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Detroit Tigers: Projecting the 2022 Erie SeaWolves Lineup

Detroit Tigers prospects Danny Cabrera and Gage Workman head to the batting cages.
Detroit Tigers prospects Danny Cabrera and Gage Workman head to the batting cages. /
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Detroit Tigers: West Michigan Infield Projections (6)

Detroit Tigers
Hitting coordinator Jeff Branson talks with prospect Gage Workman. /
  • Luis Carpio – A native of Venezuela, Carpio signed with the New York Mets when he was just 16, and he spent the next eight years in their system. He was viewed as a legitimate prospect early in his career, but he was always more of a grinder than a toolshed, and he’s a career .246/.327/.344 hitter. He’s a solid defender though, and we have him as Erie’s opening-day second baseman, though he can slide to shortstop or third base if needed.
  • Jake Holton – As a 10th-round first baseman with fringe-average raw power, Jake Holton has never been viewed as a priority prospect, but he may have raised some eyebrows with his performance last year. He posted an .836 OPS in 45 games at Low-A Lakeland, but then he jumped up to West Michigan for 30 games and raised his OPS 90 points while cutting his strikeout rate by 4%.
  • Andre Lipcius – Andre Lipcius slipped into the back of our top 20 prospects list because he offers a solid mix of defense, hitting ability, and patience. He quickly hit his way out of West Michigan last year and he was passable for 94 games in Erie (90 wRC+). He may very well get pushed to Toledo out of necessity (lots of potential Mud Hens infielders are on the Detroit Tigers 40-man roster), but we think he fits best as the starting third baseman in Erie.
  • Andrew Navigato – Navigato seemed like a glove-first infielder when the Tigers drafted him in the 20th round in 2019, but he proved surprisingly solid with the bat last year, posting a .741 OPS while climbing three levels and playing four different positions. He’s one of a handful of super utility types who could start at just about any level in 2022.
  • John Valente – Another of those super utility types, John Valente falls out of bed and hits .300. He batted .352 over four years in college, and he owns a career .314 batting average in three minor-league seasons. He spent 66 games in Erie last year, batting .301/.363/.445 while playing five positions, and we think he may return to the SeaWolves again this year.
  • Gage Workman – Few Detroit Tigers prospects can match Gage Workman’s raw power, and he also happens to be an average runner with a chance to be an above-average defender on the left side of the infield. The big question mark with Workman is his hit tool — his .237/.302/.440 line and 34% strikeout rate in High-A West Michigan don’t exactly scream promotion, but he seemed to make some strong adjustments down the stretch. He struggled to a .522 OPS and 40% strikeout rate over his first 23 games with the Whitecaps, but then hit .266/.344/.513 and dropped his K-rate by 10% over his final 45 contests. Erie will be a challenge for him, but we think Workman is their opening-day shortstop.