Detroit Tigers: Midseason Top 30 Prospects

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MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Beau Burrows #55 of the Detroit Tigers and the U.S. Team delivers the pitch against the World Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Marlins Park on July 9, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Beau Burrows #55 of the Detroit Tigers and the U.S. Team delivers the pitch against the World Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Marlins Park on July 9, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
SECAUCUS, NJ – JUNE 5: Commissioner Allan H. Bud Selig, right, poses with Derek Hill, the 23rd overall pick, by the Detroit Tigers during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

25. Jose de la Cruz, OF

Highest: 17 Lowest: UR

Age: 16

Level: N/A

Stats: N/A

The Tigers signed de la Cruz on the first day of the 2018 J-2 signing period. Considered to have the most raw power in his class, de la Cruz has plus tools across the board, highlighted by a strong arm. Currently a center fielder, it is possible he could move to left or right as he continues to mature physically. Not yet 17, de la Cruz has the tools to move up prospect boards once he comes stateside. – SF

24. Derek Hill, OF

Highest: 18 Lowest: 27

Age: 22

Level: A+

Stats: .222/.285/.298 with 22 stolen bases

Detroit’s first round pick in 2014, Hill entered a make-or-break season with the Tigers in 2018. He has not stepped up, slashing just .222/.285/.298 at High-A ball. He’s still just 22, but with a career-high 29.5% strikeout rate it’s beginning to look like Hill may not even reach the big leagues. Daz Cameron, Parker Meadows, Jake Robson and Kingston Liniak are all outfield prospects who are higher than him on Detroit’s priority list, and unless Hill has a monster second half it’s hard to envision him being a big part of Detroit’s future.

23. Sandy Baez, RHP

Highest: 17 Lowest: UR

Age: 24

Level: AA/Majors

Stats: 5.15 ERA, 7.14 K/9 in 85.2 innings at Double-A

Recently moved to the bullpen, Baez figures to make short work of the rest of the minor leagues. After having trouble making it deep into games, the Tigers have moved his electric fastball and plus changeup with the hopes they play up in short stints. With one appearance already for Detroit in 2018, it may not be long before Baez is back in the Old English D. – SF

22. Spencer Turnbull, RHP

Highest: 17 Lowest: 26

Age: 25

Level: AA

Stats: 4.24 ERA (2.45 FIP), 10.46 K/9 in 13 starts at Double-A

Drafted one round later than Hill, Turnbull was another prospect entering a make-or-break season. Unlike Hill, Turnbull has really answered the call. His 4.24 ERA at Double-A isn’t great, but it comes with a much more palatable 2.44 FIP. Additionally, his 10.46 K/9 is exceptional, especially as a starter. His big league path still likely involves transitioning to the bullpen, where his fastball/slider combo will play nicely. But his nice season this year keeps him on Detroit’s radar, even amidst a system flush with right-handed pitching.

21. Mike Gerber, OF

Highest: 15 Lowest: UR

Age: 26

Level: AAA

Stats: .214/.270/.415 with 12 home runs in 62 games at Triple-A

A 2014 15th rounder out of Creighton, Gerber reached the big leagues early in 2018. Strikeouts have been an issue this season, but Gerber has the versatility to play all three outfield positions. With a future as a fourth outfielder, we could see Gerber in Detroit again before the close of the 2018 season. – SF

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