Detroit Tigers prospect Izaac Pacheco needs to prove himself in 2024.
The Detroit Tigers may not have a big-name shortstop up-and-coming through the organization, but they do have some prospects who could excite some fans. Former second-rounder Izaac Pacheco is someone that fans should not write off. Not that he will be some top-tier big-leaguer, but the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder has plenty of intrigue.
He's been with the organization since the 2021 MLB draft and has three seasons of games under his belt. The Detroit Tigers are likely still hoping that Pacheco can amount to something; the question is whether he can crack the big leagues as a shortstop or a third baseman. He's still got time on his side as well.
Pacheco is a 21-year-old, so he's still young and working on developing his tools. The big and physical left-hander was really intriguing coming out of college. He had smooth hands at shortstop with clean actions and tools that projected to stick on the left side of the field. The questions with Pacheco came with him possibly shifting to third base with his size and stature.
He moved to the hot corner, playing both shortstop and third base within the Tigers organization. He still has a chance to play short down the line, but there's versatility to play either position on the left side of the infield. Pacheco still has an opportunity to prove himself, even after a meh year in 2023.
Last summer, Pacheco played in 119 games with High-A West Michigan, where he slashed .211/.284/.352 with 22 doubles, three triples, and 12 home runs to his credit. He drove in 50 runs and walked 47 times while striking out 160 times over 508 plate appearances. It's less than ideal, but still, there's time to improve things.
Detroit may be hopeful that Pacheco can find his way to the big leagues one day, but the hitch will come with his hit tool. The hit-tool was the concern as a prep prospect, with some uncertainties about Pacheco's ability to see his hit-tool come around. On top of that, he's got to cut down on punchouts, focusing on not expanding the zone.
If Pacheco can see that walk number rise and punchout number fall, he'll be in business. He's stayed true to form as a prospect. The big left-hander with a bunch of juice. He's shown the juice and shown off that ability to hit for power; he just needs to put it all together.
As the 2024 season comes into focus, do not write off Pacheco. It's too early for that.