Detroit Tigers: 5 Prospects to Watch in 2016

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Aug 16, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Jefry Marte against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jefry Marte

Jefry Marte has had a very good year, playing defense and hitting well in Toledo and giving the Tigers a bit of a pop off the bench in very limited action.

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He is hitting .250 but has a decent .816 OPS in 21 games in Detroit this season, hitting three homers and seven extra base hits.

Marte’s problem may be where does he play? He was Toledo’s everyday third baseman when with the Mud Hens this year, but he has mostly played first base for the Tigers because of Miguel Cabrera‘s injury earlier this year.

Assuming Miggy is healthy next year, he will get very limited playing time there. That means he could spell Nick Castellanos at third base if the Tigers decide to part ways with Andrew Romine this off-season. Castellanos may be destined for elsewhere eventually, but it hard to see him being replaced on a full-time basis anytime.

The Tigers could decide to groom Marte at second base to make Ian Kinsler expendable or to ultimately be his replacement after the 2017 season.

No matter what, I would expect Marte to be on the team next year as infield depth.

Next: Kyle Lobstein