The Detroit Tigers have made headlines recently, ranking high on various prospects list which manager AJ Hinch has told his players to ignore and rightfully so. No one wins a trophy for it. While we have our Opening Day projections out, there are a few names that not named Spencer Torkelson or Riley Greene that could challenge for a roster spot in spring training.
As a whole, Detroit’s farm system has been slowly improving but still considered top heavy. However, thanks to trades, Al Avila has been able to shore up a few key positions that Detroit lacked. Some of those names are ready to make a quick impression on Hinch.
Let’s start with a name that was rising quickly when he pitched in summer camp in 2020.
Detroit made a point to protect him in November when they placed him on the 40-man roster and it’s pretty clear why. If you recall during instructs, Lange was hitting 94-98 MPH. His fastball has some tail action to it and his curveball has some nasty late break to it. The bullpen competition is going to be heavy but among one the final spots in the bullpen, if Lange has a good spring, he may get some consideration.
Infielder Zack Short
Short’s defense was according to General Manager Al Avila, “MLB-Ready”. Short does have some power in his profile and can play multiple positions in the infield. AJ Hinch loves utility players and there are several of them in camp so why him?
If Short can display his power, it would give him an advantage over Harold Castro, who is more known as a line drive and gaps hitter. As Michael pointed in his profile piece on Short, if he hits the ground running, he could get consideration for the 26th spot.
In his last 34 plate appearances in September, Cameron put up a slash line of .303/.324/.424 and had an OPS of .748 (10-for-33). He was able to settle down and was able to start putting together some quality at-bats.
The currently projected outfield looks to be locked in place with Jones, Mazara, and Grossman so I understand the skepticism behind this but he could make it harder for AJ Hinch to send him down, even with the elbow injury. He is another one who may make it down to one of the final cuts.