Detroit Tigers should sign top prospect Kevin Maitan

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Al Avila, Detroit Tigers (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Al Avila, Detroit Tigers (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 9: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers hits a two-run home run in the first inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 9, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Ceiling

Maitan, a potential impact player once he reaches the Majors, was ranked by MLB.com as baseball’s 38th-best prospect.

Meanwhile, Scout.com’s ScoutingBaseball rated the infielder as the 39th-best prospect, while Baseball America had Maitan as the game’s 77th-best prospect as of February.

The moral of the story here is that Maitan has a chance to be really, really good.

Sure, he only hit .241 with a .629 OPS in 176 plate appearances split between the Atlanta’s affiliates in the Gulf Coast League and the Appalachian League.

But he was also playing against competition that was on average 2.4 and 3.3 years older than him.

Did I mention he was only 17? Yes, Maitan is only 17. His 2017 production might not jump off the page, but the fact he’s so advanced for his age speaks to his upside.

So how good could the now-former Atlanta prospect be?

Lofty comparisons

MLB.com’s MLB Pipeline wrote about Maitan’s ceiling in their profile of the prospect, comparing him to players like Miguel Sano, Miguel Cabrera and Chipper Jones.

Meanwhile, FanGraphs broke down Maitan’s swing in a piece published in February.

"“His left-handed swing is of the traditional, low-ball variety and has a beautiful high finish. The bat is quick into the zone and long through it, producing gap-to-gap contact right now that should move toward and over outfield fences as Maitan matures. From the right side, Maitan’s wrists are a little looser, his weight transfer more explosive and comfortable, his hands more surgical and his bat control more advanced.”"

Getting the chance to sign a young player with that much upside doesn’t exactly come around everyday, or every season for that matter.

The Detroit Tigers should obviously jump at the chance to sign the former Atlanta prospect to a contract.

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