Detroit Tigers: Riley Greene and Bobby Witt preview AL Central future

Riley Greene congratulates Spencer Torkelson. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Riley Greene congratulates Spencer Torkelson. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals Bobby Witt Jr., rounds the bases on an error, inside the park home run, which was misplayed by Cincinnati Reds left fielder Errol Robinson in the eighth inning of the MLB Cactus League Spring Training game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Kansas City Royals at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Ariz., on Thursday, March 4, 2021. The Royals won 5-3 in a nine-inning game.Kansas City Royals At Cincinnati Reds Spring Training /

The Kansas City Royals Monster Mashers and the future of the Detroit Tigers

The Royals threesome of Witt, Melendez, and Pratto have been terrorizing pitching in Northwest Arkansas (AA) and Omaha with 90 home runs between them.. Melendez (.286/.378/.626) has broken out with 34 homers on the year between his two stops. Witt and Pratto have matched each other with 28 long balls apiece.

These three will be ticketed for the lineup early in ‘22 with only a question surrounding Melendez and playing time due to the presence of likely Hall of Fame catcher Salvador Perez. Melendez is playing some third-base so we’ll see if there is potential there. If neither Perez or Melendez are good candidates for position switches it’s possible a Melendez trade could bring back something tasty to add to the recipe for KC’s next contender.

Witt has always had the hype of a franchise-altering talent and he’s done nothing to quash those thoughts. A gamer first and foremost by all accounts, there don’t appear to be any sizable holes in his game. He easily could be an MVP-level add to the Royals lineup.

Pratto has also busted out in ‘21 after hitting .191 in the 2019 season causing some concerns among prospect junkies. He’s now showing power to all fields and is considered an elite defensive prospect at first-base. A high K-rate might be a concern for some.

The future revolves around Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene

For Detroit, there are very few reasonable scenarios for the current Tigers rebuild that don’t include Greene and Torkelson fulfilling the immense potential assigned to both. The Tigers system has some elite talent but it’s not a depth-laden bunch. If any of Detroit’s main stars fizzle there aren’t many alternatives percolating internally. Greene and Torkelson must take the baton and run.

Watching how these two match up with the bidding KC stars is a very interesting gauge of the aspirations of both clubs in the coming seasons.