Right-hander Franklin Perez was the headliner in the package the Detroit Tigers received for ace Justin Verlander in the late-night blockbuster trade last season with the Houston Astros.
The 6-foot-3, 197-pound 20-year-old already is considered the Tigers top prospect, according to MLB.com, but he wasn’t the only potential gem in the team’s haul for Verlander. The Tigers also acquired outfielder Daz Cameron and catcher Jake Rogers, who are ranked Nos. 5 and 7, respectively, in a Tigers system MLB.com’s Jim Callis called one of the five most improved in baseball.
Cameron is one of a dozen prospects MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo writes is poised for a breakout season in 2018.
Cameron, 20, is the son of former major-league outfielder Mike Cameron, who won three Gold Gloves in a 17-year career in the majors that included stops with eight teams.
The younger Cameron hit just .212 with a .608 OPS with two Single-A teams in 2016, striking out 59 times in 156 at-bats. He played 123 games last season, with the final three coming for the Tigers’ West Michigan affiliate following the trade. He hit a combined .271 with an .814 OPS, with 14 home runs and 32 stolen bases — perhaps offering a glimpse of his father’s power-speed abilities (four seasons of at least 20 homers and 20 steals) when he played.
“Mike’s son had a slow start to his career with the Astros,” Mayo writes, “struggling with full-season ball in 2016,” Mayo writes. “It started to click a little for him back at that level in 2017, with 14 homers and 32 stolen bases. The Tigers ... could be the beneficiaries of a huge leap forward in 2018.”