Baseball America released their Midseason Top 30 Prospects Update for the Detroit Tigers.
Prospect lists are everywhere, and everyone has their trusted source for who will be the next big name in the Detroit Tigers organization. Before we get to the Baseball America list ($), considered by some to be the gold standard of prospects, let’s see what others that are out there.
Each offers a unique take on the Tigers minor league system, with some slight variations throughout the respective lists. Chris Brown and I also write for the Tigers Minor League Report, and we were able to watch a lot of minor league games last season. With that in mind, I wanted to talk about a few 2019 draft picks we saw at West Michigan last year who were left off Baseball America’s list.
Like music, lists are subjective to the content. For example, if you are a fan of Nirvana and you see on the greatest 90s alternative list that the Smashing Pumpkins were rated the best band of the decade, it might spark conservation among the circle of people you talk to. You swear up and down that Nirvana is the better band but your friend says that “Siamese Dream” is a better album than “Nevermind”. (Both produced by Butch Vig, by the way) and therefore, they are the better band.
Same for these lists. So without giving away the entire list that you can check out behind the paywall ($), here area few notables to pay attention to for the Detroit Tigers’ future and follow along with their progress.
Disclaimer: Joe Healy did a great job on the creation of the list and has watched a lot of college baseball. This is not a negative critique of the list, just observations from the games I was able to attend and writeups from last season.
Number 1: Spencer Torkelson
I have no issue with Torkelson being the number one prospect. It makes sense because as a position player he offers a higher ceiling and greater impact potential. On the TMLR list, we had him ranked third. Chris did an excellent job on his writeup on why.
Number 5: Riley Greene
Greene is the next position player after Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and Tarik Skubal. Skubal carries some relief risk, so you could flip flop him with Greene and I think most people would be fine with it. If the list doesn’t consider summer camp then I understand the ranking, but maybe it should say “number five with a bullet” given the inevitable call up of Mize. I would put Greene in the top 3. He’s growing rapidly in front of us.
Number 7: Dillon Dingler
He is the second player in the 2020 draft class in their top 10. With the upside Dingler possesses, this makes total sense. With more of a sample size we could see him rank higher next season.
Number 9: Daniel Cabrera
The third player from the 2020 draft class in the top 10, he came in 13th on the TMLR board. I was surprised by Cabrera in the top 10. He has raw power potential and has a great left-handed stroke with player comparisons to Michael Brantley. MLB Pipeline wrote:
"“Cabrera is equipped to hit for average and power. He has a smooth left-handed swing and doesn’t try to do too much at the plate, letting his bat speed and the loft in his stroke create natural pop.”"
Personally, with all the potential of Cabrera, it makes sense to place him that high on the list but I thought just outside of the top 10 would have been fine. Number 16 on their list, Parker Meadows, falls at number 9 on the TMLR list because of his age and athletics. If his hit tool comes along, expect a progression upwards from Parker.
The infusion of the 2020 draft class continued with Gage Workman at number 12, Colt Keith at number 17, and Trei Cruz at number 27. Derek Hill was number 28 and Zach Hess, who was in Tigers’ camp last month, did not make the cut.
Some notable absences that stood out to me were Bryant Packard and Andre Lipicus, both from the 2019 draft class. After watching both Packard and Lipicus at West Michigan last season, I thought they stood out for their ability to hit Midwest League pitching. Packard in particular looked like a future above-average hitter, and he also saw some time in Lakeland (5 games) before the season ended.
Lipicus made some adjustments to his swing at West Michigan and showed off some versatility in the infield, displaying more agility than expected. The knock on Lipcius in his scouting report that he had “slow feet” and may be stuck in a corner, so his solid defense came to a surprise to us.
If you have time to check out the rest of the list, I would suggest it and talk to us about your feelings about their top 30 by leaving a comment or talking to us on Twitter at MCB_Tigers or check out our Facebook page.