Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Detroit Tigers
news

Tigers News

Which prospects will Tigers protect from Rule 5?

MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- One of the tough aspects of the Tigers' rebuilding project is the wait before many of Detroit's top prospects reach the big leagues. That's partly a consequence of the many young prospects general manager Al Avila acquired in trades for veterans, as well as the influx of prospects from the last couple Drafts.

The bright side, for now, is that the Tigers don't have to open many 40-man roster spots for their top prospects for a while. As Tuesday's deadline looms to protect eligible prospects from next month's Rule 5 Draft, however, Avila and his front office still have some interesting decisions to make.

DETROIT -- One of the tough aspects of the Tigers' rebuilding project is the wait before many of Detroit's top prospects reach the big leagues. That's partly a consequence of the many young prospects general manager Al Avila acquired in trades for veterans, as well as the influx of prospects from the last couple Drafts.

The bright side, for now, is that the Tigers don't have to open many 40-man roster spots for their top prospects for a while. As Tuesday's deadline looms to protect eligible prospects from next month's Rule 5 Draft, however, Avila and his front office still have some interesting decisions to make.

The Rule 5 Draft, scheduled for Dec. 13 to cap next month's Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, allows teams to pluck eligible prospects from other organizations if they're willing to carry the players on their Major League roster for a full season. Players signed or drafted at age 18 or younger are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft after five professional seasons. Players signed or drafted by age 19 or older are eligible are four pro seasons. For Draft purposes, players signed or selected out of high school in 2014 or earlier are eligible, as are players drafted out of college in 2015. Players who are on a club's 40-man roster, however, are not eligible.

The Tigers got a head start on protecting some of their top prospects when they added Christin Stewart, Matt Hall and Spencer Turnbull to their roster as September call-ups. Detroit still has some moves to make to protect some others. And with 38 players currently on their roster, the Tigers could face some tough decisions to make room. Keep in mind, too, that the Tigers will likely keep a spot open to take a player or two in the Rule 5 Draft themselves.

Here's a look at who among MLB Pipeline's top 30 Tigers prospects list will be Rule 5 eligible if they're not added to the 40-man roster:

Franklin Perez, RHP (No. 3 in Tigers' system, No. 67 overall): With Daz Cameron's success this year, it's easy to forget that Perez was the prize return from the Astros' system in the Justin Verlander trade. A lat strain in Spring Training and midseason shoulder inflammation limited Perez to just 19 1/3 innings between the rookie-level Gulf Coast League and Class A Advanced Lakeland this year, but he remains a key cog of the Tigers' future rotation as he nears his 21st birthday in December. He'll be protected.

Jose Azocar, OF (No. 19): The Tigers left Azocar unprotected last offseason following a rough season at Lakeland. The 22-year-old rebounded this year with a .297 average and .719 OPS between Lakeland and Class A West Michigan, but with just 28 extra-base hits -- including two home runs -- and 14 walks, the Tigers could take a chance again.

LHP Tyler Alexander (No. 24): The Tigers' second-round pick from 2015 went 6-8 with a 4.44 ERA between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo, and he is likely to be part of the Mud Hens' rotation in 2019. But he also yielded 184 hits over 140 innings as he attacked hitters in an effort to induce weak contact. The Tigers have better starting prospects, but not many lefties.

OF Derek Hill (No. 29): The Tigers' top pick in the 2015 Draft has faced a series of struggles, most of them injury-related, in five pro seasons. His 106 games at Lakeland in 2018 marked his first season over 100 games, but he batted .239 (82-for-343) with 16 extra-base hits, a .625 OPS and 109 strikeouts. At 22 years old, he still has potential to go with tons of athleticism (reflected in 35 stolen bases), but probably not enough to tempt a team to use a 25-man roster spot on him.

And here's a look at prospects outside the top 30 who will be eligible if not added to the roster:

OF Cam Gibson: The Tigers love Gibson's baseball instincts, hustle, competitiveness and speed, all of which reflect his baseball roots as the son of Tigers great Kirk Gibson. He batted .244 with a .715 OPS between Lakeland and Erie, posting 14 doubles, eight home runs and 22 stolen bases along the way. His ability to play all three outfield spots gives him potential as a reserve.

RHP Paul Voelker: The funky-throwing reliever was Rule 5 eligible last winter but was coming off a suspension-shortened season in Double-A. His numbers out of Toledo's bullpen this past season -- a 3.18 ERA, a .213 batting average in relief, and 58 strikeouts over 68 innings -- re-opened some eyes. Relievers tend to be easier to carry as Rule 5 picks, since teams can pick and choose situations to bring them out of the bullpen, and the 26-year-old Voelker is an intriguing one.

RHP Spenser Watkins: No team took a chance on Watkins last offseason, despite a 9-3 record and 3.22 ERA at West Michigan in 2017. He followed it up by going 10-7 with a 2.76 ERA and 1.17 WHIP at three different levels, including a couple spot starts at Toledo.

RHP Grayson Long: If the name sounds familiar, Long was part of the return package from the Angels in the Justin Upton trade last year, but missed this year recovering from surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He should be healthy for 2019, in which case the Tigers can plug him into their rotation at Erie to follow up on some very good numbers at the same level in 2017.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers

30 ROY candidates for 2019 -- 1 for each team

MLB.com

On Monday, Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuna Jr. were named Rookie of the Year in the American and National Leagues, respectively. But they were far from the only first-year players to make an impact in the big leagues in 2018.

