Detroit Tigers No. 11 Prospect – Gage Workman – IF
The Tigers selected Gage Workman in the 4th round (102nd overall) of the 2020 draft, but they used their large bonus pool to entice him into pro ball with a $1 million bonus that was nearly double the recommended slot. Workman was unusually young and projectible for a college junior, and his tools were certainly good enough to merit that extra investment. His first pro season featured some ups and downs — he struggled mightily in his first month at High-A — but Workman made some impressive adjustments and flashed enough promise to nearly crack our top ten.
Tall, lean, and athletic, Workman shows strong defensive tools, including good reactions, solid range, and a strong arm. He played shortstop exclusively this year, and he’s capable of making spectacular plays at the position, but as he continues to get bigger and stronger he’ll likely return to his college position of third base, where he could be a plus defender. Workman has a lot of pop in his bat, and he shows above-average speed — he was one of just six minor leaguers to hit 30+ doubles and steal 30+ bases last year — but his profile is dragged down by swing-and-miss issues and questionable contact skills. These were particularly glaring as a right-handed hitter, where he posted a .483 OPS and a 37% strikeout rate. Workman has the secondary tools to be an above-average MLB regular, but he may struggle to even make it as a utility man if he can’t improve his contact rates.
Check back tomorrow to see Part Two, when we unveil our top ten Detroit Tigers prospects for 2022.