Detroit Tigers Top 30 Prospects for 2023: #18 Ryan Kreidler
Detroit Tigers Top 30 prospects for 2023: No.18 - Ryan Kreidler
While several of the Detroit Tigers' names, like Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, have graduated from the team's top prospect list, Ryan Kreidler could be looking to do so in 2023. He is likely to get many chances with the organization to prove himself.
The Detroit Tigers selected Kreidler in the fourth round of the 2019 MLB Draft, and he slots in just inside the Top 20 at 18th on our very own Top-30 Prospects List as chosen by the MCB staff. The right-handed hitting infielder is one of the names who will likely compete for a chance at third base in 2023.
Kreidler got a fair amount of time in 2022, where he made his debut, but he's due for more in 2023. In his first chances in the bigs, he logged 73 at-bats over 26 games played. He slashed .178/.244/.233 with just two extra-base hits. He walked just six times and was punched out on 22 different occasions.
The minors were kind to Kreidler, who had quite the welcoming party when he got to Triple-A, hitting well and looking to carry it into the big leagues. The 25-year-old has a 6-foot-4, 208-pound frame, which can look a bit lanky. It's for sure a lean build.
He's shown the ability to move around the infield, being a shortstop at the collegiate level with UCLA. His body type does not project as a third baseman unless he puts some weight on and bulks up. He's in the mix for the job, but I do not think Kreidler will make a career out of it.
Kreidler's swing has a lot of moving parts; he settles as the pitch is being delivered, but cleaning up some of his timing mechanisms might do him well. Looking at his hands alone, they get to the ball quickly with a compact motion to get the barrel to the zone.
Kreidler's got some quick hands, but the issue is swing decisions have been a problem. You can have all the bat speed in the world, but you gotta make contact to produce. The 30% strikeout rate in his first big league stint is concerning.
Between his need to really settle in as a big leaguer with the bat and body mismatch at third, I'm out on Kreidler. I think he's got the potential to be a big league second baseman. If they iron out swing decisions, he's got the potential to show off a good barrel with some pop as a second baseman, but nothing historic.
Projectability-wise, it feels like Kreidler will get his looks at third in 2023, but he is more of a second baseman caliber with Báez at short. He could very well get ousted by some of the Tigers' other players in the mix, such as Nick Maton or Justyn-Henry Malloy.