We continue on the Motor City Bengals Top 30 prospect list with Luke Gold, who is filling a position that wasn't once an embarrassment of riches for the Tigers, second base. Their focus in recruiting the northeast continues to pay off with pitchers like Jason Foley and Tyler Mattison, who both went to colleges in New York.
Gold, who bats from the right side of the plate, played his high school ball in Ballston Spa, New York, which is right outside the state capital of Albany, led his team to a high school title before playing three seasons at Boston College. The Tigers drafted him in the fifth round in the 2022 MLB Draft.
After being called up from Lakeland for hitting .269 with a .367 on-base percentage and .428 slugging percentage in 208 at-bats, Gold had a strong debut in High-A with the Whitecaps. He ended the season with a weighted runs created plus (wRC+) of 141 in his last 30 games, showing solid isolated power (ISO) numbers at .206. Gold finished his 2023 season with 12 home runs across both levels.
As Jerry Mackinem said on his scouting report on Gold back in December 2023 for Tigers Minor League Report, Gold showed a slightly above average hard hit rate and barrel rate while in Lakeland, which matches up well with those ISO numbers at West Michigan.
He consistently makes defensive plays, though he has faced challenges with throwing accuracy. Overall, he is considered serviceable on defense. His speed tool does rate at 40 as his home to first times, as Jerry noted in his report, are at 4.42.
Gold might begin the season with West Michigan or Erie, depending on Detroit's decision regarding Hao-Yu Lee, sidelined for the last month with a calf injury. Like Lee, Gold can play third base, a position flexibility favored by Scott Harris. This versatility could influence the Opening Day lineup for West Michigan.