Tigers prospect update: Max Clark early exit, Jace Jung cleared, Alex Faedo returns

Detroit Tigers outfielder prospect Max Clark works out during spring training at TigerTown in Lakeland, Fla. on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024.
Detroit Tigers outfielder prospect Max Clark works out during spring training at TigerTown in Lakeland, Fla. on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024. / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Max Clark's status as Detroit's No. 1 prospect this year didn't last very long. The Tigers' first-round draft pick last year, Clark got off to a slow start to begin the season (and got roasted for his "receipt cleats" because of it), batting .167 with a .497 OPS through his first eight games in High-A this year. MLB Pipeline still ranked him the Tigers' No. 1 prospect at the beginning of the year, but when they updated their rankings in May, the rise of Jackson Jobe and Clark's early struggles sent Jobe skyrocketing to No. 1 and kicking Clark down to second.

But Clark has leveled out a lot since that start. He's by no means totally tearing through Single-A, but he's definitely showing signs of progress. He had a nice May, hitting .284 with a .780 OPS. His average has dipped in June, but he also hit two of his four total home runs this month and is still walking constantly.

There might be a wrench in the gears, though: he was taken out of the Flying Tigers' Thursday game after sliding into second and visibly limping away from the base before being escorted off the field. Lakeland has yet to acknowledge it at all, so it might not be serious, but it does feel eerily similar to the hamstring strain Jobe dealt with in High-A before being moved to the IL.

Tigers prospects update: Max Clark exits game with apparent injury, Jace Jung to resume baseball activities, Alex Faedo back on major league roster

Rounding the trifecta of top three Tigers prospects Jace Jung, who's also been sidelined for a little over a week with wrist soreness. He was scratched from a Mud Hens lineup last minute, leading some fans to believe that he might be getting a major league call before the injury update came through and spoiled the fun.

However, Jung has been cleared for baseball activities after a visit to a specialist. He'll still undergo a rehab stint in Single-A, but in a season that's been filled with cascading injuries that only seem to intensify across baseball, it's refreshing that he seems to be on a pretty clear path for return.

Alex Faedo has also been officially reinstated to the major league roster. He's been out since June 5 with a hip issue and spent a few days rehabbing in Triple-A before coming back. In three innings for the Mud Hens, he gave up four hits but just one run. His 3.38 ERA before injury is one of the best among Tigers relievers, a staff which keeps sliding down leaderboards in terms of collective ERA, so his return to the majors is well-timed and much-needed right now.