It would be difficult to find a team in the history of the modern game who went through an entire season without needing to use its farm system. Sometimes, jobs are given to rookies on Opening Day, as was the case with Ohtani and the Angels. Other times, a player has to wait to be called up to make an impact, just like Acuna did with the Braves.

On Monday, Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuna Jr. were named Rookie of the Year in the American and National Leagues, respectively. But they were far from the only first-year players to make an impact in the big leagues in 2018.

It would be difficult to find a team in the history of the modern game who went through an entire season without needing to use its farm system. Sometimes, jobs are given to rookies on Opening Day, as was the case with Ohtani and the Angels. Other times, a player has to wait to be called up to make an impact, just like Acuna did with the Braves.

In 2018, both prospects entered the season as Rookie of the Year contenders, if not front-runners, in each league. But sometimes Rookies of the Year come on unexpectedly. With that in mind, here is a potential ROY candidate from each organization.

AL East

Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B
There's a strong case to made that Guerrero, MLB Pipeline's No. 1 overall prospect, should have reached the Majors last season, even with the Blue Jays' struggles. But he didn't and ultimately finished with an absurd .381/.437/.636 line and 20 home runs while reaching Triple-A at age 19. His bat is 100 percent ready for the highest level, and once there, Guerrero is a candidate to run away with top rookie honors in the AL, regardless of when he arrives.

Video: EAST@WEST: Guerrero Jr. doubles, advances on error

Orioles: Yusniel Diaz, OF
The Orioles' key acquisition in the deadline deal that sent Manny Machado to Hollywood, Diaz is yet to tap into his above-average raw power but has a good idea of what he's doing at the plate, as evidenced by his .285/.392/.449 slash line and 11-homer last season in Double-A. Some other internal options may get first crack in either right or left field as the Orioles rebuild, but Diaz should become an everyday guy for them before long.

Rays: Brandon Lowe, 2B
Lowe struggled initially upon reaching the Majors, going 0-for-19 following his debut on Aug. 5. After that, however, he slashed .273/.357/.527 with six homers in 37 games to finish the year with a career-high 28 home runs between Double-A, Triple-A and MLB. He also finished with 129 at-bats, leaving him two ABs short of exhausting his rookie eligibility. Like so many young Rays players, Lowe has the defensive versatility that could make him a near regular for Tampa Bay in 2019.

Red Sox: Michael Chavis, 3B
The defending World Series champions have a depleted farm system and few opportunities at the big league level. One of the better power-hitting prospects in the upper Minors, Chavis could contribute if Rafael Devers struggles again or the need for a right-handed-hitting first baseman arises.

Yankees: Justus Sheffield, LHP
The Yankees' greatest need is starting pitching, and Sheffield should crack the Opening Day rotation. His fastball, slider and changeup all can be three plus pitches, so it won't be a shock if he's New York's second-best starter after Luis Severino.

Video: Mayo gives some 2019 AL Rookie of the Year contenders

AL Central

Indians: Yu Chang, SS
Though he continues to face an uphill battle towards carving out a spot in Cleveland's infield, Chang, a member of the Tribe's 40-man roster, saw increased reps at third base during the regular season and regular time there in the Arizona Fall League, suggesting the hot corner could be his path of least resistance. He has the hitting ability and raw power to profile there, as well as the defensive versatility to handle a utility role.

Royals: Nicky Lopez, SS/2B
Lopez is blocked at the moment by Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi, but he's also sound in all phases of the game and has nothing left to prove in Triple-A. He should open the season in nothing less than a utility role and should claim at least semi-regular at-bats.

Tigers: Christin Stewart, OF
He's hit at least 25 homers in each of his three full seasons of pro ball and hit a pair of homers in 60 big league at-bats this past September. Stewart has improved his overall approach, drawing a lot more walks, while still hitting balls out of the park, something that should continue with a full-time gig in Detroit next season.

Twins: Stephen Gonsalves, RHP
The left-hander didn't fare well during his first taste of the big leagues in 2018, but he had a fantastic year, mostly in Triple-A, finishing second in the system in ERA and fifth in strikeouts, while keeping hitters to a combined .184 BAA. Gonsalves' upside might be limited, but he's ready to be a mid-rotation starter.

White Sox: Eloy Jimenez, OF
If anyone can challenge Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero for the title of best offensive prospect in baseball, it's Jimenez. Ready last summer but kept in the Minors for service-time considerations, he'll be the foundation the White Sox build their lineup around.

Watch: Jimenez crushes 12th homer for Charlotte

AL West

Athletics: Jesus Luzardo, LHP
Luzardo nearly reached the Majors in 2018 in what was his first full pro campaign as well as his first fully healthy, unimpeded season since his Tommy John surgery in mid-2016. Altogether, the left-hander (in his age-20 season) compiled a 2.88 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with 129 strikeouts and 30 walks in 109 1/3 innings while ascending from Class A Advanced to Triple-A. The A's will be without many of the starting pitchers that were lost due to injuries last season, so expect Luzardo to receive an earnest look during spring training.

