Tigers slide in Baseball America's midseason organization talent rankings
The Detroit Tigers steadily had been climbing the ladder when it came to Baseball America's farm-system rankings.
The Tigers checked in at 30th as recently as 2015 and, thanks in part to lousy seasons at the major-league level producing high draft picks, climbed to as high as No. 5 in 2021.
That ranking dropped, significantly, on Thursday.
Baseball America revealed its midseason organizational rankings, slotting the Tigers at No. 27, a drop of 21 spots from their No. 6 preseason ranking.
A couple of factors were at play there, namely Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson. Both were top-five prospects entering the season, and both have since graduated to the majors, losing prospect eligibility. Torkelson since has been returned to Triple-A Toledo after struggling in Detroit, while Greene briefly spent time as the game's No. 1-ranked prospect while manning center field for the Tigers.
"The Tigers have seen Riley Greene live up to expectations in the majors, while Spencer Torkelson struggled," Baseball America writes. "The Tigers' 2022 draft is promising, and players like Reese Olson, Garrett Hill and Kerry Carpenter have provided bright spots. But the system as a whole has consistently struggled to produce hitters who become MLB regulars."
The Tigers have three prospects in Baseball America's top 100, led by 2021 first-round pick (No. 3 overall) Jackson Jobe. Right-hander Wilmer Flores (90), and infielder and 2022 first-round pick Jace Jung (94) also are on the list.
On deck: Angels
► Series: Three games at Comerica Park, Detroit
► First pitch: Friday — 7:10 p.m.; Saturday — 1:10 p.m.; Sunday — 1:40 p.m.
► TV/radio: All games on Bally Sports Detroit/97.1 FM
► Probables: Friday — LHP Patrick Sandoval (3-8, 3.42) vs. RHP Matt Manning (0-0, 3.24); Saturday — LHP Reid Detmers (4-3, 3.45) vs. LHP Tyler Alexander (2-7, 3.98); Sunday — RHP Shohei Ohtani (10-7, 2.69) vs. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, tentative (1-3, 4.38).
► Sandoval, Angels: He’s made his living with his slider (.210 opponent average, 33.7% whiff) and changeup (.221, 46% whiff) this season, getting 30% chase rate overall. But if you can be patient, he will walk you (11% walk rate). He’s allowed four runs total covering 16 innings in his last three starts, striking out 15 and walking 10.
► Manning, Tigers: In his first two starts back off the IL, his secondary pitches carried him through, despite a lower-than-usual-octane heater. Wouldn’t you know, the heater was hitting 97 in his last start, but he couldn’t find his spin. Maybe this is the start both come together. He made his big league debut last June 17 against the Angels, holding them to two runs in five innings.
— Chris McCosky