Detroit Tigers: Projecting the 2022 Lakeland Flying Tigers lineup
Continuing our roster-projection for the Detroit Tigers full-season affiliates.
Last week Rogelio started trying to project the starting pitching rotations for each of the four full-season Detroit Tigers affiliates, and this week I’m taking at shot at predicting the lineups for each club.
It’s admittedly a bit of a niche series that will be rendered pointless in a few weeks when the actual rosters are released, but in the absence of any real Detroit Tigers news, it feels like a worthwhile thought experiment.
Last year the Lakeland Flying Tigers broke camp with 15 position players on the roster, so that’s our target for today, too. One resource we’ll use is this minor-league mini-camp roster tweeted out by MLive’s Evan Woodbery last week.
We’ll split the list into three groups — Catcher, Infield, and Outfield — and then offer some background information on each player.
Detroit Tigers: Lakeland Catcher Predictions (3)
- Josh Crouch – The Tigers had some issues with catching depth in their system, and they addressed their needs on day three of the 2021 draft. Josh Crouch was one of the top statistical performers among Division I catchers last year, hitting .311 with 15 home runs for Central Florida. He played 24 games with Lakeland after the draft, but his OPS was just .594, so we project him to return to Low A to begin the season.
- Danuerys De La Cruz – De La Cruz spent his first two seasons in the Dominican Summer League, where he displayed solid on-base skills. Last year he led all Rookie-level hitters in OPS (.975) and wRC+ (157), so Low-A seems like a natural step this season. He split his time fairly evenly between catcher and first base last year, and he could do so again in 2022.
- Eduardo Valencia – Like Crouch and De La Cruz, Valencia is a mini-camp invitee who has shown some offensive ability. He’s a .284 career hitter with good contact skills, but he has just one home run in 134 games. Valencia moved around to four teams last year, and seems on track to be a solid organizational catcher.