Detroit Tigers’ farm system ranked fifth by MLB Pipeline
By Jay Markle
MLB Pipeline released their full ranking of all 30 farm systems, and the Tigers fared well, placing fifth among the field of competition.
The Tigers’ major league team continues to rack up the losses, enabling their farm system to continue getting stronger. Some experts – Keith Law of The Athletic springs to mind – are unimpressed withe the progress the team has made, citing the overly top-heavy and pitching-relient nature that the group has adopted. MLB Pipeline is significantly less bearish.
The experts at MLB Pipeline ranked the Tigers’ collection of prospects as the fifth-best in the minor leagues in their first-ever raking of all 30 farm systems. It’s the third consecutive ranking that has seen Detroit improve on their previous ranking – jumping onto the final spot of 2019’s preseason top 10 list and climbing to the sixth spot on the midseason update.
The obvious draw among the Tigers’ top prospects is an impressive group of pitching prospects. It’s headlined by a trio that is unchallenged by almost any other team – Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and Tarik Skubal. Mize is the most famous, but any of the three could wind up being the best long-term. In all likelihood, fans will be treated to MLB debuts from each the as the team eases their best minor leaguers into the majors.
What makes the batch of arms in the organization so impressive is that it is championed with blue chip talent and has plenty of legitimate pitching to back them up. Any number of Alex Faedo, Joey Wentz, Beau Burrows, Paul Richan, Rony Garcia, Anthony Castro, Wilkel Hernandez, Zach Hess, and a variety of other could reasonably become contributors at the highest level.
The biggest blemish on the Tigers’ rebuilding effort is, naturally, the hitting. MLB Pipeline seems willing to overlook some concerns regarding the batting corps, though. “The club also has a promising crop of young hitters that could move faster than originally thought,” they wrote.
The top hitters in the farm are a decent enough group; Riley Greene has been extraordinary as a pro and Isaac Paredes tore up Eastern League hitting at a young age. Parker Meadows has an imposing ceiling and Jake Rogers has an equally first-rate floor. Daz cameron and Willi Castro may be able to split the difference between the potential and present skill. Outside of that handful, though, there isn’t much to write home about. It’s a topic that has been written about ad nauseam, but it remains true.
Frankly, these MLB Pipeline rankings probably don’t mean much. The proof is in the pudding, or so they say. A ranking this high among the entire MLB is very much the outlier, but right or wrong, the results the Tigers get from this group will be far more important than any accolades they receive for their potential.