Angels: Griffin Canning, RHP
The UCLA product projected as an advanced college arm and lived up to that advanced billing, racing all the way to Triple-A in his first full season. His four-pitch mix with excellent command allowed him to miss bats all the way up the ladder and is why he is just about ready to hit the Angels' rotation.

Astros: Kyle Tucker, OF
The No. 5 overall pick in the 2015 Draft, Tucker has recorded back-to-back 20-20 seasons in the upper Minors. His Triple-A line (.332/.400/.590) is much more representative of his upside than the numbers from his big league debut (.141/.236/.203).

Watch: Tucker crushes game-tying homer

Mariners: Wyatt Mills, RHP
Viewed by scouts as a potential fast-riser when the Mariners took him in the third round of the 2017 Draft, Mills, 23, was just that in his first full season as he reached Double-A and followed it with an impressive turn in the Arizona Fall League. With right-handed delivery and profile that resembles Steve Cisheck's as well as comparable stuff, Mills has all the ingredients needed to become an impactful bullpen piece in 2019.

Rangers: Yohander Mendez, LHP
Mendez's prospect luster has dimmed a bit over the last two years, yet that won't prevent him from fitting in the middle of the Rangers' rotation. He still has a quality changeup but needs to refine his command and breaking ball.

NL East

Braves: Touki Tousssaint, RHP
The Braves have scores of young pitchers who could contend for Rookie of the Year honors next season. Toussaint gets the nod because of the pure stuff that helped him lead the system in ERA and strikeouts and because of how well his big league debut went, earning him a spot on the postseason roster.

Video: Mayo on potential 2019 NL Rookie of Year candidates

Marlins: Victor Mesa, OF
While there currently are quite a few unknowns with Mesa, whom Miami signed for $5.5 million on Oct. 22, the consensus is that the 22-year-old outfielder shouldn't require all too much seasoning in the Minor Leagues after his success in Cuba's Serie Nacional. His plus defense in center field gives him a high floor in the big leagues, and any offensive contributions that surpass expectations could make him a ROY candidate.

Phillies: Ranger Suarez, LHP
Suarez made four uneven appearances with Philadelphia in 2018, reaching the big leagues before he turned 23, and he's the kind of smart left-hander who will learn and make adjustments. He's moved very quickly since starting the 2017 season in A ball and should fit nicely into the back end of the young Phillies rotation.

Nationals: Victor Robles, OF
Robles has taken second chair to teenage superstar Juan Soto in the Nationals' long-term outfield outlook with good reason. Yet, the future remains incredibly bright for the now 21-year-old center fielder, who hit .288/.348/.525 with three homers and three steals over 21 games with the Nats after a right elbow injury cost him much of the Minor League season. That Robles is the club's projected Opening Day center fielder at the moment makes him a preseason ROY favorite in the NL.

Watch: Robles triples on four-hit night

Mets: Peter Alonso, 1B
New Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has said he isn't opposed to having Alonso start the year in New York, and for good reason. All the first baseman did in 2018 is tie for the Minor League lead in homers, while leading it outright in RBIs. More power was on display in the AFL, and he has nothing left to prove in the Minors.

NL Central

Brewers: Keston Hiura, 2B
The best hitter from the 2017 Draft class raked his way up to Double-A in his first full season, ultimately hitting .293/.357/.464 with 52 extra-base hits including 13 homers, and has been equally impressive in the Arizona Fall League, seemingly leaving him on the cusp of entering the Majors in'19. His knack for squaring up the baseball with authority to all fields is a truly special trait -- one that could make him a key Brewers run producer for a long time.

Cardinals: Dakota Hudson, RHP
Aside from some command issues (18 BB in 27 1/3 IP), Hudson was effective in relief for the big league club in 2018. It's a crowded rotation in St. Louis, so a relief gig might be his best full-time entry for the time being where his extreme ground-ball rate (2.03 GO/AO in his Minor League career) would play well.

Cubs: Duane Underwood, RHP
Underwood still needs some polish but was more aggressive and consistent in 2018 than he had been in years past. With a 92-97 mph fastball and a curveball that shows flashes of becoming a plus pitch, he could contribute in the bullpen and possibly the rotation.

Pirates: Mitch Keller, RHP
The Pirates often are cautious with their young pitching prospects, but look for Keller to push them hard in 2019. After struggling upon first reaching Triple-A at age 22, the right-hander then had a 2.86 ERA in August. Room will have to be made in Pittsburgh's rotation, but Keller will be ready to jump through it once the door is opened.

Watch: Keller records 10th K

Reds: Nick Senzel, INF
A finger injury, not to mention a bout with vertigo, greatly shortened his 2018 season, and that likely kept the No. 2 pick in the 2016 Draft from getting called up this past season. He's played several positions and was working on the outfield at instructs this fall to make sure there's a spot for his advanced bat in the big league lineup in 2019.

NL West

D-backs: Taylor Widener, RHP
Widener has made a very successful transition from reliever to starter and has put his 2015 elbow surgery in his rear-view mirror with two successful, and healthy, seasons in 2017 and 2018. This last year was his first with the D-backs and he led the system in ERA and strikeouts, while holding Southern League hitters to a .197 batting average against.

