There's a new era in Detroit, focused on something not seen in recent memory: rebuilding.The Tigers made the playoffs four years in a row, from 2011-14, playing in the World Series back in 2012. But they haven't been to the postseason since, and when they sank to the bottom of
There's a new era in Detroit, focused on something not seen in recent memory: rebuilding.
The Tigers made the playoffs four years in a row, from 2011-14, playing in the World Series back in 2012. But they haven't been to the postseason since, and when they sank to the bottom of the American League Central en route to finishing with baseball's worst record, the reset button was firmly pushed. Veterans Justin Verlander, Justin Upton, Alex Avila and J.D. Martinez were traded before the season's end, as was reliever Justin Wilson. Ian Kinsler followed during the offseason.
• Tigers Top 30 Prospects list
:: Team Top 30 Prospects lists ::
In the short term, things might not be so pretty at Comerica Park. In the long term, the Tigers now boast having one of the better farm systems the organization has had in a long time. Much of that is because of the Verlander trade, which netted three top 10 players in Franklin Perez, Jake Rogers and Daz Cameron. Perez becomes the system's top prospect and Rogers is on the Top 10 Catchers list as well.
Perez gets added to an interesting group of arms the Tigers have collected in the Draft of late. Matt Manning and Beau Burrows were high school pitchers taken in back-to-back first rounds in 2016 and 2015. Alex Faedo, their 2017 first-rounder, joins the top four and was a college product. Kyle Funkhouser and Gregory Soto are also in the top 10, giving the Tigers five homegrown arms in the top third of the list.
While the top of the Top 30 is much, much better than it has been in some time, the list does thin out in the second half and it remains to be seen what kind of impact the position players on the list will make. Rogers looks like a big league regular behind the plate, the hope is Cameron's turnaround in 2017 is for real and people are excited about Isaac Paredes, obtained in the Avila/Wilson deal, and his future. There are other big leaguers for sure, from homegrown guys like Christin Stewart and Mike Gerber, to trade acquisitions like Dawel Lugo and Sergio Alcantara, up and down the Top 30, but there's also the chance they end up more as role players rather than everyday contributors.
Much of the help is at least a year away, and there's bound to be more rebuilding to come. Having the No. 1 overall pick in this June's Draft certainly won't hurt the movement. Be patient, Detroit: Things might not be great right away, but from a long-term success standpoint, it looks like they are heading in the right direction.
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2017 preseason list to the 2018 preseason list.
Jump: Gregory Soto, LHP (2017: NR | 2018: 8)
Fall: Adam Ravenelle, RHP (2017: 13 | 2018: NR)
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 55 -- Isaac Paredes
Power: 55 -- Christin Stewart (Reynaldo Rivera)
Run: 70 -- Derek Hill
Arm: 70 -- Sergio Alcantara
Defense: 70 -- Jake Rogers
Fastball: 70 -- Gerson Moreno (Jason Foley)
Curveball: 60 -- Franklin Perez (Matt Hall, Matt Manning)
Slider: 65 -- Alex Faedo
Changeup: 55 -- Perez (Tyler Alexander)
Control: 55 -- Perez (Tyler Alexander)
How they were built
Free agent: 1
Rule 5: 1
Breakdown by ETA
Breakdown by position
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.