Tigers may need to get aggressive with top prospect to save future blueprint

Mar 10, 2024; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA;  Detroit Tigers second baseman Jace Jung (84) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a run in the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 10, 2024; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Jace Jung (84) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a run in the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
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During the Tigers' series against the Braves this week, all of Detroit's weaknesses were on full display. Starting pitching was all over the place (even Tarik Skubal had the worst start of his season by far), the bullpen cost them Game 1, and Tigers hitters only managed to drive in two runs on the entire series versus the Braves' 11.

Over those three games, all of the potential and promise that the Tigers were telegraphing about their young core in the offseason was gone, and fans were left with a thoroughly middle-of-the-pack team whose shot of making the postseason dwindles every week.

The Tigers have attempted to call up spark after spark. Justyn-Henry Malloy and Wenceel Pérez had their moments as shiny new prospects getting their MLB debuts, and even Buddy Kennedy and Ryan Vilade had their moments in the sun (Kennedy has since been DFA'ed and traded, Vilade sent back to Triple-A), but none have been able to make a lasting impression.

But what else is there to do other than try, try again? The Tigers should be searching for their next man up, and signs point to that man being No. 3 prospect Jace Jung. Jung, who's been progressing well at Triple-A, at least warrants a look at some big league action.

Should Tigers finally call up Jace Jung amid awful offensive stretch?

Jung has only played 64 games in Triple-A, which could be the cause for the Tigers' hesitation to bring him up and opt instead for the likes of Kennedy and Vilade. However, he's been been consistent through that short span, and the work he's been doing on both his plate discipline and strikeout rates has shown that he's matured a lot in Triple-A. He has a 16.6% walk rate on the season even though FanGraphs projected 10.5%, and he's cut his strikeout rate by over 4% from last year, to 22.6%.

Although he's been swinging and missing at pitches in the zone a little too often and struggles against lefties, he's also crushing sinkers with a .411 wOBA, as noted by Brandon Day at Bless You Boys, which could do big things for a team that can't hit the sinker. He's also hitting when it matters; he's already driven in 41 runs over 64 games after driving in 43 over 81 games in High-A last year.

Jung was notably scratched from the Mud Hens lineup on Thursday night, which immediately led to speculative alarm bells that he'd be getting a call-up to the majors. While these claims remain unsubstantiated, the Tigers should at least be considering when he'll be called to get his major league debut.

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