The Detroit Tigers farm system has gone through quite the journey over the last few years. It went from completely barren, to one of the better systems in baseball with the likes of Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning, Riley Greene, and Spencer Torkelson. Then, once all those guys made the big leagues and graduated their prospect status, it seemed like there wasn't much left. Now, very quickly, it's back in a good spot.
ESPN's Kiley McDaniel released his MLB farm system rankings for 2024 ($$$), and the Tigers have made a massive jump. The Tigers have gone from the 21st ranked farm system last season...to the THIRD-ranked farm system this season.
What a jump. It's quite hard to comprehend national outlets praising the Tigers' farm system, especially someone as well-respected at McDaniel.
It is worth noting that McDaniel is higher on the Tigers farm system than most, His top 100 list, released earlier this week ($$$), had six Tigers prospects — Jackson Jobe, Max Clark, Colt Keith, Parker Meadows, Jace Jung, and Kevin McGonigle.
McDaniel said he was one of the many critics of the Tigers' selection of Jackson Jobe No. 3 overall back in 2021, but he has come around on him. Here's part of what he had to say:
"That decision did look awful when Jobe struggled early in his pro career -- and could still ultimately be the wrong choice -- but departed general manager Al Avila and his scouting staff would deserve praise if this projection does hold. As I've written about at length, taking prep pitchers that high is the wrong choice about 90% of the time but teams still do it to try to land an ace; Jobe could now be that."- Kiley McDaniel
As a fellow critic of the Jobe selection back when it happened, I certainly sympathize with McDaniel here. Taking a high school pitcher with the third pick in the draft is typically not a smart decision, and there's data to back that claim. But Jobe did a near 180 last season, and could even get a look with the Tigers in 2024.
McDaniel also praised the Tigers current front office for the draft they had in 2023. He's a big fan of McGonigle in particular.
The Tigers farm system may not be Orioles level of stacked, but it's clearly still quite good. For the first time in a long time, the future of Detroit Tigers baseball looks bright. Perhaps that can finally have some sustained success.