The Detroit Tigers are Rising Through The Power Rankings
The Detroit Tigers farm system is making some noise in the latest power rankings in Baseball America & MiLB.com.
Since the beginning of 2020, the Tigers have continued to climb various publications rankings for the talent in the farm system. Most notably, the Tigers are now number 11 in Baseball America’s team rankings. (Subscription required) Say what you will about Al Avila, but considering five years ago when he took over the team was dead last, it is a feather he can put in his cap.
MiLB.com’s Farm system rankings: Pitchers, 10-1 list:
The Tigers come in number 2 on this list behind the San Diego Padres, who have a stockpile of young arms such as MacKenzie Gore, Luis Patiño, among others. Chris Brown and I had an opportunity to talk about the rest of the Padres’ arms with the Friars on the Farm podcast and the number one ranking is totally fair based on how many of their young arms are currently pitching on the MLB level and a rotation outside of Clayton Richards that is under the age of 26.
MiLB.com discussed the rankings of Casey Mize, Matt Manning and Tarik Skubal among the top 100 prospects as playing a factor in their overall ranking. Mize comes in at number 7, Manning at number 24 and Skubal at number 46. The numbers that stood out was their 25-13 record in Erie last season with 433 strikeouts in 365 2/3 innings last season. Factor in Joey Wentz and Alex Fadeo, it makes sense why the Tigers would be ranked so high. As Michael Avallone writes:
"“That group of five all finished in the Eastern League, and at this time next year, it’s possible all five could be candidates to impact the big league rotation, if they haven’t already done so.”"
The giant “if” is Franklin Perez. If he can be healthy this year, this would provide another starter the Tigers could add to the list. In fact, the organization feels that he could even the the best pitcher in the system. The 2020 draft is also deep in pitching, so depending on how the Tigers approach their large number of high picks, this group of arms could be bolstered even further.
On the position side, the Tigers were ranked 22nd so more work to come on a system that is thin on positional talent.
Baseball America’s MLB Prospect Super Teams 2020
The Toledo Mud Hens were ranked number 2 on Baseball America’s MLB Super Teams for 2020. The article is behind a paywall, but it’s easy to see why Toledo will be a fun watch this season. With four players ranked in Baseball America’s top 100 with Casey Mize at 13, Manning at 17, Skubal at 34 and Paredes at 100, plus Fadeo, the rotation will be one of the best in all of Triple-A. Worth mentioning is that if the Tigers get great production from the rotation in Toledo, that could be a good indication of good things to come.
Last season, home runs were up to the tune of 57% from the previous season in the International League, thanks to the “juiced” ball. If the starters can continue their progress from Erie to Toledo, this could be the season that the Mud Hens get back to the Governors Cup, the championship for the International League.