Detroit Tigers: Top 10 Prospects Following 2016 Season

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Feb 23, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Joe Jimenez (77) warms up during the Detroit Tigers spring training camp at Joker Merchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Joe Jimenez (77) warms up during the Detroit Tigers spring training camp at Joker Merchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 18, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; General view of the right field lights that went out prior to the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

6. Derek Hill

Position: Outfielder
2016 Affiliate: West Michigan Whitecaps

This very easily could have been Gerber’s place in the rankings, but Hill’s considerable upside as an elite table setter are hard to ignore.

A first-pick of the Tigers in 2014, Hill initially struggled with the bat, hitting .212, .203 and .238 at his first three stops.

2016 Stats

Despite the struggles, Hill turned in a solid campaign for Western Michigan in 2016. In just 93 games, the center fielder hit .266 with a .312 on-base percentage. In addition, he also chipped in with 31 RBI, 17 doubles, six triples and a home run.

While those numbers won’t jump off the page, Hill’s run scored and stolen base totals will. In just 93 games, the 20-year-old crossed home 66 times while stealing 35 bases.

Future Role

With that kind of speed, it’s easy to imagine Hill hitting atop Detroit’s lineup and setting the table for Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez.

The outfielder is still years away from cracking the Major League roster, but when he does, he’ll be there to stay. Should Cameron Maybin stick around for a few more years, he’ll likely serve as a bridge to Hill, who is the Tigers center fielder and leadoff hitter of the future.

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