LOD’s 2018 Top Prospects: Detroit Tigers – Outfielders
The Tigers have seen a lot of outfielders come and go in the past decade or so. Names like Ryan Rayburn, Andy Dirks, Avisall Garcia, Don Kelly, Brennen Boesch, Tyler Collins, Quintin Berry, Steven Moya, Anthony Gose and others all served their time and many of them have been fun to watch.
There were solid Center Fielders like Curtis Granderson (2004-2009) and Austin Jackson (2010-2014) who both came up with the club. The Tigers made several moves for guys like Delmon Young (2011-2012), Torii Hunter (2013-2014) and Rajai Davis (2014-2015). There was slugger Magglio Ordonez (2005-2011), who helped lead the team to the 2006 AL Pennant. And then, of course, the recently traded JD Martinez (2014-2017) who has developed into a top tier MLB hitter.
The likely starting lineup for the 2018 Tigers will include; converted Third Baseman Nick Castellanos in Right Field, one of the the few pleasant surprises of 2017 season, Mikie Mahtook in Left Field and recently signed Lenoys Martin in Center Field. Castellanos may have turned a corner at the plate in 2017 finishing the season with a .272 BA, .811 OPS, 26 HRs and 101 RBIs. And despite the projection that Detroit will be somewhere near the bottom in MLB, a Castellanos / Cabrera / Victor Martinez middle of the order has potential to cause fits for opposing pitchers.
In terms of prospects, the Outfield is another area showing some promise for the Tigers:
Daz Cameron (#6 Tigers Prospect – Baseball America, #5 Tigers Prospect – MLB)
Acquired: 2017 Justin Verlander trade with Houston
2017 Stats: .271 BA, .814 OPS, 14 HRs, 74 RBIs, 32 SB (Quad Cities / West Michigan)
Notes: Son of former MLB player Mike Cameron, he’s considered a strong defensive Center Fielder with speed as well as the ability to hit for some power. He has the makings of a solid starting CF for Detroit.
Christian Stewart (#9 Tigers Prospect – Baseball America, #6 Tigers Prospect – MLB)
Acquired: 2015 First Round Draft Pick (Tennessee)
2017 Stats: .256 BA, .836 OPS, 28 HRs, 86 RBIs (Erie)
Notes: Stewart’s power earned him the Tigers farm system Player of the Year in 2017. He’s been the top power hitter in the Tigers system for a couple years running, but there is some concern about his ability to hit for average and get on base. He will likely start his season in Toledo and may not be far off from an MLB debut.
Michael Gerber (#10 Tigers Prospect – MLB)
Acquired: 14th Round Draft Pick, 2014 (Creighton)
2017 Stats: .301 BA, .869 OPS, 14 HRs, 50 RBIs (Lakeland / Erie / Toledo)
Notes: A good contact hitter who might find is way to a debut in Detroit before the end of the 2018 season.
Derek Hill (#11 Tigers Prospect – MLB)
Acquired: First Round Draft Pick, 2014
2017: .246 BA, .725 OPS, 2 HRs, 30 RBIs, 29 SB (West Michigan / Lakeland / GCL)
Notes: Only played 58 games in 2017 due to injuries. Recently ranked Tigers #3 prospect by Keith Law at ESPN.
Reynaldo Rivera (#20 Tigers Prospect – MLB)
Acquired: Second Round Draft Pick, 2017 (Puerto Rico)
2017 Stats: .187 BA, .541 OPS, 2 HR, 26 RBIs (Connecticut)
Notes: Only played 52 games.
Victor Reyes (#21 Tigers Prospect – MLB)
Acquired: 2017, Rule 5 Draft
2017 Stats: .292 BA, .731 OPS, 4 HR, 51 RBIs, 18 SB (Jacksonville)
Jose Azocar (#22 Tigers Prospect – MLB)
Acquired: Venezuelan Summer League
2017 Stats: .220 BA, .538 OPS, 3 HR, 37 RBIs, 12 SB (Lakeland)
Troy Montgomery (#26 Tigers Prospect – MLB)
Acquired: 2017, Justin Upton trade with Angels
2017 Stats: .271 BA, .771 OPS, 8 HR, 38 RBI, 15 SB
Jacob Robson (#29 Tigers Prospect – MLB)
Acquired: Eight Round Draft Pick, 2016 (Miss State)
2017 Stats: .303 BA, .772 OPS, 3 HR, 45 RBI, 21 SB (West Michigan / Lakeland)