Jul 31, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Hernan Perez (26) hits an RBI single in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Depth Level: Good
The Tigers look to have more depth at second base than any other position. It doesn’t look like they have anyone who’s destined for stardom – not in 2014 anyway – but they have, probably, three or four guys behind Ian Kinsler who have a shot at replacement level production (or better).
Steve Lombardozzi would be the first option to fill in for Kinsler, but, as far as minor leaguers go, Hernan Perez and Eugenio Suarez are both on the 40-man roster, and either could be the Tigers’ second baseman of the future.
Perez hit .301/.330/.410 across the AA and AAA levels last year in the minor leagues, but the bat didn’t translate to the majors in his limited sample (.197/.217/.227). Still, he has a solid enough glove and has enough potential at the plate to be a reasonable depth option.
Suarez has played mostly shortstop in the minor leagues for the Tigers organization, but his long-term future might be more at second base. As a 21 year old last year, he hit .264/.347/.396 (with double-digit home runs) between Lakeland and Erie. He’ll probably start 2014 back in AA (at shortstop), and is probably still a couple of years away from a real big league push, but he could be an emergency option as soon as 2014 if he’s productive.
Besides Perez and Suarez, the Tigers also have Danny Worth. Worth was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster this month, but Detroit was able to outright him to Toledo and keep him in the system. He’s also an option to get the call if he’s producing (and if the Tigers can spare the 40-man spot). And if you really want to dream, you could add Devon Travis as a dark horse to this list (he’ll probably start off in AA).