Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Esteemed Tigers Prospects Land in Top 100

Matt Manning

Photo: Jack Hanrahan/Erie Times-News via AP

Last week, MLB Pipeline released its Top 100 prospect rankings for 2020.  MLB Pipeline dedicates itself to watching Minor Leaguers in order to get fans excited about talent to come.  For Detroit Tigers followers, the Top 100 list and other prospect projections are hugely important.  For the Tigers to be a competitive team again, they need to develop a strong core through their farm system.  

Luckily for Detroit, the future should bring some exciting talent to town.  This year’s Top 100 rankings included four Tigers minor leaguers.  In fact, these players all appear in the top 50 of the list.  Here are the four players to appear on the list.  Included are some relevant stats and MLB’s estimation (“ETA”) for when each player will get the call-up to Detroit: 

2019 @ AA Erie:  78.2 IP/8.69 K9/2.06 BB9/3.20 ERA/1.11 WHIP/2.98 FIP/3.13 xFIP 

2019 @ AA Erie:  133.2 IP/9.97 K9/2.56 BB9/2.56 ERA/0.98 WHIP/2.53 FIP/ 2.63 xFIP

2019 @ Rookie/A (Conn.)/A (W.MI):  251 PA/.271/.347/.403/5 HR/28 RBI/34 R/ 5 SB (100%)

2019 @ A Lakeland:  80.1 IP/10.87 K9/2.13 BB9/2.58 ERA/1.01 WHIP/ 2.56 FIP/2.59 xFIP 

2019 @ AA Erie:  42.1 IP/17.43 K9/3.83 BB9/2.13 ERA/1.02 WHIP/1.26 FIP/ 1.27 xFIP

What you see here are some outstanding pitching performances.  In Mize and Manning, the Tigers made brilliant first round draft picks (2018 and 2016, respectively).  Across the board, their numbers are strong, including Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) and Expected Fielding Independent Pitching (xFIP).  These two metrics measure the quality of pitchers’ performances beyond stats like ERA and WHIP.  No matter where you look, though, Mize and Manning project to be front-of-the-rotation talent.  

Riley Greene and Tarik Skubal leave more to the imagination.  Greene, the Tigers 2019 first-round draft pick, has very little professional experience.  So far, his numbers are solid.  And it helps to remember that Detroit drafted Greene straight out of high school.  He will turn 20 years old this September.  So, keep an eye on his growth this season in the minors.  

Another intriguing development to watch will be Skubal.  His strikeout rate is eye-popping… but the walk rate is disconcerting.  Assuming Skubal can develop a bit more control, the Tigers will have another electric arm to feature in their rotation.  

These four prospects are certainly not the only Tigers farmhands with big-league potential.  But they are very talented and MLB Pipeline rightfully recognized it.  Congrats to Mize, Manning, Greene, and Skubal.  Motown can’t wait to see you.  As for other Tigers prospects, stay tuned for future blog posts.  

And remember this, Tigers fans: no matter how bleak the upcoming season becomes, help is on the way.