3 Tigers minor leaguers who could immediately help the struggling lineup

The Tigers' are struggling to score runs, but there could be some help with the Mud Hens.
Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins
Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

At this point, the Detroit Tigers are a lot like a movie franchise that refuses to go away. Each release is a little bit different, but you already know how it's going to turn out and you'll find it disappointing in the end.

Seemingly every game a Tigers starter throws a gem, possibly even a shutout for six-plus innings. The bullpen, given just a one-run lead to work with, has to be perfect. On days they're not, they take the blame for the loss, despite the fact a major league lineup can't seem to turn a shutout into a comfortable game.

That happened again Friday when the Tigers took a 1-0 lead into the ninth inning after a terrific game by starting pitcher Reese Olson only lose on a walk-off a few minutes later.

We say it nearly every day around here: the Tigers have to find a way to score runs and the current lineup isn't working. With that in mind, here are a few players with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens who might be able to bring a little life to this sagging franchise.

OF Justyn-Henry Malloy

The 24-year-old came over from the Atlanta Braves in a trade last season, made an appearance in the 2023 Futures Game, and has done nothing to tarnish the shine since. His main problem within the organization currently is just how he fits.

In 30 games with the Mud Hens this season, Malloy is batting .279 with a .424 on-base percentage and .462 slugging for .886 OPS, the third-highest on the team. That OBP mark is the highest on Toledo's roster. He has taken 26 walks already and has three home runs and two stolen bases.

It's not park to see this as an upgrade for a player like Parker Meadows, who is batting .100 with 10 walks. His .445 OPS is ... not good to say the least.

He's not on the 40-man roster, complicating matters some, but he could be a good answer to the team's needs.

2B/3B Jace Jung

While the hope is likely that Gio Urshela's return from the injured list at some point will help solve some of the Tigers' problems, they unfortunately go further than that. The 23-year-old Jung entered the season as a member of Baseball America's top 100 prospects list and currently leads the Mud Hens in home runs with five.

He's batting .257 with .373 OBP and .486 slugging for .859 OPS, fifth highest on the team. He has 21 walks though he's also struck out 39 times, the most on the Hens' roster.

Colt Keith has struggled, though in terms of some others on the roster he's shown a higher possibility of breaking out. Friday, he fought back from an 0-2 count to draw a bases-loaded walk, giving the Tigers their only run of the game.

That said, utiliyman Zach McKinstry is batting .213 with .552 OPS so there's a little room to maneuver here.

The trick here is finding the playing time for a young player and he'd needed to be added to the 40-man roster.

OF Akil Baddoo

This one is arguably a little more iffy given his last two seasons in Detroit have not repeated the success when he was the break-out sensation on the 2021 team. But it's hard to argue he hasn't done everything he can to get another attempt at success in the big leagues.

Baddoo is currently batting .277 with .384 OBP and .511 slugging for .895 OPS. He has four home runs to go along with seven stolen bases, making him a nice duo threat on a roster that has to try to make things happen.

As we said, he hasn't made the best of past opportunities, but what else are you looking for him to do at this point to earn another chance? Bonus: He's on the 40-man roster.