Detroit Tigers: 2021 Minor League Roster Season Preview

Detroit Tigers prospects Riley Greene Spencer Torkelson.
Detroit Tigers prospects Riley Greene Spencer Torkelson. /
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Detroit Tigers
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West Michigan Whitecaps

The Whitecaps have several new changes taking place in addition to being the new High-A affiliate. The new name of the stadium is the Lake Michigan Credit Union Ballpark (LMCU) and they will be playing teams in six-game series that will start on Tuesdays and run until Sunday with Mondays being an off-day and this is the first season for former Tigers catcher Brayan Pena as the team’s manager.

The Whitecaps have the potential to have a high-powered offense lead by several positional players.  Let’s breakdown the roster:

West Michigan Infield:

Spencer Torkelson: 1st round ,2020

Rey Rivera: 2nd round, 2017

Andre Lipcius: 3rd round, 2019

Jack Kenley: 8th round,2019

Corey Joyce: 12th round, 2019

Trei Cruz: 3rd round, 2020

Rivera, Lipcius, and Kenley spent time in West Michigan in 2019 with Rivera even seeing time in right field.  This will be a good challenge for Torkerson and Cruz, who are two of the four 2020 draft picks at West Michigan.

West Michigan Catchers:

Chris Proctor: 13th round, 2018

Eliezer Alfonzo: IFA ,2016

Dillon Dingler: 2nd round, 2020

Alfonzo and Dingler are expected to provide some offense punch behind the plate for the Whitecaps. Dingler has good speed on the base paths and enough athleticism that he played center field at Ohio State.

West Michigan Outfielders:

Danny Cabrera: 2nd round, 2020

Parker Meadows: 2nd round, 2018

Bryant Packard: 5th round,2019

Kona Quiggle: 16th round, 2019

There was a story about Packard starting the season at first base but according to the official roster, he is listed in the outfield. Regardless, the Whitecaps bring him and Meadows back with 2nd round draft pick Danny Cabrera out of LSU.

West Michigan Pitching Staff:

Beau Brieske 27th Round, 2019

Yaya Chentouf 36th Round, 2018

Sandel DeLaCruz NDFA, 10-17-16

Chavez Fernander 35th Round, 2018

Ruben Garcia MiLB Rule 5, 2019

Zack Hess 7th Round, 2019

Garrett Hill 26th Round, 2018

Xavier Jaiver NDFA, 10-31-14

Sam Kessler 34th Round, 2019

Chance Kirby 25th Round, 2018

Keider Montero NDFA, 8-25-16

Franklin Perez  Houston Trade August 2017

Angel Reyes 19th Round, 2018

Jesus Rodriquez NDFA, 7-3-14

Zac Shepard  NDFA, 7-4-12

Hugh Smith 6th Round, 2018

Jared Tobey 30th Round, 2018

Brendan White 26th Round, 2019

A few of these names have pitched in West Michigan before but notable names that stand out are Franklin Perez and Zack Hess, who Tigers fans both saw at summer camp at Comerica Park in 2020.

Check out the West Michigan schedule and schedule a trip west this season. Their roster has plenty of upside that is worth checking out.