Our 2024 Detroit Tigers top 30 prospects list continues with Peyton Graham.
The Detroit Tigers countdown of prospects continues on. Up next is a former collegiate talent still making his way through the Tigers organization. Peyton Graham still has a ways to go, but he is certainly one of the teams' best prospects who can garner some attention.
Graham is 23 years old and is heading into year three with the organization. Graham's a Texas native who spent three years with the Oklahoma Sooners and a summer on the Cape. Graham ended up being a second-round pick of the Detroit Tigers and still deserves some credit.
This past summer, Graham played in 57 games, with basically all of them coming with Single-A Lakeland. Graham played for the Flying Tigers, and while his numbers may not jump off the page, there's something to be said about the infielder. He's listed as a shortstop, third-baseman, and second-baseman.
In 2023, Graham played 36 games with the shortstop, eight games at third, three at second, and seven as a designated hitter. Moving forward, Graham's likely sticking on the left side. Defensively, the traits are there, especially with arm strength. The holdup with Graham is has a great arm but average traits otherwise when talking defense.
Graham is athletic, having a 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame with some pretty long levers. He may not grade out as above-average defensively, but his plus arm strength and athleticism make for an alright situation on the left side. But, if there's one thing this organization has started to preach, it is its versatility.
I'd expect Graham to move around the diamond, playing a little bit of shortstop, third, and even second on his road to Detroit, though his best ceiling stays at shortstop.
Offensively, Graham's hit well since college. Tools-wise, it's an easy power profile, even in a lean frame. Graham has a good swing path with a feel for the barrel to do damage in the air and attack opposing pitching. It's what he was known for in college.
It's been a slow start in affiliate ball, but after being drafted, he was dumped into Single-A and thrust into the fire. He held his own, slashing .270/.345/.370 over 100 at-bats in his affiliate-ball debut.
He followed it up in 2023 with another year with Single-A Lakeland. He slashed .232/.340/.358 with 12 doubles, a triple, and four home runs. He drove in 29 runs while walking 28 times and striking out 64 times.
He's a right-handed bat with a simple stroke. He swings hard with tons of acceleration as he rotates. There's potential for loud contact here. While he was a power & speed combination guy in college, Graham still needs to translate that into the Tigers organization.
One of Graham's shortcomings is the swing-and-miss. He's had some issues with his swing decisions and struggled to limit strikeouts or work to produce the best contact. Graham's got work to do, but he still has time to keep ironing things out. He may not be the top-tier infield prospect or even be a future staple of the Tigers lineup, but he's got potential.
Being a versatile infielder with a nice combination of athleticism, speed, and some juice, he could carve out a role with the Tigers organization down the line. For that reason, he comes in at no. 27 on the Tigers Top 30 countdown, behind Tyler Mattison at no. 28, Eliezer Alfonzo at no. 29, and Enrique Jimenez at no. 30.