Dodgers: Alex Verdugo, OF
One of the best pure hitters in the Minors, Verdugo also offers developing power, a strong arm and the ability to play anywhere in the outfield. The only thing holding him back from being a slam-dunk Rookie of the Year candidate is a clear opening in the crowded Dodgers lineup.

Giants: Chris Shaw, OF
The best power hitter in the Giants system, Shaw made his first big league home run a tape-measure shot: 468 feet off a Seunghwan Oh slider. As of now, he looks like the frontrunner to start in left field for San Francisco.

Padres: Luis Urias, 2B/SS
Urias reached the Majors late in August and showed that he can do a little bit of everything before a groin injury prematurely ended his season after just 12 games. Assuming he's on the Padres' Opening Day roster, the 21-year-old could have an early advantage in the ROY based his ability to hit near the top of an order and make everyday contributions on both sides of the ball.

Rockies: Brendan Rodgers, SS
With DJ LeMahieu set to depart as a free agent, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 Draft is ready to replace him at second base. He has more offensive potential than most middle infielders and the versatility to play anywhere in the infield that he's needed.

Watch: Rodger hammers a solo blast

Impact of Tigers as revenue-sharing receivers

MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- The revelation came up at season's end in reference to Nicholas Castellanos' future with the Tigers and what Detroit's options are with their slugging right fielder before he's eligible for free agency next offseason. The parallels were drawn to the Tigers' conundrum with J.D. Martinez a year and a half ago, at which point general manager Al Avila noted one major difference.

"We should be [revenue-sharing] receivers at that point," Avila said, "and that'll be a whole different situation."

DETROIT -- The revelation came up at season's end in reference to Nicholas Castellanos' future with the Tigers and what Detroit's options are with their slugging right fielder before he's eligible for free agency next offseason. The parallels were drawn to the Tigers' conundrum with J.D. Martinez a year and a half ago, at which point general manager Al Avila noted one major difference.

"We should be [revenue-sharing] receivers at that point," Avila said, "and that'll be a whole different situation."

That transition happened sooner than some expected. A year after Detroit paid out luxury tax based on their 2017 payroll, the Tigers now qualify as revenue-sharing recipients based on team revenues and market size. It could have a sneaky impact on the club's free-agent dealings, this offseason and next.

The impact on the Tigers' dealings with Castellanos is the biggest difference. When Detroit weighed its options regarding Martinez ahead of his free agency last winter, they carried a payroll over the luxury-tax threshold. As a result, had the Tigers kept Martinez until the end of the season, made him a qualifying offer and let him walk as a free agent, the compensation pick they would've received in the 2018 Draft would've been at the end of the fourth round.

By contrast, if the Tigers hold onto Castellanos through next season, make him a qualifying offer and watch him sign with another club for at least a contract worth at least $50 million, their compensation pick in the 2020 Draft would be after the first round. The last time the Tigers had a comp pick so early in the Draft, they used it on University of Tennessee slugger Christin Stewart, who's on the cusp of becoming a key part of Detroit's lineup.

That gives Avila and his front-office team a baseline by which to measure offers on Castellanos, and a little bit of leverage they lacked when negotiating with the D-backs when negotiating the trade for Martinez.

Detroit's newfound status has an impact on the market this offseason, too. Under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, any free agent who receives and turns down a qualifying offer to sign elsewhere not only nets his old team a compensation pick if he signs for at least $50 million, he costs the team that signs him a Draft pick no matter what the contract size, plus potentially money from their international prospect signing pool.

For many teams, that lost pick would be their second-highest selection, plus either $500,000 or $1 million in international signing money. For teams that receive revenue sharing, however, the cost would be their third-highest selection, in many cases a third-round pick, and no international money.

Just seven free agents received the one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer this year. Among them were three starting pitchers -- Houston's Dallas Keuchel, Arizona's Patrick Corbin and Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu. Another is D-backs center fielder A.J. Pollock, who has an .805 OPS but has played in just 237 games over the last three seasons. Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, who struggled defensively in the playoffs, is another. Ryu was the only one to accept it.

The Tigers are focused on building through the Draft, as well as international signings. Their days of giving up picks for veterans who can help win now ended a few years ago. If Avila and his staff find a free agent lingering on the market come February, however, there's at least a case for a one-year contract if they believe they could trade the player for prospects at midseason.

Detroit has the fifth overall pick in next year's Draft and would have the same in the third round if nothing changed. The fifth pick in the third round of the most recent Draft was the 83rd overall selection. Detroit picked first in that round in June and selected infielder Kody Clemens, now the Tigers' No. 16 prospect according to MLB Pipeline.

It's an unlikely route for the Tigers to take, since it carries the risk of the player not netting quality prospects in a trade -- or worse, not being traded at all, a challenge Detroit realized with Francisco Liriano this year. But if Detroit wanted to take the risk, it's in a better position for it than last year.

Even if they don't, the Tigers are in a better spot on the market than a year or two ago.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers

Decision time: Which prospects make 40-man?

MLB.com @JonathanMayo

It's decision time for all 30 Major League organizations.

By Tuesday, all teams will have decided who deserves a spot on their 40-man rosters. Those Minor Leaguers who are eligible but not put on the roster will be exposed to be taken by the other 29 teams in the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, on Thursday. Dec. 13.

