his arsenal.

Upside Grade: 8B

3. Riley Green (OF) ... 6-3, 200 ... L/L ... 19 ... 2019 (1) HS (FL)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2019GCL Tigers West (GCL)37.351/.442/.59512680.422/0
2019Connecticut (NYPL)88.295/.380/.38611720.441/1
2019West Michigan (Midw)96.219/.278/.3446730.232/4
Comments: Outfielder with advanced understanding for defensive responsibilities with a gritty style of play. Wiry frame has room to add more muscle, but still manages to produce a deceptive degree of raw power. Vaulted through three affiliates in summer debut and handled the challenge. Average speed with sub-par arm, complemented by advanced instincts.

Development Path: With a brief look at the Midwest League to end 2019, Greene is likely to return to start the 2020 season. His productive debut run in 2019, Greene’s tenacity feeds into the belief he’ll have another strong campaign ahead of him in 2020.

Fantasy Impact: Despite his youth, Greene has made it clear that he plans to fight for centerfield as he advances. Greene has left a strong early impression both at the plate and in the field and looks to compete for centerfield with Parker Meadows in West Michigan in 2020.

Upside Grade: 8C

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4. Isaac Paredes (3B) ... 5-11, 175 ... R/R ... 21 ... 2015 FA (MX)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2017South Bend (Midw)337.264/.343/.4018840.547/2
2017West Michigan (Midw)115.252/.338/.38710891.004/0
2018Lakeland (FSL)301.259/.338/.45510820.5912/1
2018Erie (East)131.321/.406/.45813830.863/1
2019Erie (East)478.282/.368/.41611870.9313/5
Comments: Athletic shortstop with ability to defend beyond his years. Has maxed on his physical development with a rock-solid, compact frame and broad shoulders. Accurate arm with good footwork despite size. Works the entire field with advanced ability to barrel the ball. Impressive plate discipline.

Development Path: The Tigers opted to send Paredes back to Double-A for a second look in 2019, giving him a full season. With the odds of Paredes staying at shortstop growing slimmer, the Tigers gave him more opportunity at third base. His instincts and profile are a good fit to stick at the hot corner.

Fantasy Impact: Although an advanced defender, Paredes should grab more attention with his bat than in the field. Flashed his raw power in Double-A and projects for 20-25 home runs at full strength. He won’t produce much speed, but his ability to drive in runs makes up for that.

Upside Grade: 8C

5. Tarik Skubal (LHP) ... 6-2, 230 ... 23 ... 2018 (9) Seattle University
2018Seattle (WAC)
2018GCL Tigers West (GCL)
2018Connecticut (NYPL)12.00.750.8301.512.78.5.182
2019Lakeland (FSL)80.12.581.0102.
2019Erie (East)
Comments: Well-proportioned, front-end collegiate arm with strong command and advanced understanding of his entire four-pitch mix. Able to pound the strike zone with a deceptive ability to play his pitches off one another. Dangerous fastball velocity complements an extremely unpredictable offspeed collection. Ability to mix sets him apart.

Development Path: Working entirely out of the bullpen in 2018, the Tigers moved Skubal to a starting role in 2019 and he flourished, despite durability questions from Tommy John surgery in college. Likely to be assigned to Triple-A to begin 2020.

Fantasy Impact: With a mix of plus pitches and easy deception, Skubal is on track to the role of a future #3/#4 starter. Health will play a big factor and if it’s maintained, he'll likely be fast-tracked due to his advanced feel for his arsenal and isn’t far out from knocking on the door in Detroit.

Upside Grade: 8C

6. Alex Faedo (RHP) ... 6-4, 220 ... 24 ... 2017 (1) University of Florida
2017Florida (SEC)
2018Lakeland (FSL)
2018Erie (East)60.04.951.2703.
2019Erie (East)115.13.901.1202.
Comments: Dominant SEC hurler out of Florida. Collegiate profile cooled during debut, specifically his slider, which stood out in college but backed up in the pros. After unpredictable 2018 campaign, fastball added 2-3 mph in 2019 with slight tightening to arsenal. Noticeable improvements in 2019 season, but still lacks advertised bite.

Development Path: Bounce-back year in 2019. Finished third in strikeouts in return to Eastern League. Arsenal was improved overall, but still lacked the crispness it once had. Expected to start with Triple-A Toledo in 2020.

Fantasy Impact: Faedo profiles as that of a #3/#4 starter, but hasn’t showed the production to match that. To hold the title of a rotation arm, Faedo will need to tighten or could face a future as a reliever.

Upside Grade: 8D

7. Joey Wentz (LHP) ... 6-5, 209 ... 22 ... 2016 (1) HS (KS)
2016Danville (App)
2017Rome (SAL)131.22.601.1003.
2018Florida (FSL)
2019Erie (East)
2019Mississippi (Sou)103.04.721.3103.
Comments: Tall, well-proportioned southpaw who works from a high-3/4 slot. Scouts had concern of repeatability following injury. Traded to Tigers in 2019. Strongest offering is above-average changeup with late fade followed by well-shaped 12-6 curve. Low-90’s fastball is a deception-first piece that projects as future plus offering.

