Detroit Tigers: Top 20 prospects for 2022 – Part Two
Detroit Tigers No. 6 Prospect – Ryan Kreidler – SS/3B
Ryan Kreidler was the most pleasant surprise in the Detroit Tigers system in 2021. He struggled to post a .650 OPS in short-season ball in 2019, and entered the year as something of a glove-first afterthought. But by the end of the season he had shattered the modern record for home runs by a Tigers minor-league shortstop, and he was in Triple A, getting on base more than 40% of the time. Some thought he might be Detroit’s shortstop of the future, and Tigers GM Al Avila said other teams expressed interest in trading for Kreidler.
A 4th-round pick in 2019 out of UCLA, Kreidler was known mostly for his defense in college, but he did flash some power potential when he hit nine home runs as a junior. He showed improved pitch recognition and plate discipline as 2021 wore on, but he still gets fooled by quality breaking balls in the zone, and he projects to be a fringe-average hitter at the MLB level. He has above-average raw power and can go deep to any part of the field, and he’s an average runner who could steal double-digit bases early in his career. On defense Kreidler shows the instincts, range, hands, and arm to play shortstop at the highest level, but he could also be an above-average defender at third base or second base. He’ll likely begin 2022 back in Triple-A, and he gives the Tigers some much-needed infield depth.