Detroit Tigers Top 20 Prospects: Midseason Update

Spencer Torkelson bumps elbows with teammate Harold Castro. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Spencer Torkelson bumps elbows with teammate Harold Castro. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers Top 20 Prospects: Midseason Update

Detroit Tigers
Riley Greene stands on second base against the Somerset Patriots on June 9, 2021. /

. Previous: 1st. Riley Greene. 1. player. 63.

There’s no change at the top for us. Riley Greene has been one of the youngest and best players in Double-A all season, and he is providing value in all phases of the game. We think he has the best shot in the system to be an above-average MLB regular.

63. . . Previous: 2nd. Spencer Torkelson. 2. player

Spencer Torkelson remains a close second behind Greene. After a slow start to his pro career, Tork has largely done what was expected of him, batting .278/.401/.552 through his first 70 pro games. Any visions of Torkelson becoming a Miguel Cabrera-like MVP are a bit much, but we think he has a good chance to become an above-average corner infielder in the bigs.

63. . . Previous: 8th. Dillon Dingler. 3. player

It didn’t take Dillon Dingler long to prove he was a legitimate prospect. He has struggled over the last month in Erie, but his defense behind the plate gives him a high floor, and he flashes the offensive potential to be an All-Star one day.

4. player. 63. . . Previous: 5th. Matt Manning

Matt Manning has been a bit mystifying this year. His results have been mostly fine, and he’s still young enough to improve, but he hasn’t shown the slightest hint of dominance. In fact, Manning’s raw pitch data makes him look a lot more like another Mike Pelfrey than the sort of front-line arm many hoped he could be. That’s still valuable, of course, but it feels disappointing.

Jackson Jobe. 5. player. 63. . . Previous: NRth

Jackson Jobe was generally considered one of the top ten players available in the 2021 MLB Draft, and the Detroit Tigers used the 3rd overall pick on him. By all accounts he has everything it takes to be a top-of-the-rotation starter some day.

. . Previous: NRth. Ty Madden. 6. player. 63

It’s back-to-back 2021 draft picks here as Ty Madden slots in at number 6. He doesn’t have the ceiling of Jobe, but Madden still has an outstanding arm, and he’s less risky than Jobe simply by virtue of coming from the college ranks.

Previous: 7th. Joey Wentz. 7. player. 63. .

Joey Wentz has returned from his Tommy John surgery this season, and his arm seems to be healthy. His fastball has been up to 95 MPH this year, which is a good sign, and his 4.10 ERA is solid. But, like so many pitchers who return from elbow surgery, he’s still working on regaining his command and control (29BB in 45IP).

63. . . Previous: 18th. Colt Keith. 8. player

As mentioned on the risers page, Colt Keith has vaulted up our rankings. His numbers are strong, particularly for a teenager in full-season ball (though he turns 20 in two weeks), but the scouting reports are just as good. He looks like the real deal.

Previous: 16th. Gage Workman. 9. player. 63. .

Spencer Torkelson’s college teammate moves into our top 10 on the strength of a solid performance in Low-A Lakeland to begin his pro career. He has found the sledding much tougher in High-A, but we’ll give him time to adjust.

10. player. 63. . . Previous: NAth. Izaac Pacheco

Izaac Pacheco comes out of the draft and hops right into the 10th spot thanks to his power potential and ability to play on the dirt. He went 1-for-2 with a walk in his professional debut last week.

Previous: 9th. Daz Cameron. 11. player. 63. .

Daz Cameron drops two spots in our rankings, but that has more to do with the new names arriving than anything he’s done as a player. Cameron has flashed his power, speed, and defense at the big-league level, and may still offer everyday regular upside if he can stay healthy.

63. . . Previous: NRth. Reese Olson. 12. player

Reese Olson is reminiscent of Detroit Tigers reliever Alex Lange in that he came to the team in a minor deadline deal and he’s a current starter who probably fits best in the bullpen. Olson’s arsenal is a bit broader than Lange’s, though, and we think his ceiling is slightly higher, too.

Previous: 19th. Roberto Campos. 13. player. 63. .

An enigma before the season, Roberto Campos has finally started playing this year, and he’s showing signs of why the Tigers were happy to give him nearly $3 million in 2019. He’s still very raw, and there’s a long way to go, but the tools are pretty loud.

63. . . Previous: NRth. Dylan Smith. 14. player

The last of the 2021 draft picks to make the list, Dylan Smith offers more upside than a typical 3rd-round college arm. He started for just one year at Alabama, showing four quality pitches against the top competition college has to offer, and there’s still room on his frame to get stronger and throw harder.

. . Previous: 10th. Daniel Cabrera. 15. player. 63

Daniel Cabrera slides down our list because he’s looking more like a potential 4th outfielder than a regular. He’s still flashing his average tools on a regular basis, but the hitting isn’t where it needs to be.

. Previous: 13th. Alex Faedo. 16. player. 63.

There’s not a whole lot to discuss about Alex Faedo, as he’s been out for the whole season with Tommy John surgery. When healthy he shows some backend starter potential, though we think it’s more likely he develops into a slider-heavy reliever in the mold of Alex Wilson.

63. . . Previous: NRth. Ryan Kreidler. 17. player

Ryan Kreidler has been one of the more pleasant surprises in the system this year, though he’s certainly not without his warts. He’s playing a solid shortstop for Erie and his power production has been welcome, but he needs to cut down on his strikeouts to have success at higher levels.

18. player. 63. . . Previous: NRth. Cristian Santana

There’s precious little game action to evaluate for Cristian Santana, though he does have some home runs early in the Dominican Summer League season. This ranking is still largely based on evaluations of him prior to beginning pro ball.

. Previous: 11th. Parker Meadows. 19. player. 63.

Parker Meadows remains an impressive physical specimen, but his on-field work leaves a lot to be desired. He’ll still flash big-league tools at times, but his hitting just hasn’t progressed the way it needs to.

. . Previous: NRth. Andre Lipcius. 20. player. 63

Andre Lipcius is a solid, well-rounded infielder who quickly hit his way from West Michigan to Erie. Neither his tools nor his stats jump out, but he’s the sort of quality baseball player who does all the right things on the field and carves out a lengthy career.

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