The Detroit Tigers added two more players to their roster on Friday.
Today is the deadline for MLB teams to add players to their 40-man roster, lest they be made available for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft, and the Detroit Tigers announced their choices at precisely 2 PM Eastern.
This year’s group of adds isn’t quite as exciting as last year’s quartet, but it’s likely Tigers fans will see both of these players in Detroit in 2022. So let’s take a look at who they are, and what they might be able to provide the team in the future.
The Newest Detroit Tigers
Kody Clemens – 2B/UTIL – 6’1, 170 lbs. – Age 25 – Drafted 3rd Round 2018 (79th overall)
Kody Clemens is the bigger name of the duo. The Tigers spent a 3rd round pick on Clemens after a massive junior year in college, and he has been a mainstay on many Tigers prospect lists since. Clemens doesn’t project to hit for a high average, but he has a decent eye at the plate and there’s above-average raw power to all fields in his lefty bat.
Defense isn’t a plus for Clemens, but he’s adequate defender at second base and he added some versatility this year with 20+ games in right field and a handful more at first base. He turns 26 in May and doesn’t figure to be a regular big leaguer, but Clemens could be a useful platoon bat in the mold of Zack McKinstry or Josh Rojas.
Angel De Jesus – RHP – 6’4, 200 lbs. – Age 24 – International Free Agent, 2016
Angel De Jesus didn’t sign a pro contract until he was 19, which is ancient by international free agent standards, as most players sign shortly after they turn 16. But De Jesus has advanced relatively quickly, and he was age appropriate this year in Toledo, when he held opposing hitters to a .175 batting average.
De Jesus doesn’t have electric stuff, but his fastball reaches the mid-90s, he can miss bats with his slider, and he has something of a show-me changeup. Everything seems to play up a bit, though, thanks to some deception garnered by De Jesus’ longer arm action and low-3/4 arm slot. He needs to take a step forward with his command to succeed against big-league hitters, but with his frame and arm strength he has a chance to carve out role as a solid middle reliever.
The departure of Niko Goodrum merits some later discussion, but for now we celebrate Kody Clemens and Angel De Jesus getting one small step closer to realizing their big-league dreams.