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Detroit Tigers: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

Major League Baseball will return. When it does, minor league systems may be more important than ever. With all teams losing money during the pandemic layoff, teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters — at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action. Throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet so players who signed for large bonuses or come from well-off families will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. Today, we’re kicking off our look at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Detroit Tigers Top 10 Prospects Summary

The Tigers’ rebuild is in great shape and the club could quickly pull itself out of the quicksand when the big league rotation gets an infusion of talent. The Tigers have three of the top 15-20 arms in all of minor league baseball.

 

1. Matt Manning, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 12
2020 Prospect Rank: 49
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2021

Manning is an absolute beast with mid-to-upper-90s heat, an excellent breaking ball, and strong athleticism that should allow him to develop above-average command and control. He should also be durable with a 6-foot-6, 215-pound frame. He reminds me of a young Justin Verlander and has top-of-the-rotation potential.

 

2. Riley Greene, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 13
2020 LEVEL:  A-
MLB ETA: 2022

I’ve been banging the drum while leading the Riley Greene bandwagon for a while now and some people have noted my aggressive rankings of the young outfielder. I get it. He’s a 2019 draft pick who has yet to play a full season in pro ball. But this is also a player who was drafted fifth overall and reached Low-A ball in his debut as a teenager. Then he blew up during spring training in 2020 and posted a 1.528 OPS in (small-sample alert) 12 at-bats with two home runs and a BB-K of 6-2. That kind of performance is almost unheard of for someone with such limited pro experience even with a small number of at-bats. Nothing phases him, which bodes well for his future as a middle-of-the-order run producer.

 

3. Casey Mize, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 16
2020 Prospect Rank: 32
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2021

Mize is ranked third on this list but could be No. 1 on 20 other organizations’ rankings. That’s how strong the Tigers’ Top 10 list is at the top. Mize slides down a bit for me because he’s had some troubling health issues in the past. He’s also not as physical and athletic as Manning above, so there are durability concerns. Looking just at his stuff — including a potentially plus-plus splitter — as well as his strong makeup, Mize has “ace” written all over him and will slot in nicely behind Manning.    

 

4. Tarik Skubal, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 41
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2021

A 2018 ninth-round pick, Skubal is proof that you can find gems in unlikely places. The southpaw has seen his raw stuff spike upwards since turning pro and distancing himself from the Tommy John surgery that he had in college. He now looks like a potential mid-rotation starter with the potential to have four average-or-better offerings, including a fastball that can hit the mid-90s.

 

5. Willi Castro, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 171
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

The Tigers’ list drops off significantly here but Castro is still an intriguing prospect. He’s not super-flashy and is too aggressive for his own good but he’s hit .290 or better in two of the last three seasons, has some gap pop and can steal 10-15 bases. He can also play a steady shortstop and has the skill to fill in at second base and third base. This type of player can still have value in fantasy baseball.

 

6. Alex Faedo, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 212
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Faedo was a very good college pitcher who suffered from being overused. His stuff bounced back a bit in 2019 which gives hope that he could develop into a No. 4 starter. A move to the bullpen, especially with the big three arms above, could allow him to focus on his fastball-slider combination and perhaps even add a few more ticks to his velocity.

 

7. Isaac Paredes, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 237
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Paredes is a good hitter that does a nice job of taking a walk when it’s offered and avoiding the strikeout. He also has 15-20 home run potential, but he’s struggled to keep his conditioning in check and the long layoff could hurt him in this regard. He’s played a few different infield positions but third base is his most likely landing spot and it remains to be seen if he has the firepower to play there every day for a contending ball club.

 

8. Daz Cameron, OF

2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

The son of former MLB outfielder Mike Cameron, this toolsy player was very raw coming out of high school but made promising, steady strides before taking a step back at Triple-A in 2019. He struggles with pitch recognition and hasn’t ever really picked up the nuances of hitting. He’s a good fielder, though, so he should reach the Majors on the strength of his defense alone. But there is so much more potential here with his raw power and speed (20-20 potential).

 

9. Joey Wentz, LHP

2020 LEVEL: Disabled List
MLB ETA: 2022

Wentz was one of my favorite under-the-radar arms when he was acquired by the Tigers from the Braves in 2019. The southpaw looked to be in a better position after getting out of the pitching-rich Braves organization but he injured his arm in early 2020 and underwent Tommy John surgery in March.

 

10. Parker Meadows, OF

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

The brother of Rays’ outfielder Austin Meadows, Parker is a player who could avoid damage to his overall game from the layoff. He has given a bonus that will allow him to focus on his training and he also has his brother to help him stay focused. The younger Meadows has an intriguing power-speed mix but also needs time to polish his offensive approach and to taper a swing that can get too long.

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