It's decision time for all 30 Major League organizations.

By Tuesday, all teams will have decided who deserves a spot on their 40-man rosters. Those Minor Leaguers who are eligible but not put on the roster will be exposed to be taken by the other 29 teams in the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, on Thursday. Dec. 13.

Players first signed at age 18 must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons or they become eligible to be drafted by other organizations through the Rule 5 process. Players signed at 19 years or older have to be protected within four seasons. Clubs pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. If that player doesn't stay on the 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $50,000.

For this year, that means an international or high school Draft pick signed in 2014 -- assuming he was 18 or younger as of June 5 of that year -- has to be protected. A college player taken in the 2015 Draft is in the same position.

There are just eight players on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list who need to be protected or become exposed to the Rule 5 Draft.

16. Mitch Keller, RHP, PIT
25. Dylan Cease, RHP, CWS
33. Jesus Sanchez, OF, TB
35. Chris Paddack,RHP, SD
39. Keibert Ruiz, C, LAD
64. Adonis Medina, RHP, PHI
67. Franklin Perez, RHP, DET
69. Michael Chavis, 3B, BOS

Last year, there were eight Top 100 players who needed to be protected. In 2016, there were 12, and in '15, there were 11. And every one of those 31 players were added to 40-man rosters.

There are obviously many more Minor Leaguers under consideration. There are 149 prospects on organizational Top 30 lists hoping to get added to a 40-man roster. That's down from last year, when there were 153, 85 of whom (55.6%) were protected. In 2016, there were 144 total, and 58% of them (84) were protected. In 2015, 75 of 156 (48%) Top 30 prospects landed on rosters.

Here's a list of all 30 teams' Top 30 prospects who needed to be protected to avoid being exposed to the Rule 5 Draft, along with non-Top 30 prospects who were given coveted roster spots:

* Indicates that a player has been added to his team's 40-man roster.

Arizona Diamondbacks (5)
7. Marcus Wilson, OF
11. Taylor Clarke, RHP
20. Kevin Cron, 1B
22. Alex Young, LHP
23. Cody Reed, LHP

Atlanta Braves (6)
20. Huascar Ynoa, RHP
21. Patrick Weigel, RHP
22. Travis Demeritte, OF
27. Alex Jackson, C
28. Josh Graham, RHP
29. Jacob Webb, RHP

Baltimore Orioles (2)
6. Dillon Tate, RHP
29. Luis Gonzalez, LHP

Boston Red Sox (7)
1. Michael Chavis, SS
7. Darwinzon Hernandez, LHP
10. Josh Ockimey, 1B
15. Travis Lakins, RHP
21. Jhonathan Diaz, LHP
23. Roldani Baldwin, C
27. Roniel Raudes, RHP

Chicago Cubs (4)
8. Justin Steele, LHP
17. Trevor Clifton, RHP
25. Earling Moreno, RHP
28. Jason Vosler, SS

Chicago White Sox (4)
3. Dylan Cease, RHP
19. Kodi Medeiros, LHP
20. Jordan Stephens, RHP
26. Spencer Adams, RHP

Cincinnati Reds (2)
13. Jimmy Herget, RHP
22. Michael Beltre, OF

Cleveland Indians 4)
7. Bobby Bradley, 1B
8. Sam Hentges, LHP
20. Oscar Gonzales, OF
29. Tyler Krieger, SS

Colorado Rockies (7)
9. Sam Hilliard, OF
10. Ryan Castellani, RHP
17. Justin Lawrence, RHP
19. Breiling Eusebio, LHP
23. Roberto Ramos, 1B
25. Brian Mundell, 1B
27. Dom Nunez, C

Detroit Tigers (4)
3. Franklin Perez, RHP
19. Jose Azocar, OF
24. Tyler Alexander, LHP
29. Derek Hill, CF
More »

Houston Astros (5)
12. Rogelio Armenteros, RHP
15. Garrett Stubbs, C
17. Riley Ferrell, RHP
23. Jonathan Arauz, SS
24. Trent Thornton, RHP

Kansas City Royals (6)
11. Josh Staumont, RHP
20. Scott Blewett, RHP
23. Elvis Luciano, RHP
28. D.J. Burt, SS
29. Foster Griffin, LHP
30. Ofreidy Gomez, RHP

Los Angeles Angels (4)
10. Luis Rengifo, IF
15. Leonardo Rivas, SS
18. Luis Pena, RHP
28. Joe Gatto, RHP

Los Angeles Dodgers (7)
2. Keibert Ruiz, C
10. Yadier Alvarez, RHP
13. Edwin Rios, 1B
19. Drew Jackson, SS
21. Matt Beaty, 1B/3B
24. Cristian Santana, SS
29. Andrew Sopko, RHP

Miami Marlins (6)
2. Monte Harrison, CF
9. Isan Diaz, SS
17. Jordan Yamamoto, RHP
18. Christopher Torres, SS
26. Brayan Hernandez, CF
30. McKenzie Mills, LHP

Milwaukee Brewers (5)
10. Jake Gatewood, 1B
13. Trey Supak, RHP
15. Troy Stokes Jr., CF
17. Cody Ponce, RHP
28. Carlos Herrera, RHP

