Welcome to the first installment of the Motor City Bengals Top 20 Detroit Tigers prospects. The MCB staff has compiled our prospect lists and we will be releasing our consensus rankings, along with a breakdown of each player, in a series of articles in the coming days. Today it’s a look at Isaac Paredes…the 6th ranked Tigers prospect on our list.
Paredes was toiling at the Tigers alternative site in 2020 when he received his call to the big club. 34 games later he’d hit .220 with one homer. It wasn’t the blazing start any player would hope for at the MLB level but nobody is looking to hang some poor results on the guy in the weird season that was 2020. Paredes started learning the ropes and he has more opportunities coming.
A positive note from the winter has been Paredes absolutely raking and winning the batting title in the Mexican Pacific League. The pitching depth in the MPL might be a little suspect but Paredes slashing .379/.480/.579 in 42 games can only be viewed as positive for now.
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Issac Paredes’ Background Check:
Paredes signed out of his native Mexico with the Cubs organization in 2015. He was off to a good start stateside when the Tigers dangled Justin Wilson and Alex Avila in front of the Cubs at the ‘17 trade deadline. The Cubs were making a playoff push and the Tigers were diving headfirst into their rebuild.
Paredes and Jeimer Candelario we’re heading to the Tigers and surprisingly to many this has been the bright spot for the Tigers trade efforts that summer. Paredes has risen steadily up the Tigers chain showing a solid bat and Candelario used the short season of 2020 to re-trench himself into Detroit’s plan moving forward.
Issac Paredes’s Strengths
Paredes will go as far as his bat takes him. He’s a below-average runner and not yet 100% set at a position defensively. Luckily for him, the bat might play.
Anyone who watched Paredes debut in ‘20 had to notice he was set to fight the long war with major league pitchers and wait for his pitch. His at-bats were a stark difference from the typically hack-tastic crew the Tigers were running out there. Paredes was committed to being patient. The results weren’t what he wanted…but it will be interesting to see if his approach changes appreciably.
Paredes has shown patience and the potential for some power at several points in his minor league career. If some of his doubles power morphs into homer power it seems the Tigers have confidence he’ll also evolve into a hitter with a solid BA/OBP.
Paredes seemed a little too hellbent on proving his patience at the plate. But it’s rare for any hitter to get coined as “too patient”. Still…jumping on a first-pitch heater now and then couldn’t hurt. Experience should bring some balance.
Paredes is not exactly a physical specimen at this point in his career. He brings nothing extra on the basepaths to augment his game. His fitness and athleticism could definitively affect where he appears in the Tigers lineup defensively. He’s been moved off shortstop for now and there is very little talk of a move back. There doesn’t appear to be a Jhonny Peralta path available to him as the next good stocky SS.
The question is if he can stick at 3B or is the oft-rumored but never confirmed tryout at 2B coming. Paredes has the arm to stay at any position on the dirt but now needs to show improvement on his mobility and flexibility. If he does the mentions of a move to the outfield probably wither away.
Our Take on Isaac Paredes
The Tigers have a farm system on the cusp of producing some solid players from its Top 5 who will hopefully form the needed core to contend.
However, given the Detroit Tigers’ current reluctance to spend on premium free agents until they prove otherwise, the club is going to need a couple of the second-tier prospects to elevate themselves into regulars. Paredes is at the front of that list right now.
Heading into his age-22 season it will interesting to see if Paredes earns a spot out of Spring Training or if the Tigers elect to get him reps both offensively and defensively at Toledo.
Certainly, the Tigers are in a position where they can be patient with Paredes. If they want him to work at second base there is no other real hotshot prospect preventing him from that move. More than likely though, he’s a 3B. How the Tigers resolve the issue with others targeting that spot remains to be seen and should be fun to watch play out.
In the end, like most prospects, if the bat plays then Paredes plays. It just remains to be seen what position he’ll cover. The bat ought to work through. He’s hit respectably at every level and shown the bat control and patience necessary to adjust. If he doesn’t go north with the big club out of Spring Training expect him in Detroit by Independence Day if not a bit sooner.