6 Detroit Tigers prospects who could land on top 100 lists
By Chris Brown
The Detroit Tigers are growing a new crop of prospects.
This off-season’s big free-agent deals and trades officially closed the book on the Detroit Tigers rebuild. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t still focusing on the farm system.
Spencer Torkelson will soon graduate off prospect lists, and Riley Greene will likely follow suit once he returns from his foot surgery. But even with those graduations, there’s a decent chance the Detroit Tigers begin 2023 with more top-100 prospects than they started 2022.
For reference, here’s how Detroit’s prospects ranked heading into this season according to Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, FanGraphs, ESPN, Baseball Prospectus, and The Athletic:
So the Detroit Tigers came into the year with approximately 3.5 top-100 prospects. We won’t assume Jackson Jobe and Dillon Dingler remain on lists for next season, but since they’ve already been on a top-100, we’re going to leave them out of this list today.
Instead, we offer six other Detroit Tigers prospects who might sneak on a list in 2023. We did a similar piece last year, with decidedly mixed results. Two prospects make their return this year, but we’ve added four new names.
Here’s the list, presented in alphabetical order:
Detroit Tigers Potential Top-100 Prospect – Wilmer Flores
Of the six players on this list, Wilmer Flores actually might be the least likely to crack a top-100 list. It’s not because he lacks the talent, and even getting consideration here is amazing, considering Flores was an undrafted free agent. Barely 21, Flores owns plus spin rates on a mid-90s fastball and a pair of exciting breaking balls, and he was electric in his season debut with West Michigan last week, striking out seven in three perfect innings.
So what makes Flores unlikely to reach a top-100 list? It’s because he probably ends up as a reliever, and relievers rarely make top prospect lists. Flores almost never throws his changeup, and both his delivery and his physique suggest he could be a player who struggles to hold his command and velocity deep into games. That said, he has already made some pretty huge strides in pro ball, and we don’t want to rule out the possibility of him continuing to improve this year.