Minnesota Twins (5)
4. Nick Gordon, SS
13. LaMonte Wade, OF
15. Luis Arraez, 2B
16. Lewin Diaz, RF
22. Tyler Jay, LHP

New York Mets (4)
19. Luis Carpio, SS
21. David Thompson, 3B
25. Ali Sanchez, C
27. Patrick Mazeika, C

New York Yankees (1)
21. Erik Swanson, RHP

Oakland A's (5)
9. James Kaprielian, RHP
12. Richie Martin, SS
15. Grant Holmes, RHP
27. James Naile, RHP
30. Skye Bolt, CF

Philadelphia Phillies (5)
3. Adonis Medina, RHP
12. Daniel Brito, SS
11. Arquimedes Gamboa, SS
16. Jose Gomez, SS
27. Tom Eshelman, RHP

Pittsburgh Pirates (6)
1. Mitch Keller, RHP
5. Cole Tucker, SS
13. Jason Martin, CF
19. Gage Hinsz, RHP
24. Brandon Waddell, LHP
28. Domingo Robles, LHP

San Diego Padres (5)
5. Chris Paddack, RHP
12. Anderson Espinoza, RHP
25. Austin Allen, C
28. Edward Olivares, OF
29. Pedro Avila, RHP
More »

San Francisco Giants (8)
8. Sandro Fabian, OF
11. Logan Webb, RHP
18. Juan De Paula, RHP
19. Melvin Adon, RHP
23. Jordan Johnson, RHP
27. Tyler Webb, RHP
28. C.J. Hinojosa, SS/2B
30. Sam Coonrod, RHP

Seattle Mariners (11)
*5. Braden Bishop, OF
14. Art Warren, RHP
18. Rob Whalen, RHP
20. Ian Miller, OF
23. Anthony Jimenez, OF
24. Luis Liberato, OF
26. Ronald Rosario, OF
27. Chuck Taylor, OF
28. Anthony Misiewicz, LHP
29. Darin Gillies, RHP
30. Joseph Rosa, 2B
More »

St. Louis Cardinals (6)
4. Ryan Helsley, RHP
11. Max Schrock, 2B
13. Genesis Cabrera, LHP
14. Junior Fernandez, RHP
20. Ramon Urias, INF
23. Wadye Ynfante, OF
More »

Tampa Bay Rays (3)
4. Jesus Sanchez
17. Joe McCarthy, OF/1B
29. Ian Gibaut, RHP

Texas Rangers (4)
6. Taylor Hearn, LHP
17. Pedro Gonzalez, OF
22. Scott Heineman, OF
30. Edgar Arredondo, RHP

Toronto Blue Jays (3)
11. Hector Perez, RHP
24. Forrest Wall, OF
27. Jordan Romano, RHP

Washington Nationals (5)
13. Telmito Agustin, OF
17. James Bourque, RHP
24. Tomas Alastre, RHP
25. Jose Marmolejos, 1B/OF
29. Drew Ward, 3B/1B

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Goodrum named Tigers Rookie of the Year

Super-utility player made sizable difference on and off the diamond
MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- Niko Goodrum joined the Tigers on a Spring Training invite last offseason, hoping his versatility and a coaching staff that remembered him from Minnesota would help him win a roster spot. Nearly a year to the day after signing, Goodrum was named Tigers Rookie of the Year by Detroit Sports Media, honoring a breakthrough season for the former second-round Draft pick.

It was a fitting reward for a season in which Goodrum found his footing, on and off the field.

DETROIT -- Niko Goodrum joined the Tigers on a Spring Training invite last offseason, hoping his versatility and a coaching staff that remembered him from Minnesota would help him win a roster spot. Nearly a year to the day after signing, Goodrum was named Tigers Rookie of the Year by Detroit Sports Media, honoring a breakthrough season for the former second-round Draft pick.

It was a fitting reward for a season in which Goodrum found his footing, on and off the field.

Goodrum earned one of the final spots on the Tigers' Opening Day roster, finding a role as a super-utility player after blistering base hits all Spring Training. After a slow start, his season took off in mid-May with three home runs in a two-day stretch, including a two-homer, five-RBI game in a 6-3 win over the Indians on May 14.

Video: CLE@DET: Goodrum has big two-homer, five-RBI game

By the end of June, Goodrum was getting the bulk of the starts at second base, supplanting Dixon Machado as manager Ron Gardenhire tried to bolster the offense. Goodrum posted two four-hit games in the first week of July, drove in three runs in an extra-inning loss at Tampa Bay, and hit .286/.316/.505 in July on his way to earning Tigers Player of the Month honors.

Video: Patience paid off for Niko Goodrum

After a drop in average despite five homers in August, Goodrum finished strong, batting .313 (21-for-67) in September with 10 RBIs while making starts at every infield position, plus right field.

Goodrum's 16 home runs were the most by a Tigers rookie since Craig Monroe hit 23 in 2003. His 48 extra-base hits finished second among AL rookies, and were the most by a Detroit rookie since Austin Jackson in 2010. He played every position except center field, catcher and pitcher, and he served as the Tigers' emergency catcher for a good stretch of the summer.

Video: CWS@DET: Goodrum lays out for an acrobatic catch

Goodrum also made an impact in the community. He donated bottled water to residents in Flint, Mich., and traveled to town on an off-day to help distribute it at a local church. He did the same for students in Detroit Public Schools in September when he heard of their lack of drinking water.

