Now In Detroit, Could Jeimer Candelario Make An Immediate Impact In The Majors?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While Isaac Paredes could ultimately prove to be the more valuable acquisition for the Detroit Tigers, he’s playing at Single-A, is just 18-years old and needs time to develop (though it’s clear he could develop some pop, with 25 doubles and 7 HR over 337 AB).  The other player, 3B Jeimer Candelario, has already appeared in the Majors and has the potential to make an immediate impact for Detroit.

Primarily a third baseman, Candelario has also seen time at first base this season and the added flexibility could help expedite his arrival.  Obviously the Tigers have both spots currently covered (Miguel Cabrera and Nick Castellanos, as well as Victor Martinez in the DH spot), but injuries happen and the performance of Castellanos has never quite lived up to the hype.  That’s not to say that the team is going to make a change, but would it be a complete surprise if they wanted to see the newest piece to their puzzle?

For his part Candelario has performed well at Triple-A, hitting .266 with 12 HR and 52 RBI.  He’s added 27 doubles and 3 triples, showing that there’s more power for the 23-year old to tap into as he matures and gains experience.  His best asset, though, has always been his plate discipline:

  • Strikeout Rate – 21.8%
  • Walk Rate – 12.4%

Those skills back up this scouting report from MLB.com:

“A switch-hitter with a fluid stroke from both sides of the plate, he makes consistent hard contact and draws a healthy amount of walks. Most of his power has come in the form of doubles to this point, but he could develop into a 20-homer threat as he adds strength and experience.”

The Tigers are ready to turn the page and start building for the next chapter in the franchise’s history.  That should include Candelario, who has the approach and talent to hit .270+ with 20 HR in the Major Leagues.  That may not be All-Star material, but it’s a solid performer who deserves an opportunity.

The most likely outcome would be the Tigers giving him a shot at 3B, barring a subsequent move to free up AB at either 1B or DH (it’s hard to imagine either Cabrera or Martinez getting moved, but it’s not impossible).  Time will tell, but there’s definite upside once the opportunity arrives.

Current Grade – B

Sources – MILB.com, MLB.com, Fangraphs

Make sure to check out our Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects by clicking here!

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