Development Path: With injury behind him, Wentz earned a start with Double-A Mississippi in 2019 before transitioning to Double-A Erie following the trade. It’s safe to expect a promotion for Wentz to Triple-A Toledo to start the 2020 season.

Fantasy Impact: After two injury-free seasons, Wentz is in position to showcase the tools of a solid #3 starter. Health permitting, 2020 should be his strongest campaign is quite some time.

Upside Grade: 8D

8. Daz Cameron (OF) ... 6-2, 195 ... R/R ... 23 ... 2015 (1) HS (GA)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2017Quad Cities (Midw)446.271/.349/.4669760.4214/32
2018Lakeland (FSL)216.259/.346/.37010680.363/10
2018Erie (East)200.285/.367/.47011740.475/12
2018Toledo (IL)57.211/.246/.3163740.130/2
2019Toledo (IL)448.214/.330/.37712660.4113/17
Comments: Athletic outfielder able to maximize above-average speed and arm to hold down centerfield with little issue. Produced elevated rate of hard contact before challenging offensive season in 2019. Keen eye for pitch recognition and level of raw power that projects to increase later on.

Development Path: While Cameron produced as advertised defensively in 2019, he struggled to find his stride at the plate. Earned starting centerfield role, but has ability to play all three posts off athleticism alone. Following challenges in 2019, Cameron has slight chance for late call-up to Detroit in 2020.

Fantasy Impact: From an overall blueprint, Cameron possesses a five-tool profile, despite challenges at the plate in 2019. Playing off his natural athleticism, Cameron is poised for a bounce-back year in 2020, though his contact rate will need to improve.

Upside Grade: 8C

9. Parker Meadows (OF) ... 6-5, 185 ... L/R ... 20 ... 2018 (2) HS (GA)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2018GCL Tigers West (GCL)74.284/.376/.50010660.324/3
2018Connecticut (NYPL)19.316/.381/.36810680.330/0
2019West Michigan (Midw)443.221/.296/.31210740.427/14
Comments: Younger brother to Austin Meadows with two extra inches to his build and surprising plus speed from his tall frame. Carries plus raw power. Swing is a bit long, but should shorten up as he gets more exposure at the plate. Above-average arm plays well with speed and impressive defensive feel.

Development Path: Spent entirety of 2019 season with Class A West Michigan. Experienced slow start offensively with gradual improvement as weather warmed up. Low contact rate shows he has more work to do with pitch reads. Strong intellect for play on both sides of the ball with ample projection to his physique.

Fantasy Impact: Meadows is more projection than production with plenty of room for physical development. His power fell fairly quiet in 2019, but expected to show with more regularity in 2020. Working off pure athleticism, Meadows is displaying a steady progression in his development with more of the same in 2020.

Upside Grade: 8E

10. Willi Castro (SS) ... 6-1, 165 ... B/R ... 22 ... 2013 FA (PR)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2018Akron (East)371.245/.303/.3507770.335/13
2018Erie (East)476.263/.317/.3977770.319/17
2018Toledo (IL)21.286/.286/.2860760.000/1
2019Toledo (IL)465.301/.366/.4677760.3411/17
2019Detroit (AL)100.230/.284/.3406660.181/0
Comments: Pure shortstop with feel to hold his post into the future. Quick hands and feet work well. Occasional miscues indicate continued need for polish. Switch-hitter with above-average speed who made his major league debut in August 2019. Ability to drive to the gaps with developing power.

Development Path: Detroit rewarded Castro’s impressive Triple-A offensive display with a late-summer promotion. With Tigers’ in the midst of full rebuild, Castro has a solid opportunity to win starting shortstop role out of spring training for the 2020 season.

Fantasy Impact: Castro sold himself a bit more offensively in 2019, but maturity should balance out his profile a bit. His consistency, speed and defensive feel all look to fill gaps for the Tigers in 2020.

Upside Grade: 8C

11. Jake Rogers (C) ... 6-2, 185 ... R/R ... 24 ... 2016 (3) Tulane University
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2017Quad Cities (Midw)102.255/.336/.5208730.326/1
2018Erie (East)352.219/.305/.41210680.3717/7
2019Erie (East)86.302/.429/.53518700.735/0
2019Toledo (IL)166.223/.321/.45810680.349/0
2019Detroit (AL)112.125/.222/.25910540.254/0
Comments: Highly advanced defensive-minded backstop. Filled defensive need for Detroit’s farm with accurate arm and advanced receiving and framing skills. Flashed power at the plate, but hit tool still lags behind. Can use all fields with good swing path, but lacks feel for contact.

