Detroit Tigers: 3 things we want to see from the team under Scott Harris
Better international and amateur scouting
This is a big one. The Avila regime was notoriously bad in both of these areas. They got a little better at scouting within the U.S. with guys like Wilmer Flores, but the international scouting never improved.
Looking at the Tigers prospect rankings on MLB Pipeline, you have to scroll all the way down to 11 and 12 before you find any international prospects—Cristian Santana and Roberto Campos, respectively. In fact, less than a third of Pipeline’s top 30 Tigers prospects are international free agent signees.
Their latest signee, SS Javier Osorio, who’s ranked No. 29 on Pipeline’s list, was awful this season in rookie ball. He had a .508 OPS in 46 games. He’s still just 17 years old, but that’s horrible offensive production regardless of age and level of professional baseball.
Not to use the Astros an example again, but they are one of the premiere organizations when it comes to international scouting. Three fifths of their current starting rotation were signed for next to nothing out of Latin America—Luis Garcia for $20,000, Framber Valdez for $10,000, and Cristian Javier for $10,000. That’s unreal scouting by Houston.
Looks at some of the best young players in the game today, many of them were signed as international free agents. Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto, Julio Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Ronald Acuna Jr., all signed off the international market. International scouting is a huge part of today’s game.
I’m not asking for the Tigers to be that shrewd in international scouting (though it would be nice), but they need to be much better than they’ve been over the past seven years. Harris should just clean house in that department and start from scratch.