Video: Niko Donates Water To Schools

Goodrum will be presented with his award prior to a Tigers home game next season by Detroit Sports Media, formerly known as the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association, which has selected the Tigers Rookie of the Year since 1969.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Niko Goodrum

Leyland praises former Tigers rival Mauer

Twins slugger retired on Monday after 15 MLB seasons
MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire was part of the gathering at Target Field when Joe Mauer officially announced his retirement on Monday. It made sense, since Gardenhire managed Mauer in Minnesota for his first 11 Major League seasons.

Former Tigers manager Jim Leyland was not there. He only knew Mauer from the opposite dugout and from a few conversations, among them a flight together from Detroit to New York for the All-Star Game in 2008. Leyland's respect for Mauer, however, went well beyond that of a division foe.

DETROIT -- Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire was part of the gathering at Target Field when Joe Mauer officially announced his retirement on Monday. It made sense, since Gardenhire managed Mauer in Minnesota for his first 11 Major League seasons.

Former Tigers manager Jim Leyland was not there. He only knew Mauer from the opposite dugout and from a few conversations, among them a flight together from Detroit to New York for the All-Star Game in 2008. Leyland's respect for Mauer, however, went well beyond that of a division foe.

"This guy was one of the best hitters in the Major Leagues for a long time," Leyland said.

Mauer spent his entire career with Minnesota and was the Tigers' rival in the American League Central for a decade and a half. But his impact on those games made him one of the biggest nemeses Detroit has known in recent years.

Mauer's 246 hits, 122 RBIs and 132 runs scored against the Tigers rank him second in the Comerica Park era, just six hits, 27 RBIs and two runs behind former White Sox slugger Paul Konerko. No player with at least 150 games played against Detroit in that span has a better batting average against them than Mauer's .305 mark. That average also ranks 17th all-time among players with at least 200 games against the Tigers, just ahead of Hall of Famer Goose Goslin.

Just as impressive, Mauer finished with almost as many walks from Tigers pitching (106) as strikeouts (112).

"He was just one of those guys that was kind of magical with the bat," Leyland said. "He was so quiet in the box. That's what stood out to me. He never looked fooled. He never looked off-balance."

Mauer's place on the Comerica Park leaderboard among visiting players is impressive. His 121 hits at the ballpark rank 39th all-time among all players, including Tigers, and second only to Konerko (133) among visitors. Mauer's 64 RBIs lead all visiting players at Comerica Park and rank 35th among all players. His .294 average at the park ranks 12th among players with at least 400 plate appearances there, and his .800 OPS is 16th.

Whenever the Twins and Tigers tangled, Mauer tormented Detroit. He batted .348 (47-for-135) with 10 doubles, three home runs and 17 RBIs against the Tigers from 2004-06, his first three big league seasons, and .333 (24-for-72) with four homers and 15 RBIs in 2009. He drove in two runs in the division tiebreaker game in '09, known to Tigers fans simply as Game 163. He racked up 18 RBIs off Tigers pitching in '17, batting .339 (20-for-59) with more walks (eight) than strikeouts (seven).

Leyland wasn't there for 2017, but he saw most of the rest. Few hitters troubled his teams more.

"He was such a great hitter and he used the whole field," Leyland said. "Such a quiet competitor, just there to beat you every single day. You pretty much got in situations with him with guys on that you knew you weren't going to strike him out. You just hoped he was going to hit it to somebody."

The fact that Mauer did all that for one team, his hometown club, made it all the more remarkable.

"In today's world, that's unheard of," Leyland said. "That's part of the story that makes it such a great story. Who knows if that'll ever happen again?"

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Joe Mauer

Cameron tallies fourth multihit game in past five

MLB.com

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Thursday:

• Gameday: Mesa 11, Surprise 10 | Peoria 2, Scottsdale 1 | Glendale 4, Salt River 2

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Thursday:

• Gameday: Mesa 11, Surprise 10 | Peoria 2, Scottsdale 1 | Glendale 4, Salt River 2

AL East

Blue Jays (Surprise)
Blue Jays No. 22 prospect Santiago Espinal was 1-for-4 with a two-run single. Shawn Morimando started and lasted three innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits with a strikeout and a walk.

Orioles (Glendale)
Martin Cervenka went 2-for-4 and scored a run, and Jay Flaa pitched one clean inning, only allowing a walk.

Rays (Peoria)
Rays No. 7 prospect Ronaldo Hernandez hit a walk-off single to give Peoria a 2-1, come-from-behind victory. Matt Krook pitched three shutout innings in relief, striking out five while scattering two hits. No. 9 prospect Lucius Fox was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Red Sox (Mesa)
Third baseman Bobby Dalbec, the Red Sox's No. 6 prospect, crushed a two-run homer, his third this fall season, going 1-for-5.

Yankees (Glendale)
Yankees No. 2 prospect Estevan Florial reached base three times, going 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored. Steven Sensley provided the game-winning hit for Glendale with his two-run triple in the bottom of the eighth. 

