Detroit Tigers: Projecting the 2022 West Michigan Whitecaps lineup
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Continuing our roster-projection for the Detroit Tigers full-season affiliates.
For the past few weeks we’ve been projecting the rosters for each of the Detroit Tigers’ four full-season minor-league affiliates. Rogelio has been handling the pitching, while I’ve been projecting the lineups. Today we turn our attention the West Michigan Whitecaps, Detroit’s High-A affiliate.
Last year the Whitecaps began the season with 13 position players, so we’ll use that as our goal for today. Once again we’ll split the list into three groups — Catcher, Infield, and Outfield — and then offer some background information on each player.
Detroit Tigers: West Michigan Catcher Projections (3)
- Eliezer Alfonzo – We have Alfonzo returning to West Michigan after two different stints with the Whitecaps last year. He doesn’t show much power, and his defense remains a work in progress, but has one of the better pure hit tools in the system, with a strong eye and great bat-to-ball skills.
- Cooper Johnson – Cooper Johnson is probably the best defensive catcher in Detroit’s system, with outstanding agility behind the plate, soft hands, and a strong arm. He has shown patience and a little bit of pop as a hitter, but he owns a career .199 batting average in pro ball. His defensive skills should keep him employed for quite a while, though, and he’s the perfect backstop to handle what will likely be a prospect-laden Whitecaps rotation.
- Mike Rothenberg – The first newcomer to West Michigan, Mike Rothenberg was one of the two catchers Detroit drafted in 2021. He’s a bit older, and had slightly more success than Josh Crouch, so we’ve pushed him to High-A. He possesses interesting arm strength and power potential from both sides of the plate, but he’s not the most fluid defender, and we’re projecting him to play a decent amount of first base this year.