Detroit Tigers Roster Preview: Zack Short

Mar 9, 2019; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Zack Short (91) triples during the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2019; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Zack Short (91) triples during the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

In our continuing series of getting to know the 2021 Detroit Tigers 40 man roster, with the last piece featuring Gregory Soto by Rogelio Castillo, here is a brief rundown of Zach Short, a lesser-known player to at least cast an eye towards as a possible late bloomer.

Zack Short’s contract status: 

1 year at $563,500

Zack Short’s Game:

The Scouting Report courtesy of MLB Savant shows us that he has some tools to work as in 2019 he was considered an overall 50 grade prospect with the following breakdowns for each category: Hit: 40 | Power: 50 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55. As with most players, it’s all about how the bat continues to develop.

After an interesting 2018 where Short flashed some power, including  17 home runs in a .227/.356/.417 season in AA ball that also featured 82 BB’s in 524 plate appearances, it appeared he was on a path towards reaching the majors in some capacity with a little more progression making contact with the bat, he did have 136K’s in 436 AB’s in 2018, but a broken hand in April of 2019 helped derail a critical development season and then the 2020 Pandemic further pushed him behind the development 8 ball.

Zack Short, a 17th round draft pick in 2017 hailing from Sacred Heart University, came to the Detroit Tigers on August 31st, 2020 when Al Avila pulled the trigger and sent Cameron Maybin to the Chicago Cubs. Speaking with MLB.com’s Jason Beck, Avila had this rundown to introduce him to fans:

“From a makeup perspective he’s one of those guys that managers love to manage,” Avila said. “He’s a high-energy guy, kind of a baseball rat that plays hard. He’s a very good shortstop. From our reports and from our data, he’s really Major League ready right now from a defensive perspective. He’s got some pop in his bat. He knows how to play the game well, can play all infield positions, has [Minor League] options which is really good, and really upgrades our depth at that position as we move forward for the upcoming years.”

ZIPS PROJECTION:
Courtesy of Fangraphs: .218/.324/.372 87 OPS+

My take on Zack Short:

Likely another utility candidate in an organization full of utility candidates, it is still worthwhile to at least check the box scores and see how Zac Short progresses. As he turns 26 near the end of May, time is no longer on his side and he really needs to hit the ground running if he wants a real shot at an MLB future beyond a utility-type role.

The power for a middle infielder and the impressive eye at the plate, along with being described as one of those gritty baseball player types, has me rooting for a breakthrough but without any expectations. Eventually, the Tigers will hit with one of these fringe type prospects, will Zack Short be the guy? These are the little things that I will be following the most during the 2021 development campaign that the Tigers are set to embark upon as the two beautiful words, “play ball”, are fast approaching.