Grading The Prospects: The Tigers Receive A Haul In Exchange For Justin Verlander

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Detroit Tigers shocked everyone making not one, but two blockbuster trades on Thursday as they sent Justin Upton to the Angels and Justin Verlander to the Astros.  While the return in the Upton trade wasn’t significant, the prospects they got back in exchange for Verlander definitely impacts the team’s top prospect rankings.  Let’s take a look at how the three new additions grade out:

 

Franklin Perez – Right-Handed Pitcher
While he’s a name people may have not of heard of, you can easily argue that he’s the “prize” for the Tigers.  Splitting time between High-A and Double-A this season he’s compiled a 3.02 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 78 K and 27 BB over 86.1 IP.  Just 19-years old there’s still a bit of projection to do, as he should continue to mature both physically (6’3”, 197 lbs.) and in talent, but he’s showing all the signs.

Just look at how MLB.com described his stuff:

“Though he’s just a teenager, Perez already demonstrates feel for four offerings. His most consistent pitch right now is his lively fastball, which sits at 92-94 mph, peaks at 96 and could add more velocity once he physically matures. His downer curveball projects as a future plus pitch, his fading changeup shows similar upside and his slider is developing nicely.”

At this point he could arrive as soon as late 2018, though reaching Detroit in 2019 as a 21-year old is probably more likely.  That would continue to give him time to develop, and there’s a good chance he becomes a SP1/SP2 for the Tigers.  There were some who felt he had more upside than the highly publicized Francis Martes and David Paulino, which is all you need to know.

Current Grade – B+
Upside Grade – A-

 

Daz Cameron – Outfielder
Playing at Single-A he’s shown both power (29 doubles, 8 triples, 14 home runs) and speed (32 SB), and he also has the bloodlines (he’s the son of former MLB’er Mike Cameron).  Just 21-years old he’s shown improvements in his approach this season (21.1% strikeout rate, 8.5% walk rate) and begun tapping into his power potential.  As MLB.com stated, that was something that was expected:

“The Astros believe he’s ready to start realizing that potential after smoothing out his swing and making mechanical changes to put him in a better position to hit.”

A centerfielder, if he can continue to develop and keep the strikeouts in check the upside is there to be a 20/30 producer at the highest level.  We will have to wait and see if he can do that, but for now the stock appears to be rising.

Current Grade – B
Upside Grade – B+

 

Jake Rogers – Catcher
Probably the least known part of this trade, Rogers has racked up 62 extra base hits across two levels of Single-A (35 doubles, 6 triples, 21 HR).  A third round draft pick a year ago he’s already 22-years old and has the potential to move quickly.  The question is going to be his plate discipline, but spending most of the year at High-A he’s shown promise as his strikeouts are down (19.8%) and his walks are up (11.8%).  That’s helped him to a .268 average at the level, and that’s more than enough considering the power and surprising stolen base attempts (he’s gone 13-for-21 at High-A), especially as a catcher.

Even more promising?  Rogers is better known for his defense than his offensive upside.  Considering the strides he’s taken Rogers could prove to be the steal of this trade and gives the Tigers a potential catcher of the future (who could arrive as soon as 2018).

Current Grade – B
Upside 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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