Updated Top 10 Prospects (2016): Detroit Tigers: Changes After The Justin Wilson Trade

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Detroit Tigers are entering a new era of their franchise, as they sold both David Price and Yoenis Cespedes at the Trade Deadline.  The moves helped to bolster their prospect depth, though don’t make the mistake of thinking that the team is going to go into a full rebuild.  They are still a team built to win now, and their top prospects have some significant questions hanging over them.  What/who are they?  Let’s take a look:

1) Michael Fulmer – RHP
ETA – 2016
Grade – B+

Acquired from the Mets as part of the Yoenis Cespedes trade, the former supplemental first round pick (44th overall in 2011) has escaped being overshadowed in the Mets pitching rich system. Over 124.2 IP last season he posted impressive numbers in all three stats we focus on for a pitcher:

  • 125 Strikeouts
  • 30 Walks
  • 45 GO/AO

Injuries obviously stalled his development (9 starts in 2013) and could’ve helped explain his 2014 struggles, but everything appears to be heading in the right direction. While he may start the season at Triple-A, it’s just a matter of time before he’s given his opportunity in the Majors
.

2) Steven Moya – OF
ETA – Already Arrived
Grade – B

He’s a mountain of a man (6’7″) and brings the power potential his size would indicate (35 HR at Double-A in 2014). He’s also shown a little bit of speed, especially for someone his size, swiping 16 bags in ’14. The problem is his ability to make contact, with a 29.3% strikeout rate in ’14 that jumped last season with his promotion to Triple-A (30.3%). That’s a huge red flag, as Major League pitchers will be able to expose him even more. If you can’t make contact you can’t show off your power and, without a change, he’s looking to be the next Chris Carter/Jon Singleton type (at best). That means there’s value, but not as much as could be possible.

3) JaCoby Jones – SS
ETA – 2017
Grade – B

Stop me if you’ve heard this before about a Tigers prospect… Jones brings an intriguing mix of power and speed to the table, but also a significant number of strikeouts. Acquired in the deal that sent Joakim Soria to Pittsburgh, Jones combined to hit 16 HR with 25 SB last season (reaching Double-A) a year after hitting 23 HR with 17 SB at Single-A. The position he plays certainly helps, assuming he can stick there, but he posted a 26.3% strikeout rate in 2014 and was at 32.5% in 160 PA at Double-A for the Tigers. Those are scary numbers and something the team needs to correct if they want him to make an impact.

4) Derek Hill – OF
ETA – 2018
Grade – B

Selected 23rd overall in 2014, Hill brings immense speed and the potential to see his power develop in time (despite not hitting a home run in 210 AB last season). At least he makes contact (18.7% in ’14), and that will help. He could develop into a 10/40 type center fielder who hits for a strong average. That’s a lot to like, assuming he can continue improving and maturing. It’s going to take time, but he’s not a player to overlook.

5) Beau Burrows – RHP
ETA – 2018
Grade – B

The team’s first round pick in 2015 had an impressive 33 K over 28.0 innings in his first taste of professional baseball. There are some who have concerns about his size (6’1″) and he needs to become more consistent on the mound. The upside is there, however, it’s just going to take time.

The Next Five:

6) Kevin Ziomek – LHP
7) Jairo Labourt – RHP
8) Christian Stewart – OF
9) Spencer Turnbull – RHP
10) Austin Kubitza – RHP

Grading System (still in development):
Grade A – Elite Prospects (aka potential future perennial All-Stars)
Grade B – Above Average Prospects (aka above average Major Leaguers, could develop into a potential All-Star)
Grade C – Average Prospects (aka solid, though unspectacular)
Grade D – Nothing More Than Roster Filler
Grade F – Move On

Make sure to check out all of our Top 10 Prospect Lists:

AL EastAL CentralAL West
Baltimore OriolesChicago White SoxHouston Astros
Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
New York YankeesDetroit TigersOakland A's
Tampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsSeattle Mariners
Toronto Blue JaysMinnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
NL EastNL CentralNL West
Atlanta BravesChicago CubsArizona Diamondbacks
Miami MarlinsCincinnati RedsColorado Rockies
New York MetsMilwaukee BrewersLos Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia PhilliesPittsburgh PiratesSan Diego Padres
Washington NationalsSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants

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