The Detroit Tigers' most coveted prospects in trade

Detroit Tigers pitching prospect Jackson Jobe throws live batting practice during spring training
Detroit Tigers pitching prospect Jackson Jobe throws live batting practice during spring training / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK
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2. Colt Keith

Shoutout to my friend James Chipman on this one, who was one of the few who braved the Florida heat last year to get some eyes on the Lakeland Flying Tigers and taught me everything I know about scouting. A player that almost immediately caught his eye was Colt Keith, who was an over-slot play by the Tigers in the fifth round of the 2020 draft.

Keith, who has since shifted from second base to third base, had an innate awareness of the strike zone as well as a natural ability to barrel the ball essentially from the start of his pro career. The power was never off the charts in 2021, but his ability to spray line drives all over the field reminded me of how he spoke about Isaac Paredes back when he was with the Flygers in Lakeland.

My good friends at Tigers Minor League Report have Keith as the best prospect in the system, and it's tough to argue against it. Keith hit to a .301/.370/.544 line in a year that was interuppted by a freak injury on the basepaths, but went to the Arizona Fall League and did more of the same: .344/.463/.541; good for a 1.004 OPS over 19 games.

Like Jobe, Keith is still 20, which makes him projectable--but he's already added considerable mass to his frame and with that his power has taken off--making the case to start the year in Double-A, though that might be a touch aggressive. Other teams would love his ability to barrel the ball while still taking his free passes when warranted.

Similarly, I'd only expect Keith to be part of a big package to yield back a young-controllable MLB asset in return, but I certainly would not fault other teams for asking.

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