Detroit Tigers Top 20 Prospects: No 11. Gage Workman
We continue with the rankings with infielder Gage Workman; ranked our 11th-best Detroit Tigers prospect.
First and foremost, thank you for everyone who has been checking out the 2nd annual Motor City Detroit Tigers Top 20 prospect list. Each person put out a list of their Top 20 and, thanks to Chris Brown’s magic, that is how our rankings were determined.
Next on our countdown is Gage Workman, who was the second player the Tigers selected out of Arizona State after Spencer Torkelson, in the 4th round in the 2020 draft. The Sun Devils had three more selections in the five round 2020 draft, shortstop Ailka Williams (2nd round,Tampa Bay) second baseman Trevor Hauver (3rd round, Yankees) and pitcher R.J. Dabovich (4th round, San Francisco)
Gage Workman’s Background:
The switch hitting Workman started the season down in Lakeland, moving over to a new position, playing short. He got more comfortable with his range and his arm as the season progressed on. I saw him on Opening Day for the Flying Tigers and what stood out was how hard he hit the ball with power to all fields and his speed, which was on display quickly.
He quickly made an impression down in Lakeland, winning Low-A Southeast Offensive Player of the Week after hitting for the cycle on May 21st.
The one metric that was unusually high in Low-A was walk rates. When Workman was drafted, the scouting report showed his ability to draw walks however with the robot umpires in effect at Low-A, still figuring out the strike zone and the lack of pitchers across the league throwing strikes, his 13.2% BB rate was a little deceiving but did not take away his ability to adjust at the plate, which we will get to later.
When he was called up, it took no time for Workman to adjust to the higher level, hitting his first High-A home run in just his third game in a Whitecaps uniform.
The power numbers continued to progress higher as the season went on. Here you can see the ability to drop his bat down on the inside to muscle out an inside fastball for a home run.
Gage Workman’s Strength
His power numbers improved when he got the call up to West Michigan, with a .202 ISO and hitting nine home runs, four of which came in September, his best slash line of the season. He hit .281/.356/.547 with an OPS of .903.
The speed and the ability to make things happen on the base paths showed all season long as he stole 31 bases between the two levels.
His defense, which was a big reason the Detroit Tigers took him in the draft, kept on improving as the season went on. He showed good range and an arm that was on display several times this season.
Gage Workman’s Weaknesses
He struggled against left-handed pitching, hitting .121 at Lakeland and .205 at West Michigan, respectively. His K rate was high at both levels, as he struggled against good off-speed pitching. He could hit for power, but hitting for contact consistently is where he struggled.
Our take on Gage Workman
There is a lot to like about Workman. He showed he could handle the higher level last season and if he can continue to show progress like he did the last two months at West Michigan, it could be possible to see him in Erie by the beginning of July.I think starting him in a Whitecaps uniform and building off his 2020 season would be ideal but with the new personal in the front office, he could start the season at Erie.