DETROIT -- For the first time in five years, the Tigers have three prospects ranked in MLBPipeline.com's Top 100. Right-handers Matt Manning, Alex Faedo and Beau Burrows all cracked the list in MLB Pipeline's midseason rankings released Monday night.Manning, who has been on the list ever since the Tigers drafted
DETROIT -- For the first time in five years, the Tigers have three prospects ranked in MLBPipeline.com's Top 100. Right-handers Matt Manning, Alex Faedo and Beau Burrows all cracked the list in MLB Pipeline's midseason rankings released Monday night.
Manning, who has been on the list ever since the Tigers drafted him last year, rose two spots from 74 to 72. This year's Tigers top pick, Alex Faedo, checked in at 78. Beau Burrows, Detroit's top pick in 2015, was ranked 99th.
It's the first time the Tigers have had three prospects on the list since the 2012 preseason rankings, when Jacob Turner (15), Nicholas Castellanos (51) and Drew Smyly (82) all were on the rise. Turner went to the Marlins that summer in the Anibal Sanchez trade, while Smyly played a role on a Tigers pitching staff that went to the World Series that year.
With the Tigers looking to get younger in the coming years, none of this year's prospects are likely going anywhere unless they make a prospect swap. Manning, Faedo and Burrows join Kyle Funkhouser to form a crop of pitchers the Tigers hope can become the strength of the team through a rebuilding process.
Manning is currently 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in seven starts at Class A Short-Season Connecticut. The 6-foot-6 hurler, who turned down a basketball scholarship at Loyola Marymount for pro baseball, has struck out 27 batters over 23 1/3 innings.
Faedo isn't expected to pitch in the Tigers' system this year after leading the University of Florida to its first College World Series title last month, but his work in the NCAA tournament built anticipation for his pro debut.
"There is no timetable," general manager Al Avila said when Faedo officially signed a few weeks ago, "but obviously, he's an advanced guy. He's had a lot of success at the college level."
Burrows has become a high riser in the Tigers' system this year, converting a dominant first half at Class A Advanced Lakeland into an early summer promotion to Double-A Erie at age 20 and a spot in the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game two weeks ago in Miami. Combine the two levels, and he's 7-6 with a 2.65 ERA and 95 strikeouts over 98 1/3 innings.
The abundance of pitching prospects, and need for position prospects, is reflected in the midseason Tigers' Top 30 Prospects list that MLB Pipeline also released. Four of Detroit's top five ranked prospects are pitchers, as are seven of the top 10. Following Manning, Faedo and Burrows are Double-A Erie outfielder Christin Stewart, Lakeland's Funkhouser and Triple-A Toledo reliever Joe Jimenez.
"I think in our farm system, what we do have some of is pitching," Avila said. "We've got some starters. We definitely have some relievers."
Rounding out the top 10 after Jimenez are outfielders Michael Gerber and Derek Hill and left-handers Gregory Soto and Tyler Alexander. The 22-year-old Soto rose from unranked on the preseason Tigers rankings to ninth at midseason with a breakthrough year at Class A West Michigan, entering Tuesday with a 9-1 record and a 2.30 ERA while striking out 102 batters over 86 innings.
JaCoby Jones, Detroit's Opening Day center fielder this year, dropped two spots to 11th, falling out of the top 10. Dawel Lugo, the most advanced prospect to come from Arizona in last week's J.D. Martinez trade, ranks 12th.
The ranking of baseball's top prospects is done by MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status are eligible for the list. Players who were at least 23 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.