Detroit Tigers top 30 Prospects for 2023: #6 Izaac Pacheco

Detroit Tigers infield prospect Izaac Pacheco waits to bat during spring training Minor League minicamp
Detroit Tigers infield prospect Izaac Pacheco waits to bat during spring training Minor League minicamp / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Detroit Tigers top 30 prospects for 2023: No.6 - Izaac Pacheco

The Detroit Tigers may have a shortstop locked in (barring an opt-out) in Javier Báez, but one of the players making his way toward the big leagues that stands out is shortstop Izaac Pacheco. The 20-year-old was a second-round draft pick in the 2021 MLB Draft.

He's still got time to work towards the big leagues but has plenty to like about his projectability and value down the line. The Texas native is still working through the farm system but is looking to keep moving in the right direction during the 2023 season.

In 2022, Pacheco spent his time with the Single-A Lakeland Flying Tigers and High-A West Michigan Whitecaps, with most of the season being spent with the Single-A Lakeland team. The Tigers have to be hoping for some growth in 2023, but he's still got time on his side.

Pacheco played in 88 games with the Flying Tigers, where he accumulated 330 at-bats while slashing .267/.342/.415 with 21 doubles, two triples, and eight home runs with 39 RBI. His time after being promoted was not the smoothest. He walked 38 times and was punched out 80 times.

He played in 18 games, totaling 60 at-bats where he slashed .183/.274/.367 with five extra-base hits. He walked just nine times while being punched out 17 times. There's room to improve as he moves through the minors for sure, but Pacheco has shown traits that project in the batters' box.

Looking at him in the batters' box, it's shown how he's made adjustments to his swing from the time he was drafted versus in 2022 within the Tigers organization. The tweet above was from his prep days during a Perfect Game USA WWBA tournament. The video below is from his time with the West Michigan Whitecaps.

If you can check out more of Pacheco's swing, I highly recommend it. He's got a really nice box presence with athleticism and quick hands. It can sometimes be a handsy swing, but he can get some thump off the barrel and impact it well.

Pacheco stands 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, with an athletic build to him. He swings it from the left side with his feet slightly open, the hands set high, and the bat angled down with a slight waggle. He sinks into the load before rotating through contact and driving hard through the zone with a quick and direct path to the ball.

His setup in high school had the hands higher and the bat up, which has since changed to a lower setup, but he's still extremely quick to the ball with a direct path and the ability to leverage the ball. There's a really good feel for the barrel that projects.

Pacheco has the tools. His defense is smooth, with length in the frame and smooth actions as a shortstop. His frame could trigger a move to third base if he gets some more physicality to the frame, but he will surely be a fixture on the left side of the infield.

While the tale of the scoresheet is not the prettiest for Pacheco, The 2023 season will be his second full campaign. The tools are there; he needs to make adjustments to see the numbers come around in 2023. He's got to prove he can hit at the different levels of the Tigers affiliates.

Looking down the line, I'd expect Pacheco to be more of a third-baseman. It seems like he could be a future big-league hitter, but that's banking on a lot of success through the minors. I'd like to see the Tigers prospect prove himself more before really stamping the "he's a future MLB third baseman" label.

But for the sake of the countdown, Pacheco has the traits to be a big-league third baseman if the bat comes around while moving through the organization. With some juice as he continues to fill out that frame, I like the upside. Avoiding an over-projection here, Pacheco's likely a bench option for the left side of the infielder.

Next. No. 7 Wilmer Flores. dark