Detroit Tigers sending players to Arizona as AFL rosters are announced

Detroit Tigers sending seven players to the Arizona Fall League
Whitecaps' Jace Jung hits against the Lugnuts in the first inning on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.
Whitecaps' Jace Jung hits against the Lugnuts in the first inning on Tuesday, April 11, 2023. / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

Detroit Tigers sending seven players to Arizona Fall League.

The Detroit Tigers season may have "ended" after officially eliminating them from postseason contention. But the team still has a slate of games left, and the Tigers have prospects with a fall schedule to go through.

It was announced that the Detroit Tigers were going to be sending seven players out to Arizona to take part in the Arizona Fall League (AFL). The Tigers hope that a strong fall performance could be a nice kickstart for a few of these prospects as they close the book on 2023.

Last fall, several players went out west and found plenty of success, snowballing it into this year's campaign. Colt Keith is one of those players, as is Joey Wentz. While Wentz may not have come out in 2023 and been solid the entire season, but Wentz had a nearly perfect performance last fall, helping him get in good shape before this season officially kicked off.

Overall, the Tigers were able to see a few of their prospects produce good results in their performances during the 2022 AFL campaign. The Tigers will be sending seven players out west as the AFL rosters were officially announced.

1. Justice Bigbie - OF

Justice Bigbie is a former 19th-rounder of the Detroit Tigers who attended Western Carolina University. Outfielder who has spent the 2023 season between the teams' High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A affiliates. He got into a real groove with the Erie SeaWolves in Double-A.

2. Wilmer Flores - RHP

Wilmer Flores had a big year last fall when he went out west for the 2022 AFL season. In 2023, he spent most of his time in Double-A Erie, making 18 starts there with three starts in High-A West Michigan. He found some success in Double-A, looking to continue his ascent on the road to Detroit.

3. Jackson Jobe - RHP

Jackson Jobe moved through different levels of the Tigers organization after getting healthy. Former third-overall pick found success in High-A West Michigan before jumping to Double-A, where he also had a great start. Jobe has room for a big fall in the AFL.

4. Jace Jung - INF

Jace Jung spent the summer of 2023 with the High-A West Michigan squad before jumping to Double-A Erie. Jung's going to head out west looking to make some leaps in his development, and its been noted that he may be making a positional move.

5. Tanner Kohlhepp - RHP

Tanner Kohlhepp is a former collegiate arm who comes to the Tigers by way of the 2021 MLB draft as a fifth-rounder from Notre Dame. Did not play in 2022. He has spent 2023 with Single-A Lakeland after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The Tigers are likely looking for him to add some extra innings during his time in the AFL.

6. RJ Petit - RHP

RJ Petit is a former 14th-rounder who is looking to pick up some more innings as he heads out west to partake in the AFL competition. He spent most of the 2023 season with the Double-A Erie squad.

7. Dylan Smith - RHP

Dylan Smith came into 2023 looking to make some strides. He moved through a few levels of the organization and is looking for a chance to get some more work in before the book is closed on the 2023 season.

These are the seven players that the Tigers are sending out west. There are a few who are simply going to get some extra innings or at-bats in, but the team is looking to see some development. For a couple of these players, it could be a big chance for their players to make a few leaps before 2023 comes to an end.

The Tigers are sending two different former first-round picks in, Jace Jung and Jackson Jobe. For Detroit, it's likely an opportunity for Detroit to see how these guys can perform. For Jobe, an injury cut his season short, so it's an excellent chance to get him more chances on the mound. For Jung, it might be a good opportunity for them to have him start on a positional change.

It has been rumored that Jung is likely to undergo a move to third base and the Tigers may want him to start getting that work in at third this fall as he heads to the AFL. While the Tigers season is winding down, some of their prospects will head out west and keep the season going for those itching for more baseball.

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