Daz Cameron has absolutely dazzled in every Minor League stop this season. Will we see him in a Detroit Tigers uniform soon?
Daz Cameron was thought to be more of a long-term project when the Detroit Tigers acquired him as a part of the Justin Verlander trade last summer. Fast forward to less than a year later, and the son of former MLB All-Star Mike Cameron is officially knocking on the door of a big league call-up. How did we get here?
Defense has never been a question for Daz Cameron, as his speed and athleticism have been on display since day one. The big question for Daz coming into the season was, how will his batting average and on-base percentage fare against more advanced pitching?
Cameron answered that question with authority this season, as he posted a .285/.367/.470 during a 52 game stint in AA. The Tigers’ brass liked what they saw, and decided to promote Mr. Cameron to AAA.
The Tigers are way out of contention, Cameron has been mashing in the minors, and fans are starving to see some of their young prospects. Does this equal a surprise sip of coffee in the bigs in September? Nope. Sorry to disappoint, but Daz Cameron will not be receiving a call-up this season, and doing so would be a huge mistake.
For all of the strides Cameron has made at the plate this season, he still needs a lot more development in this area. AAA pitching is perfect for Cameron at this time, as he will get exposure to more effective off speed pitches. Strikeouts are also a concern for Cameron, as his 29.4% strikeout rate is too high for a player of his five tool talent. The Tigers ideally would also like to see Cameron tap into his power, as he has 25 home run, 25 steal potential.
So when will we actually see Daz Cameron in a Tiger uniform?
Expect the Tigers to handle Cameron, arguably their best hitting prospect, with kid gloves, as he is only 21 years old and has gone from Lakeland to Toledo in a full season. However, the move from High-A to AA has been known as the toughest adjustment for a prospect in baseball to make, and Daz handled it beautifully.
I can see the Tigers going the Christin Stewart route with Cameron, as a full season in AAA would help Cameron cut down on the strikeouts, just like it has helped Stewart. Unlike Stewart, Cameron’s defense is clearly major league ready.
Another factor that could keep Daz Cameron in the minors is the current logjam for two outfield positions (Castellanos will stay in right field, but could get looks at DH with Victor Martinez gone). Next year, Mikie Mahtook, Stewart, Jacoby Jones, and Victor Reyes will all be competing for roster spots on the big club. If two of those players get off to hot starts, that could keep Cameron in the minors until September.
Outside of Stewart, a left fielder, I can’t see lesser “prospects” such as Mahtook, Jones, and Reyes holding back “dazzlin’ Daz” for long. Expect this stud to be patrolling center field for the Detroit Tigers in July or August of next season.