The Detroit Tigers have a lot of prospects approaching big league ready. This is a series about those prospects, and when we think they will debut.
Detroit Tigers fans know that rebuilding isn’t easy. This team is not very good right now, and it may be a few years until they are back challenging for the playoffs and the World Series.
However, the most exciting part about rebuilding teams is getting to see prospects make their big league debuts, and watching them (hopefully) grow into star players.
The Tigers have a lot of high-profile prospects, although most of them (Matt Manning, Casey Mize, Daz Cameron) are a few years away from reaching the big leagues. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be some fun prospect debuts in 2019 though.
We here at Motor City Bengals are going to evaluate prospects who are on the verge of reaching the big leagues. We will take a look at how they performed in 2018, when we think they’ll reach the show, and of course how we think they’ll help the club.
First up is an outfielder who rocketed up the prospect ranks this last season:
After the 2017 season, Robson was seen as a fringe top 30 prospect in the Detroit Tigers system. He had some speed and decent plate discipline skills, but his lack of power and what was viewed as limited upside made him a fringe big leaguer, who most thought would be a fourth or fifth outfielder at best.
However, 2018 saw Robson rocket through the prospect lists. He began the year at Double-A Erie, slashing .286/.382/.450 with seven home runs, 11 stolen bases and a 133 wRC+ in 67 games. That got him promoted to Triple-A, where he was just as good. In 57 games with Toledo, Robson slashed .305./369/.427 with four homers, seven steals and a 127 wRC+.
That gave Robson 11 home runs and 18 stolen bases in 124 games, with a .376 OBP. Now, talk has turned to him as not only a big league ballplayer, but a potential starting outfielder.
Detroit will go into 2019 with JaCoby Jones, Christin Stewart, Nicholas Castellanos, Mikie Mahtook, Dustin Peterson, Mike Gerber and Victor Reyes all as potential outfield options in the show. Of course, things could change between now and then, but as of now it is a crowded outfield picture.
Robson, just like anyone, will get a chance to compete for a role on the 25-man roster in spring training. However, with only 57 games at Triple-A under his belt, I expect he will start the season out at that level.
If he hits well again in Toledo though, it will be hard to keep him down all season. He is a prime candidate for a September call-up, and possibly sooner if injuries or trades deplete the big league roster.
Check back here for more takes on Detroit’s big league ready prospects and where we think they will spend 2019.