Development Path: With the Tigers’ catching reserve still lacking, Rogers was the obvious defensive choice in line for Detroit and made his debut in 2019. With his hit tool still lagging, the Tigers should give him a start in Triple-A in 2020 to see how he adapts at the plate before returning to Detroit.

Fantasy Impact: Rogers has showed his ability to hit for power and although his hit tool remains inconsistent, if he’s able to increase his contact rate, he fits a sleeper profile leading in 2020. Defensively, Rogers has more than proven himself in the minors, but his MLB debut showed there is work to do.

Upside Grade: 7C

12. Anthony Castro (RHP) ... 6-0, 174 ... 24 ... 2011 FA (VZ)
2016GCL Tigers (GCL)
2017West Michigan (Midw)108.12.491.1602.
2018Lakeland (FSL)116.22.931.3303.
2018Erie (East)
2019Erie (East)102.14.401.3705.710.21.8.196
Comments: A lean Tommy John success story, Castro added 2-3 ticks in velocity to his above-average fastball in 2018, along with more confidence behind his entire offspeed set. Improvements to curveball shape and bottom-dwelling sinker. Attacks the zone, with good work on the corners and added deception.

Development Path: Despite fairly consistent success in 2019, scouts are still split on whether Castro’s profile has the bite to it to stick as a starter. Had rocky introduction to Double-A in 2018 and earned return in 2019. Although Castro has gained confidence, his command is still a bit unpredictable.

Fantasy Impact: Castro is walking the line of a backend starter and possible future bullpen arm. Able to go extended periods, but profile lacks the command for consistent dominance.

Upside Grade: 7C

13. Bryan Garcia (RHP) ... 6-1, 195 ... 24 ... 2016 (6) University of Miami
2017West Michigan (Midw)
2019Lakeland (FSL)4.04.501.2504.513.53.0.200
2019Erie (East)
2019Toledo (IL)33.12.971.2003.
2019Detroit (AL)
Comments: A fast-tracking reliever who made a successful return from Tommy John surgery in 2018. Aggressive attack-style work that challenges hitters on both sides of the plate. Strong ability to throw strikes with a mix of power slider and a late-sinking fastball. Finished regular season with major league debut in 2019.

Development Path: After missing entirety of 2018, Tigers limited Garcia’s workload, easing him over three affiliates for 41.1 innings prior to his debut with Detroit. Durability held out over the course of return with no setbacks. Arsenal mixed well, although carried a bit of rust, which is to be expected.

Fantasy Impact: Garcia struggled in major league debut, but could fight to earn a relief role in 2020 with rebuild creating gaps on the major league roster. Realistically, Garcia will begin the year with Toledo with chance for a return to Detroit later in the year.

Upside Grade: 7B

14. Andre Lipcius (3B) ... 6-1, 195 ... R/R ... 21 ... 2019 (3) University of Tennessee
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2019Tennessee (NCAA)237.308/.399/.58612860.9417/10
2019West Michigan (Midw)253.273/.344/.36010770.472/3
Comments: Athletic, lean infielder out of the University of Tennessee. Although he produces dependable defense in the field, his overall profile fall short of his offensive contribution. Lacks speed, but above-average arm and instincts balance that out a bit. Access to deceptive power, but frame doesn’t support much beyond that.

Development Path: Began career with assignment Class A West Michigan. Preformed well enough overall, aside from typical college-to-minor league growing pains. With age and college profile both factoring in, Lipcius will need to earn a promotion to Lakeland for 2020.

Fantasy Impact: College experience has Lipcius poised to remain a reliable offensive asset. No major red flags in his debut and is expected to begin 2020 with a more confident approach. Defensive profile will play in the Florida State League, and facing High-A pitching will help stretch him a bit.

Upside Grade: 7D

15. Wenceel Perez (SS) ... 5-11, 170 ... B/R ... 20 ... 2016 FA (DR)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2018GCL Tigers West (GCL)81.383/.462/.54313830.862/2
2018Connecticut (NYPL)82.244/.287/.3056850.421/7
2018West Michigan (Midw)68.309/.324/.4413880.250/4
2019West Michigan (Midw)459.233/.299/.3149810.523/21
Comments: High-energy infielder with advanced understanding for play on both sides of the ball. Footwork and arm accuracy have both improved, although overall profile is still quite raw. Rushes himself at times, but works off athleticism to overshadow immaturity. Able to barrel the ball with an exceptional eye and ability to draw walks.

Development Path: Perez returned to Class A West Michigan in 2019 and struggled offensively. Depending on how his spring campaign plays out, he could start 2020 back with West Michigan, followed by a move to Lakeland later in the year.

Fantasy Impact: Perez has the potential to become a well-rounded asset as he continues to mature. His defensive profile is still raw and occasional miscues confirm that, but the instinct is there and with how advanced his eye is already, his plate presence should have no trouble keeping up the pace.

Upside Grade: 7B

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