Detroit Tigers are going to undergo some serious reconstruction.
The Detroit Tigers are going to be shaking things up. Their roster will look much different by the time the 2023 season rolls around, and I’d expect that wholesale change to continue beyond the 2023 season. The new president of baseball operations, Scott Harris, has made it clear that things will change.
Between shaking things up with the big league roster, I’d expect these roster moves to be from all levels of the organization. Trades to part ways with prospects that Harris was not high on. There’s likely going to be a lot of them.
After all, when asked how he feels about the Tigers farm system during his introductory press conference, he replied that sharing “the Giants’ opinion” of the Tigers farm system was not fair since he was not familiar with the organization yet. In other words, Harris is not a fan.
With that being said, I’d expect Harris to be shopping prospects to teams who may be looking to bolster their farm system. This may not be the worst thing in the world, but it would do a couple of things.
Depending on the outcome of the trade, it could bring in some new talent to the farm system, swapping players who may need a new home or a fresh start for another organization’s prospects who Harris was high on.
It also could allow Harris the freedom to try and upgrade some of the positions around the field by packaging in prospects that Harris was not thrilled about. Let’s take a look at three of the Detroit Tigers prospects who could be on the chopping block.
These are three players who might find themselves making their big league debuts with another team, not making it to the bigs with the Detroit Tigers organization.
#1: Detroit Tigers starting pitching prospect, Dylan Smith
The Detroit Tigers selected Dylan Smith with the team’s third-round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. The right-handed pitcher was expected to be able to continue defining his pitch mix and cruise through the organization’s ranks.
After a breakout 2021 season with the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, Smith was aiming to make the jump into the Tigers organization smoothly.
He did not make any appearances with the team in 2021 but came out and spent 2022 with the High-A West Michigan Whitecaps, except for two starts with Lakeland. Smith pitched 83.1 innings in total over 20 games, where he managed an 8-6 record, a 4.00 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, and punched out 86 opposing hitters.
While Smith has shown he has the stuff to be a big leaguer, he’s got to develop this further and keep climbing up the organization’s ranks. For this reason, it feels like Smith could be packaged into a trade or dealt by Harris to try and help find some new faces for the farm system.
Smith’s got some desirable stuff when it’s on. He has a mid-90s fastball (mostly 93-95 mph) and two good breaking balls, with a splitter in the mix as his fourth offering. The slider is better than the curveball, but he’s not afraid to turn to either one.
But, things have not gone as well as the Tigers likely hoped. They may be shopping the right-handed prospect.