Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Five prospects you could see on the Opening Day roster in 2018

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DETROIT, MI - APRIL 05: A detailed view of the opening day logo on the field at Comerica Park prior to the start of the opening day game between the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers on April 5, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Red Sox 3-2. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - APRIL 05: A detailed view of the opening day logo on the field at Comerica Park prior to the start of the opening day game between the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers on April 5, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Red Sox 3-2. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 17: A detail of a Tiger statue sculpture on the tadium prior to the Detroit Tigers hosting the New York Yankees during game four of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 17, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Kody Eaves

Similar to Gerber, Eaves made the jump from Double-A to Triple-A this season thanks to some solid offensive work at Erie.

After hitting .222 with a .312 on-base percentage and a .422 slugging percentage in 376 plate appearances at the Double-A level in 2016, the 24-year-old turned things around this past season.

He hit .272 and upped both his on-base percentage (.343) and slugging percentage (.472) significantly.

Stats aren’t everything in the minors, but Eaves’ ability to adjust after a year in which he turned in a .694 OPS is a definite positive.

Able to play second base and third base, the ex-Anaheim farmhand has hit double-digit home runs in each of the last four season.

If he can continue that trend, he could be a long-term fit on Detroit’s roster.

In the event that Ian Kinsler, Jose Iglesias and Andrew Romine are all traded this winter, the 24-year-old deserves a shot at making the team as a utility player, if not more.

Paul Voelker

Another fast-rising reliever in Detroit’s farm system to make it to Toledo, Voelker’s numbers weren’t as flashy as Garcia’s, but he got the job done nonetheless.

In 36 inning split between Single-A Lakeland, Erie and Toledo, the hurler punched out 40 to go along with just nine walks and eight earned runs allowed.

He also registered seven saves while finishing 19 games.

Like many hard-throwing relievers, Voelker has a blazing fastball and a prominent off-speed pitch—a slider in this case.

Grayson Long

Similarly to Perez, Long found success at Double-A this season. Also similar to Perez, Long came to Detroit in one of the two August blockbuster trades.

Where Long differs from Perez is that he spent most of 2017 at the Double-A level.

One of two hurlers acquired from the Angels in the Justin Upton deal, the starter worked to a 3.01 ERA, a 1.199 WHIP and 8.4 strikeouts per nine frames in 137.2 innings for Mobile and Erie.

Next: Why the Tigers could be surprise WC contenders in next 2 years

If the Tigers don’t add any veteran free agent starters, Long could be a name to watch in the battle for the fifth starter’s role.

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