This week, the Tigers had a pretty good showing when it came to the number of players ranked in the top 100 among prospects. We can hope for more, but the farm is in far better shape than it was when Dave Dombrowski was in charge.
So while we are on that topic, obviously there is a question to be answered. And our writers will answer it separately and privately in order to offer, hopefully, a wider range of perspectives.
Take a look at what we have for Holly and Kurt this week.
The Tigers recently had a number of minor league players ranked near the top of prospects. Given this, what are our two bloggers’ feelings about the progress of the team’s rebuild?
We finally have a reason to smile this year and it’s all about the farm system. Casey Mize, Matt Manning, Franklin Perez, Isaac Paredes and Daz Cameron were all included in MLB’s top prospects ranking. Mize comes in at #6 and is rated as the top pitching prospect but the top four are all in the majors now so he really is #2.
Three of them are RHP with one an infielder and the other in the OF but the Tigers needs so many more bodies, esp. when you consider the odds that 1 out of every 3 prospects, on average, makes it to the majors. Currently, the Tigers have way too many positions to fill and I don’t see them getting more candidates without at least a couple more trades.
If I had to be concerned about anything, it’s the timing of the rebuild. Nowadays, you have to do it much more quickly in order to take advantage of youth and team control and the Tigers have never had a sense of urgency. This rebuild can’t play out over the next 3-4 years – it has to happen much more quickly and the organization cannot allow that top talent to languish in the minors because they don’t want to start “the clock”.
Maybe the farm system will deliver some surprises as the Tigers now have the 10th ranked best farm system in MLB. It’s heartening to see that, given all those years Dave Dombrowski stripped it clean and had the system near the bottom by the time he had left for Boston, it has rebounded.
The Tigers are building quite a stable of pitchers and it’s encouraging for sure. To have a player who has already risen to the top pitching prospect ranking is really exciting, and boy, do we need someone to head our future staff.
What is not so encouraging is the lack of position players in the farm system. Outside of one here and there, the list of viable prospects is quite low. As a result, what will be the biggest challenge is the rebuild of a lineup that is currently in pretty tough shape.
Considering that Jeimer Candelario was handed 3rd base after being acquired from the Cubs in exchange for Justin Wilson and Alex Avila, he was officially the first new Tiger to watch as someone who could help lead the team back to contention.
So the news of Jeimer being sent down to Toledo this week was a bit of a gut punch. The problem is, he deserved to go down and he is just one of many who just aren’t hitting.
If you had to pick one player who you were confident could be plugged in for your future, he would be the one; maybe the only one. Now, even he is in doubt.
All in all – we will have to wait for things and players to develop to determine who is a future piece and who is not.
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