With the second-worst record in the majors, the rebuilding Tigers and their fans are looking toward the future.
They'll get a pretty good glimpse of it on a national stage next month.
Three Tigers prospects — right-hander Matt Manning, catcher Jake Rogers, and infielder Isaac Paredes — were named to the American League roster of the Futures Game on July 7 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, part of the All-Star Week festivities.
No other AL team had more prospects on the roster, unveiled Friday, matching the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners for the most. The San Diego Padres and Miami Marlins also have three apiece on the National League team.
The 21-year-old Manning is 6-4 with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP, striking out 102 in 86.2 innings for Double-A Erie. He leads the Eastern League in strikeouts, and is in the top 10 in both ERA and WHIP.
"Manning may have an even higher upside than Tigers’ 2018 No. 1 pick Casey Mize ," wrote Baseball America in its analysis unveiling the rosters, "thanks to excellent extension that lets his 93-95 mph fastball play up."
Mize, considered one of the top prospects in the minors, is missing from the roster, likely because of shoulder inflammation that sidelined him earlier this month.
Rogers, 24, long has been billed as one of the top defensive catchers in the minors, and this season has thrown out 20 of 37 would-be base stealers.
His bat also seems to be showing signs of coming around. He's slashing .258 with an .861 OPS across Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo, though he's struggled since a promotion, hitting .220 with a .764 OPS. He has 12 home runs and 43 RBIs combined.
"Rogers was tasked with handling one of the minors’ most vaunted pitching staffs to open the season (at Double-A Erie)," Baseball America writes, "and he did the job with aplomb."
Paredes, one of two young players who came to the Tigers organization in the 2017 trade that sent reliever Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila to the Chicago Cubs, is slashing .259/.350/.363 with four home runs and 29 RBIs as a 20-year-old at Double-A Erie.
"Part of Paredes’ appeal lies in the plate discipline he’s shown at a young age and at an advanced level," Baseball America writes. "He has plenty of raw power, but he hasn’t been able to turn it into in-game power this season, which is especially curious given that he plays at hitter-friendly Erie.
"Given that he’s started playing third base more this season, he’ll need to make that transition to profile at the position."
The format for the Futures Game has changed to an AL vs. NL format this season, after years of pitting players from the United States against the rest of the world.