Detroit Tigers Rule 5 Options: Middle Infield

Detroit Tigers, Niko Goodrum (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Detroit Tigers, Niko Goodrum (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers Rule 5 target: Oswaldo Cabrera
New York Yankees third baseman Oswaldo Cabrera (98) attemtps to tag an Atlanta Braves player. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Tigers Rule 5 target: Oswaldo Cabrera

Age on Opening Day: 22.1
Bats: Both
Highest Level: High-A

The Yankees signed Oswaldo Cabrera out of Venezuela in 2015, and they have moved him aggressively ever since.

He has gained significant mass since he signed, and in 2019 he started tapping into more power, hitting .260 with 8 home runs and 29 doubles as a 20-year-old in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League.

Cabrera doesn’t figure to ever be a true thumper, and he probably won’t be able to stick at shortstop at higher levels, but his hands and arm strength would work just about anywhere.

Detroit Tigers Rule 5 target: Jalen Miller

Age on Opening Day: 24.3
Bats: Right
Highest Level: Double-A

A third-round pick of the Giants in 2015, Jalen Miller has largely fallen off the prospect radar because of a rough Double-A season in 2019. All of Miller’s tools hover near average, though he’s a plus runner with a chance to be an above-average defender at second base.

His power is below-average, and he’s stretched defensively at shortstop, so he needs to hit to be a regular. That’s where he failed in 2019, batting just .216, though he did set a new career-high in walk rate (8.9%) and a career-low in strikeout rate (19.3%).

A .251 BABIP indicates some bad luck, but Miller’s main issue seems to be swinging at pitches he can’t hit hard. The tools are here to make Miller a decent utility infielder, but asking him to do that in 2021 may be a stretch.