Perhaps the Detroit Tigers already are seeing dividends from their rebuilding efforts.
Four trades in the past few months have infused the Tigers’ minor-league system with much-needed talent, so much so that they’ve pushed their collection of pitching prospects closer to tops in the game, according to at least one site that tracks the minor leagues.
SB Nation’s minorleaguebaseball.com on Monday ranked the Tigers’ pitching prospects fifth in the minors, crediting their recent flurry of activity for the rise in profile.
“The Tigers have moved on to this radar just based on the last three months,” Matt Powers writes. “Drafting Alex Faedo and trading for Franklin Perez in the Justin Verlander deal accounts for two of the top three prospects in the entire system.”
But, the Tigers also had talented arms, even before the wheeling and dealing. Right-handers Beau Burrows (2015) and Matt Manning (2016) were recent top draft picks, who already are considered top 100 prospects by MLB.com and Baseball America, while Powers calls another Tigers draft pick, Kyle Funkhouser (fourth round, 2016), “a very good prospect who should be at least a middle of the rotation arm if he stays healthy.”
“Gregory Soto, Sandy Baez, Matt Hall, and Tyler Alexander are other starting pitching prospects,” Powers writes, “though some of them have a chance to end up getting moved to the bullpen.
“The Tigers were known for having one of the best collections of relief prospects in the game under the previous front office. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that even after the graduation of Joe Jimenez they still have some strong relief prospects like Jairo Labourt, Bryan Garcia, Jason Foley, Gerson Moreno, and Adam Ravenelle.”
The Tigers also added right-hander Grayson Long from the Los Angeles Angels in the Justin Upton trade.
The Atlanta Braves top Powers’ list.