LOD’s 2019 Offseason Top Prospects: Detroit Tigers #5-#1
Here at Legends on Deck our passion is prospects and the offseason presents an outstanding opportunity for us to showcase some of baseball’s top up and comers. Throughout the offseason, we will be bringing you the top ten prospects from all 30 organizations. We will start with the Arizona Diamondbacks and work our way alphabetically all the way through the Washington Nationals. This series is the opinion of Jake Berry, Senior Editor at Legends on Deck and does not reflect any official MLB rankings.
*** This is the first list I have had to put a disclaimer on. My Tigers list will vary vastly from the industry consensus.
#5 – SS Isaac Paredes
2019 Opening Day Age: 20 ETA: 2020 Top Future Tool: Hit
2018 Stats (High-A/Double-A): .278/.359/.456, 15 HR, 70 RBI
I do like Paredes a lot, I have since I got to watch him in Single-A South Bend with the Cubs organization. I just don’t see noteworthy upside to his game. With that being said, he has a solid floor and while the Mexico native won’t stick at shortstop, he possesses the physical capability to play a serviceable third base with slightly above average offensive tools.
# 4 – RHP Matt Manning (Birthday Boy if you read this on publish date)
2019 Opening Day Age: 21 ETA: 2021 Top Future Pitch: FB
2018 Stats (Single-A/High-A/Double-A): 117.2 IP, 3.29 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 154 SO, 51 BB
Taken 9th overall in 2016, Manning is a 6’6 righty with some filling out to do. He has an above average fastball that plays up a little bit more thanks to his extension and at just 190 lbs, he may have some room to add more velocity. Manning has good stuff, but has a little more development to go with his mechanics. With that being said, if he puts it altogether, the upside is high.
#3 – RHP Franklin Perez
2019 Opening Day Age: 21 ETA: 2021 Top Future Pitch: CB
2018 Stats (Rookie/High-A): 19.1 IP, 14 SO, 8 BB, 18 H
A former J2 signing by the Astros, Perez has a plus three pitch mix. The fastball lives in the mid 90’s with some run, the curveball has obnoxious spin, and the changeup is already above average with good location. The mechanics are some of the most solid for a pitcher in this organization and at just 21 years old, he still leaves some upside to dream on. No pitcher is a guarantee, but for me, Perez is the best bet on this list to be a solid, consistent contributor in the big leagues… outside of the number one guy, of course.
#2 – OF Christin Stewart
2019 Opening Day Age: 25 ETA: 2019 Top Future Tool: Power
2018 Stats (Triple-A): .264/.364/.480, 23 HR, 108 SO, 67 BB
Stewart was highly touted coming out of the University of Tennessee and quite frankly, I’m not sure why everyone seems to be lower on him. The 25 year old has one of the best plate approaches you will find in a power hitting prospect and let’s be honest, when you have an offensive skillset like this, clubs can live with lackluster defense in the corner outfield spots. That should speak to how much I believe in Stewart’s bat. The kid can swing it and doesn’t sacrifice a ton of contact for the power stroke. He is a rare offensive skillset to find in today’s game. The left handed thumper should make a big impact with the 2019 Tigers.
#1 – RHP Casey Mize
2019 Opening Day Age: 21 ETA: 2019 Top Future Pitch: SP
2018 Stats: 13.2 IP, 14 SO, 3 BB, 13H
The 2018 first overall pick was an obvious choice for the top Tigers spot. When it comes to pitchers, Mize is as promising as they come. The Auburn product is super quick to the plate and while he has an interesting repertoire, it is really the righty’s ability to locate his pitches that sets him apart. He has a high 90’s fastball and four different pitches in his toolbelt, but the fastball-splitter combo is the separator. Typically you all see me claim how much I love a changeup, that is why Perez is where he is on this list, but the splitter is the real deal as it proves to be a more effective offspeed pitch than most.
Featured Image: Franklin Perez (Courtesy of Mathew Carper/Legends On Deck)