Detroit Tigers top 30 prospects for 2023: No. 20 Josh Crouch

The West Michigan Whitecaps warm up ahead of their season opener against the Lansing Lugnuts
The West Michigan Whitecaps warm up ahead of their season opener against the Lansing Lugnuts / Cody Scanlan/Holland Sentinel / USA

Catcher Josh Crouch comes in as our 20th ranked prospect in the Detroit Tigers system for the 2023 season

The meat and potatoes of our Detroit Tigers top prospect rankings begins today with No. 20. Josh Crouch, a 24-year-old catcher, will be the first prospect to have his own article dedicated to him.

Crouch was drafted in the 11th round of the 2021 MLB Draft out of UCF. His only full season there was the 2021 season where he slashed .311/.435/.574 with 15 home runs and just two more strikeouts (41) than walks (39).

He started his professional career in Low-A to finish the 2021 season, where he amounted just a .594 OPS in 97 plate appearances. He was kind of an afterthought in prospect circles. That was until 2022, where he started in Lakeland again and started on a tear, quickly being promoted to High-A West Michigan

Slowly over the course of the season, Crouch began to make a name for himself. His patience at the plate and defensive capabilities as a catcher is what caught the attention of so many people. He had a walk rate of over 10% last year. He had a 127 wRC+ in 382 plate appearances at High-A.

He earned himself a promotion to Double-A at the end of the season, where he didn't do so well, but it was only a six-game sample. He had already established himself as a name to watch for 2023.

Before we get any further, let's talk about the elephant in the room: his age. He's 24, which is a little old in terms of prospects. He was 23 last year in A-ball, which was above the average age for a player at that level. He'll be slightly over the average age of 23 this season, but it probably won't matter too much if he keeps playing like he did in 2022.

Crouch is likley to begin the 2023 season in Double-A, where he'll look to pick up where he left off in 2022. If he has a good season, it's possible we could see him in Detroit sometime in 2024. At the very least, he'll make for some nice depth.

Crouch could end up being a great find for the Tigers on Day 3 of the draft. He could end up being a solid backup at the major league level. He comes in at No. 20 on our Detroit Tigers top 30 prospects list for 2023.

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