Detroit Tigers Best Power Tools: Numbers 5 and 4
5 – Gage Workman – SS/3B
With just 12 home runs last season, Gage Workman is the least prolific member of our top five in terms of over-the-fence power. But Workman has plenty of pop in the tank, with exit velocities in excess of 110 MPH last year, and multiple home runs that traveled more than 420 feet. Workman also tied for second in all of minor-league baseball last year with 37 doubles, and while he needs to continue to refine his approach, it’s not hard to envision more of those two-baggers clearing the wall in 2022. The switch-hitting Workman showed dramatic splits last year, with a .267/.349/.500 slash line as a left-handed hitter, but just a .179/.256/.226 line as a righty. If that keeps up he may simply abandon switch hitting altogether.
4 – Ryan Kreidler – SS/3B
When the Detroit Tigers drafted Ryan Kreidler in the 4th round in 2019 he was viewed as something of a glove-first prospect. That looked accurate in his first taste of pro ball, when he hit just .232 with 2 home runs in 60 games for short-season Connecticut. But Kreidler began defying those projections last March, when he used his few spring training at-bats to flash some impressive opposite-field power. That pop continued after his aggressive assignment to Double-A Erie, and it only improved after an August promotion to Triple-A Toledo. Kreidler finished the season with a solid .185 ISO and 45 extra-base hits, including 22 home runs — a modern record for a Tigers minor-league shortstop.
Kreidler’s swing is relatively short and simple, but he makes use of his long arms to produce plus raw power and spray home runs from pole to pole. He showed some weakness against premium velocity and quality breaking balls, so it’s probably best to project him for average game power now, but that’s more than just about anyone expected a few years ago, and good enough for him to rank fourth on our list.