The Detroit Tigers have lots of new faces thanks to a variety of trades. “Future Friday” is a new segment where we examine the newest prospects in Detroit and their future impact in the Motor City.
The Detroit Tigers sold off a lot of veteran talent over the past year in exchange for prospects.
While it can be hard for fans to see all-stars like J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton and Alex Avila dealt, not to mention franchise icon Justin Verlander, the return can be an exciting batch of prospects who will become the next stars in Detroit.
‘Future Fridays,’ is a new weekly column where we pick a prospect and delve into their expected impact on the team. With so many new faces, we want to help Tigers fans identify the newest wave of Tigers players as they move into rebuilding mode.
Last week we focused on the new No. 1 prospect in the system, right-hander Franklin Perez.
Perez came to Detroit in the trade that sent Justin Verlander to the Astros. While Perez was clearly the prize of the deal, two other prospects joined him.
Those prospects were catcher Jake Rogers and the subject of today’s future Friday post, center fielder Daz Cameron.
Center fielder of the future
Diehard baseball fans have been hearing about Daz Cameron since he was 17 years old. The son of All-Star and 17 year veteran Mike Cameron, Daz was a candidate to go No. 1 overall in the 2015 MLB draft.
His stock dropped a bit during his senior year of High School. Still, the Astros drafted Cameron in the supplemental first round.
They chose to start Cameron out in full-season ball and he struggled. After getting demoted to short-season ball (where most high school draftees begin) Cameron thrived to finish out 2016.
2017 saw Cameron start out slow but pick up steam as the year went on.
He ended up with 466 at-bats at Class-A before getting traded to the Tigers. He slashed .271/.349/.466 with 14 home runs, 32 stolen bases and a nice 128 wRC+ at that level.
His performance increased each month. He hit .163 in May, .258 in June, .309 in July and a blistering .379 in August.
Scouts believe Cameron has the tools to be a starting center fielder in the big leagues. Although he is not expected to produce as much power as his dad had (the elder Cameron hit 278 big league home runs) Cameron does have some pop in his bat. At just 20 years old, he could easily develop a more powerful stroke as he matures physically.
While the power may not be there, scouts still have positive things to say about Cameron’s offensive profile. From FanGraphs Eric Longenhangen:
"He’s patient, has good breaking-ball recognition, above-average bat speed, some pull-side pop, and a short stroke."
Cameron’s calling card, similar to his dads, may be with the glove and not the bat. Although scouts are inconsistent in their evaluation of his defense, most agree that he will stick in center field. MLB Pipeline says Cameron has good speed and outstanding defensive instincts, believing he will be an above-average defender. Fangraphs is less enthusiastic, but still believes Cameron will be an average defensive center fielder.
Daz Cameron has all the tools necessary to become a solid big league centerfielder. At just 20 years old, he likely won’t be making an appearance with the Tigers until 2020 at the earliest. However, for a fan base yearning for the next Curtis Granderson or Austin Jackson, rest assured Cameron will be up along with the next wave of talent in the Motor City.