The MLB trade deadline has come and gone, and the Detroit Tigers are going to look a bit different going forward after Wednesday’s moves.
As reported earlier, the Detroit Tigers have sent closer Shane Greene to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for prospects LHP Joey Wentz and OF Travis Demeritte. Wentz was in Double-A with Atlanta, while Demeritte was with Triple-A, and the latter may see himself on a major league roster immediately following this trade.
While on FSD Wednesday talking about the trade deadline, Detroit Tigers GM Al Avila mentioned that he will make a decision over the next 24 hours on where Demeritte will end up. With Nicholas Castellanos shipped off to Chicago to join the Cubs for a playoff spot, Demeritte could slide right into Detroit’s 25-man roster. While the 24-year old has seen time throughout his pro career at 2B, 3B, and SS, he has solely been an OF the past two seasons, so he could fill Castellanos departure if the Tigers wish to do so.
Demeritte comes from an Atlanta Braves organization that acquired him in 2016 from the Texas Rangers, who drafted him in the first round (30th overall) of the 2013 MLB Draft. The right-hander has struggled to hit for average throughout his minor league career, however, he has hit for tons of power with 2019 being his 3rd year with at least 20 home runs. Even this year, Demeritte started to hit for average, slashing a .286/.387/.558. At 6’0″ and 180 lbs, he is not particularly big, but his swing mechanics allow for him to hit with power.
The main knock on Demeritte is strikeouts, and when I say it’s a problem, I mean it’s a problem. This year through 96 games he has already been punched out 106 times. From 2016-2018, he had strikeout numbers of 175, 134, and 140. Those aren’t ideal, to say the least.
On the flip side, he walks at a high rate. In 2019, he owns a 12.8 BB% and through his career it has been 11.8%.
As strikeouts become more and more common in today’s game, Demeritte could find a permanent home on the major league roster, given that he hits for power. Many guys in today’s MLB are homerun or strikeout guys, and I know he doesn’t have the physical makeup of one of those, but that could be where he potentially profiles at.
With the trade deadline in the rearview mirror and two guys off the Detroit Tigers roster in Greene and Castellanos and one month until September call-ups, we could start to see some new faces in Comerica Park. Newly acquired OF Travis Demeritte could just be one of the first.