Detroit Tigers: Justyn-Henry Malloy may be MLB ready sooner than later

Vanderbilt centerfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. (51) steals third base past Georgia Tech third baseman Justyn-Henry Malloy.
Vanderbilt centerfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. (51) steals third base past Georgia Tech third baseman Justyn-Henry Malloy. / George Walker IV / The Tennessean via

Detroit Tigers' Justyn-Henry Malloy may be MLB-ready early in 2023.

The Detroit Tigers are getting ready for Spring Training as the clock keeps ticking. They are still looking for players who can slot into the team's third base role with a gaping hole at the position as things stand right now.

After moving on from Jeimer Candelario, the Detroit Tigers still need to replace him. After bringing in Justyn-Henry Malloy via trade when sending Joe Jiménez to the Atlanta Braves, he provides some upside. Malloy was labeled as not big-league ready, but it's starting to feel like he may be good to go sooner.

It's a leap to suggest that Malloy will break camp with the Tigers, but with a hole at third, it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility. But the odds are incredibly low. If he can get into a groove in Triple-A, he may earn himself a promotion to the MLB level sooner than later.

Malloy is one of those players that fits the mold of what kind of player Scott Harris is looking for. He's someone who will dominate the strike zone, and the hit tools are impressive as well. Over time with three different affiliates in 2022, Malloy logged 133 games in total.

He managed a .289/.408/.454 line with 28 doubles and 17 home runs with 81 RBI. He carried that into the Fall, where he was sent out west to join the Arizona Fall League. He played in 20 games where he produced a .302/.438/.444 slash line with seven extra-base hits and seven RBI.

It's early to make any definitive claims, but Malloy has tools in the batters' box that will be beneficial for the Tigers whenever he gets to the big leagues. Even with some more prospects added to the mix after the trade with the Philadelphia Phillies, including two who could see time in 2023 at third and in the outfield, Malloy's still in the mix.

Nick Maton and Matt Vierling were considered as possible remedies for the role at third. Vierling will likely slot into the Tigers' outfield as well. But, even with some new names, Malloy should be able to earn some time in 2023 with a strong performance in Triple-A with Toledo, and that is more than likely.

Malloy's going to turn some heads in 2023, and that could lead to a promotion sooner than expected for the Tigers prospect.

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