Where the Tigers' Top 30 prospects are starting the season

April 2nd, 2024

With the Minor League season opening this week, here's where the Tigers’ Top 30 prospects are projected to start:

1. Max Clark (MLB No. 13), OF -- Lakeland (Single-A)
2. Colt Keith (MLB No. 21), 3B/2B -- Detroit (MLB)
3. Jackson Jobe (MLB No. 24), RHP -- Erie (Double-A)
4. Jace Jung (MLB No. 57), 2B/3B -- Toledo (Triple-A)
5. Ty Madden, RHP -- Erie (Double-A)
6. Kevin McGonigle, SS/2B -- Lakeland (Single-A)
7. Justyn-Henry Malloy, OF/3B -- Toledo (Triple-A)
8. Keider Montero, RHP -- Toledo (Triple-A)
9. Wilmer Flores, RHP -- Toledo (Triple-A)
10. Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP -- Injured (left groin strain)
11. Troy Melton, RHP -- Erie (Double-A)
12. Justice Bigbie, OF -- Toledo (Triple-A)
13. Dillon Dingler, C -- Toledo (Triple-A)
14. Hao-Yu Lee, 2B -- Erie (Double-A)
15. Brant Hurter, LHP -- Toledo (Triple-A)
16. Paul Wilson, LHP -- Extended spring training
17. Max Anderson, 2B -- West Michigan (High-A)
18. Josue Briceño, C/1B -- Lakeland (Single-A)
19. Enrique Jimenez, C -- Extended spring training
20. Wenceel Perez, OF/2B -- Toledo (Triple-A)
21. Eddys Leonard, SS/OF -- Toledo (Triple-A)
22. Carson Rucker, SS/3B -- Extended spring training
23. Dylan Smith, RHP -- West Michigan (High-A)
24. Roberto Campos, OF -- West Michigan (High-A)
25. Peyton Graham, SS -- West Michigan (High-A)
26. Cristian Santana, INF -- Lakeland (Single-A)
27. Tyler Mattison, RHP -- Injured (UCL reconstruction surgery)
28. Blake Dickerson, LHP -- Extended spring training
29. Izaac Pacheco, 3B/SS -- West Michigan (High-A)
30. Trei Cruz, OF/INF -- Erie (Double-A)

Team to watch
Triple-A Toledo has many Top 30 talents trying to push for the Majors, headlined by No. 57 overall prospect Jung, but a lot of eyes are going to be on Double-A Erie too. Jobe showed his star potential this spring when he touched 101.8 mph in a brief Grapefruit League appearance. His wicked slider, plus changeup and solid cutter could have him carving up the Eastern League too. Madden joins him in the SeaWolves rotation after striking out 146 in 118 Double-A innings last year, and Melton provides another dynamic starting arm. Lee, who was acquired as last year’s Trade Deadline for Michael Lorenzen, makes sure there’s more to Erie than just pitchers.

Teams on MLB.TV and MiLB.TV
Triple-A Toledo
Double-A Erie
High-A West Michigan
Single-A Lakeland

Players we could see in 2024
Keith has already taken over at second base in Detroit, and Jung may not be far off at the hot corner considering how well his power has already played in pro ball. The Tigers like the improvements he’s made defensively and believe his arm will help smooth the transition to a new position. Malloy – an on-base machine – is ready and waiting for his opportunity in the outfield, and Madden, Montero, Flores could all help the big club’s pitching depth. Even Jobe could push ahead of that group and into the bigs early given his incredible ceiling and elite-level stuff.

New faces
After making abbreviated appearances last summer, top 2023 picks Clark and McGonigle will introduce themselves more fully this spring. Clark played 11 games in the Florida State League after being selected third overall in July and has since worked on his swing to free up his bat path and allow his power to play even better in his Single-A return. McGonigle went 14-for-40 (.350) with seven walks and five strikeouts over his 12-game run with Lakeland, and his exceptional hit tool could thrust him into Top 100 conversations at some point in his age-19 campaign.

On the shelf
Gipson-Long impressed during his Major League debut last season, posting a 2.70 ERA with 26 strikeouts in four starts (20 innings), but he’s been slowed by a left groin strain this spring. He wasn’t placed on a Minor League roster to begin the season but should push for an MLB return once he’s back on the bump. Mattison underwent UCL reconstruction surgery on his right elbow on March 15 and will miss the 2024 season.