The Detroit Tigers have two second base prospects receiving some notoriety
Media outlets are beginning to release their top prospect lists for 2023, and so far the Detroit Tigers haven't been very well represented. That was, until today.
MLB Pipeline is rolling out its top prospects lists by position. Today, it released its top 10 second base prospects, and the Tigers have not just one, but two prospects on the list. Those prospects are 2022 first-round pick Jace Jung (No. 3) and Wenceel Perez (No. 10).
Jung makes sense since again, he was the Detroit Tigers first-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. Pipeline is banking on him living up to that billing, though he was pretty pedestrian in 30 games at High-A West Michigan. While he nearly walked as much as he struck out, he displayed very little power. On top of that, second base might not even be his long-term defensive home. There are legitimate question marks with Jung.
Then again, second base doesn't appear to be a very deep position in the minors. After the top three, there's a pretty big dropoff in terms of talent level.
That being said, seeing Wenceel Perez sneak on to the list at No. 10 is nice to see, especially after the season he had in 2022 between High-A West Michigan and Double-A Erie. He put up a 143 wRC+ and showed a surprising amount of consistent power. His ISO was well over .200 at both levels of the minors.
He was arguably even better after he was promoted to Double-A, with pretty much everything going up except for his walk rate, which was still above average at 8.8%. He put his name back on the map.
In addition to making the list, Perez was also featured as having some of the best tools of all the prospects on the list. His 60-run grade makes him the fastest second base prospect according to Pipeline. His 55-arm was also the highest on the list.
The biggest question mark with Perez is his health. He's dealt with a nagging back injury throughout his career, and he landed on the IL twice last year because of it. Back injuries can be career-killers, so the Tigers will have to be very careful with Perez moving forward.
It's nice to see the Tigers get some recognition for their farm system. There's really more than meets the eye in the system. Hopefully the new player development staff continues to dig up some more diamonds in the rough.