Detroit Tigers: Prospects recently added to 40-man roster most likely to make 2018 Opening Day unit
We finish up the slide show with the two most likely players to make the Detroit Tigers’ Opening Day roster in 2018.
Unsurprisingly, the duo are also the closest to the Majors.
Both Grayson Greiner and Mike Gerber could fill positions of need for the Tigers right out of the gate in 2018.
Of the two, Greiner has more road blocks in terms of making the team in Spring Training.
His addition to the 40-man roster and his most recent minor league affiliate make the 25-year-old the de facto third catcher in the event that James McCann or John Hicks is injured.
However, if the Tigers shift Miguel Cabrera to designated hitter on a full-time basis, it would open up more playing time for Hicks at first base.
With Andrew Romine gone, the former fourth-round pick is now the only reserve option at first.
Should Hicks see the bulk of his time at first base, it could allow Greiner to make the team as McCann’s primary backup.
While Greiner could conceivably make the team, Mike Gerber has the clearest path to not only a roster spot, but also consistent playing time.
Outside of Gerber, the only other outfield options currently on the 40-man roster are Mikie Mahtook, Nicholas Castellanos and JaCoby Jones.
The 25-year-old only logged 18 plate appearances for Triple-A Toledo down the stretch in 2017, but enjoyed a strong season with Erie.
In 394 plate appearances, the former Creighton product hit .291 with a .363 on-base percentage, a .477 slugging percentage and a .374 wOBA.
He also added a .186 ISO and a 131 wRC+ to go along with 62 runs scored, 45 RBI, 13 home runs and 10 stolen bases.
A capable defender, Gerber could split time with Jones in center field, or take up a roll as the team’s fourth outfielder.
Next: This former top-12 pick could be worth a look for Tigers in the Rule 5 Draft
The prospect could also inherit more playing time if Nicholas Castellanos moves to another position.