Detroit Tigers: Projecting the 2022 West Michigan Whitecaps lineup

Infielder Wenceel Perez warms up for practice during Detroit Tigers spring training.
Infielder Wenceel Perez warms up for practice during Detroit Tigers spring training. /
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Detroit Tigers: West Michigan Infield Projections (6)

Detroit Tigers
Tigers infield prospect Colt Keith takes batting practice. /
  • Trei Cruz – Trei Cruz had a rough pro debut, batting just .161 over 63 injury-plagued games. He played only four games before going down with an injury that caused him to miss a month, then struggled for a few weeks before being demoted to Lakeland. Things weren’t much better in Low-A, but we’re chalking up at least part of his struggles to the injuries.
  • Colt Keith – Another 2020 draftee, Colt Keith had a strong pro debut that placed him firmly on the prospect radar. He showed outstanding contact and on-base skills in Low-A as a teenager, though he struggled a bit after earning a late-season promotion to West Michigan.
  • Jose King – The last member of the ill-fated J.D. Martinez trade still in the organization, Jose King may be a candidate for release after posting a .611 OPS over 69 games with the Whitecaps in 2021. But, he did play six positions last year (including two appearances on the mound) and that defensive versatility could be useful for the club.
  • Carlos Mendoza – An unheralded organizational player, Carlos Mendoza nevertheless offers a nice mix of contact ability, speed, and defensive versatility. He played in rookie ball, Low-A, and Double-A last year, and the Tigers will likely send him wherever they need an infielder.
  • Wenceel Perez – Once one of the Detroit’s most promising shortstop prospects, Wenceel Perez didn’t spend a day at the six last year, but he still has a chance to develop into a Harold Castro style utility man. This would be his fourth stint in West Michigan.
  • Reynaldo Rivera – We finish the infield list with another returning player in power-hitting 1B/DH Rey Rivera. Detroit’s 2nd rounder from the 2017 draft is an all-or-nothing slugger who already owns the career record for home runs for the Whitecaps, but he hit just .207 last year, and it’s hard to picture him moving up to Double-A Erie.