Detroit Tigers: The Top Prospects of 2023
By Dan Hasty
1. SP Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt
MLB Pipeline Top 100 Overall Rating: 27
Current Tigers Prospect Ranking: N/A
Perfect Game College 2021 Prospect 100 Rank: 7
The Tigers’ top prospect three years from now is likely not in the system, as almost always the top prospects consist of the club’s most recent first-round picks. In this scenario, the Tigers’ top prospect comes from a family extremely familiar to Major League Baseball.
Jack’s father, Al (currently an analyst on MLB Network), played nearly 20 years at the highest level, while his uncle Mark played 11 seasons, including three with the Tigers. Jack’s cousin, Mark Jr., also played recently with the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays.
The newest Leiter teamed with 2021 Pittsburgh Pirates first overall pick Kumar Rocker to form the most prolific pitching tandem in college baseball to be drafted just four picks later at 5th overall by Detroit.
Leiter, the first pitcher the Tigers have selected within the first six draft rounds since 2018, has pitched well and is on the fast track to the big leagues. Leiter will open the season with Wentz and Dingler in Toledo.
Assuming Torkelson signs, the Tigers will soon hold five prospects within the consensus Top 100 (not to mention the Top 50). The determining factor for this rebuild hinges on Detroit’s Player Development to mold the next wave of talent behind the big names already in the majors.
As we’ve seen in this exercise, the Tigers would now hold *four* brand-new consensus Top 100 Prospects, giving the club a genuine chance to become contenders when it comes time to blend their young players with the necessary free agents to fill the remaining holes. With help in the big leagues and more on the way, 2023 could be the year that makes the long and challenging rebuild worthwhile for Tigers fans.
Don’t be afraid to call your shot. How will the Top Tigers prospects look as we begin the 2023 season? Leave your rankings below and find Dan on Twitter at @ThatDanHasty!