Detroit Tigers Top 30 Prospects List: #25 Izaac Pacheco
As we continue with our Top 30 Prospects List here at Motor City Bengals, we move to No. 25, Izaac Pacheco. The left-handed hitting infielder joined the Detroit Tigers back in 2021 when he was drafted in the second round of the 2021 MLB Amateur First-Year Player Draft.
The Detroit Tigers took a flier on the Friendswood, Texas native, with hopes that he could pan out as a top-tier infield prospect down the line. He may not be the Tigers' up-and-coming prospect, but there's still plenty to like with Pacheco.
In his first few years with the Tigers organization, Pacheco has continued to carve his role to the Tigers organization on his Road to Detroit. The 21-year-old has an uber-athletic 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame that has a physical look to it.
It's something he has worked to improve in his time with the Tigers and since he's a former prep player, drafted out of high school, these players often have some maturing to do. So, for the Tigers, this projection in the frame & build is part of his profile.
Pacheco's a left-handed bat with strength in the frame and a physical stroke that can produce power. As a prep player, there was hope that Pacheco would have serious power upside, but he has not quite been able to accomplish this yet.
It's been a struggle for Pacheco to cope with affiliate ball, but he has time on his side. In 2023, Pacheco has bounced between a couple of levels of the organization. Pacheco spent 2023 in High-A with West Michigan, slashing .160/.211/.284 with 22 doubles, three triples, and 12 home runs. He drove in 50 runs. He walked 47 times and struck out 160 times.
Pacheco's got some pop and has shown this at times. He's got the strength and bat speed to do damage. He often rotates hard through the swing, but it seems like he lags with the hands in terms of his sequencing through the swing. He can get a bit rotational, causing his hands to come through late, still showing bat speed, but it's something to watch for.
On top of that, Pacheco's swing and miss need a serious cutback. If he's going to hit at a high level and move through the Tigers organization, the strikeout numbers have to come down. It's hard to give up on a player like Pacheco, with the tools and projection there, but the swing-and-miss issues need to improve for him to continue making progress.
Defensively, Pacheco was drafted as a prep shortstop. He's a shortstop by trade, but the size and frame are likely those of a third baseman. He has smooth defensive actions, throwing 90+ mph across the diamond. He's an athletic mover and works well laterally, again, speaking to that corner profile.
Detroit needs to trust Pacheco and hope he can make some progress in 2024. If he can go out and show some improvements, solidifying a role at shortstop or third, it will be a massive year for him. There's still plenty of upside with Pacheco; he just has things to improve upon.