Detroit Tigers: 3 players the organization failed or mishandled

Boston Red Sox v Detroit Tigers
Boston Red Sox v Detroit Tigers / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages
2 of 3

RHP Matt Manning

Another first-round pick, Manning was selected ninth overall in 2016. He was Al Avila's first draft pick. He's another top pitching prospect that hasn't panned out so far, and the Tigers did him no favors.

In spring training, Manning talked about what he wished the Tigers had told him to do in the minors as opposed what they actually told him to do. Here's a Twitter thread, again from Petzold.

Manning said later in that thread that all he did was use his fastball in the lower minors, and since it was working, he never changed anything. But when he got to Triple-A, teams started hitting his fastball, so he had to make some adjustments.

The fastball has always been Manning's bread and butter. He used to be able to touch triple digits with it, but various circumstances have caused the velo to dip over the years. What's always been the key to his success is his abilty to command the heater. When he does, he's lights out. When he doesn't, it's not pretty.

Still, having good secondary pitches is obviously very important for a starting pitcher. If he had a plus curveball to go along with his fastball, it would make him that much better of a pitcher. His slider is still a work in progress as well. He's basically had to develop in the big leagues, which is not something that anybody should have to do unless they're a Rule 5 pick.

The Tigers mishandled two straight first-round pitchers. If that isn't an indictment on the Avila regime, then I don't know what is.