AL Central

Indians (Glendale)
Connor Marabell collect an RBI triple in the top of the first inning, scored a run and finished 1-for-4. Indians No. 6 prospect Yu Chang went 1-for-4. On the mound, Rob Kamisky threw 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief before Dalbert Siri threw two-thirds of an inning to get the win.

Royals (Surprise)
Royals No. 2 prospect Khalil Lee went 1-for-5, and Nick Heath went 2-for-5, each scoring a pair of runs.

Tigers (Mesa)
Tigers No. 8 prospect Daz Cameron had multiple hits for the fourth time in his last five games, going 3-for-5, including a double and an RBI single. Jake Rogers (No. 12) hit a walk-off single to give Mesa the 11-10 victory. Daniel Pinero was 0-for-3 with a pair of walks and two runs, and No. 14 prospect Gregory Soto made the start, allowing two runs on two hits as he struck out six in four innings.

Twins (Salt River)
Griffin Jax started for the Rafters and gave up two runs over four innings. Hector Lujan pitched an 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, and Adam Bray threw one scoreless frame.

White Sox (Glendale)
White Sox No. 9 prospect Luis Alexander Basabe scored a run and finished 1-for-5 for the Desert Dogs. Zach Thompson secured the win with his scoreless ninth-inning relief.

AL West

A's (Mesa)
A's No. 30 prospect Skye Bolt had a perfect day at the plate, hitting two doubles and walking three times as he plated two runs and scored three. Sam Sheehan pitched a perfect seventh, and Calvin Coker was charged with five unearned runs in the eighth.

Angels (Mesa)
David Mackinnon hit a two-run double as part of a 2-for-5 day, and Brett Hanewich allowed an unearned run on two hits in his inning of relief. Ryan Clark earned his first win of the fall despite allowing two runs in the ninth.

Astros (Scottsdale)
Astros No. 2 prospect Forrest Whitley was stellar in his five-inning start, allowing only one hit while striking out nine. Drew Ferguson went 2-for-4 with a double, while Erasmo Pinales took his second loss of the fall after allowing two runs in 1 1/3 innings. More »

Mariners (Peoria)
David McKay earned his second win of the fall after striking out two in a scoreless ninth inning. Chris Mariscal was 1-for-3 with a walk, and Joe DeCarlo and No. 20 prospect Ian Miller were a combined 0-for-4.

Rangers (Surprise)
Charles Leblanc was 2-for-5 and hit a game-tying two-run single in the ninth, but Joe Barlow took the loss after allowing the walk-off single in the bottom of the frame. Joe Kuzia also didn't fare well, allowing five runs in two-thirds of an inning.

NL East

Braves (Peoria)
Braves No. 6 prospect Cristian Pache was 1-for-3 with a walk and his third stolen base, and also recorded an outfield assist when he doubled a runner off of first base in the first inning. No. 23 prospect Izzy Wilson was 0-for-1 after entering as a pinch-hitter. Braxton Davidson was 0-for-3 with a walk and scored a run.

Marlins (Salt River)
It was a quiet day for Miami prospects as Marlins No. 12 prospect Brian Miller went 1-for-4, and Chad Smith took the loss, allowing two runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning.

Phillies (Scottsdale)
Austin Listi was 3-for-4 with an RBI double to extend his hitting streak to four games. Darick Hall was 0-for-3 with a walk, and Luke Williams was 0-for-4.

Nationals (Salt River)
Nationals No. 2 prospect Carter Kieboom went 0-for-3 with a walk. Ben Braymer worked a scoreless inning of relief, striking out one and allowing one hit. Daniel Johnson (No. 7) finished the day 0-for-4

Mets (Scottsdale)
Top Mets prospect Andrew Gimenez and No. 11 prospect Desmond Lindsay combined to go 0-for-6.

NL Central

Brewers (Peoria)
After entering the game as a defensive sub, Weston Wilson walked and tied the game with an RBI single as part of Peoria's game-winning rally in the ninth inning. That helped starter Bubba Derby, who allowed one run in five strong frames but was on track for the loss. Brewers No. 1 prospect Keston Hiura and No. 19 prospect Trent Grisham both went 0-for-3.

Cardinals (Surprise)
Cardinals No. 27 prospect Conner Greene helped steady the ship after the Surprise pitching staff coughed up 10 early runs, as he got four groundouts and a strikeout as part of two perfect innings out of the bullpen. Lane Thomas started Surprise's late rally with a two-run single in the eighth, while Andy Young doubled, walked and scored two runs. Jeremy Martinez was 1-for-4 with a run.

Cubs (Mesa)
Cubs No. 6 prospect Nico Hoerner led Mesa hitters with three RBIs, as he doubled twice and hit a two-run single to hit safely in his fourth consecutive game. DJ Wilson (No. 16) added a double and a run, and Trent Giambrone (No. 29) walked twice. Manuel Rondon pitched a perfect fifth inning. More »

Pirates (Surprise)
Pirates No. 16 prospect Will Craig mashed his sixth homer of the fall, a three-run shot, to cap a five-run rally in the eighth. Bryan Reynolds (No. 8) was 0-for-3 with a walk, and Cole Tucker (No. 5) didn't hit after entering as a pinch-runner in the ninth. Geoff Hartlieb walked two in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Reds (Scottsdale)
Mark Kolozsvary hit his second double of the fall and was 1-for-4, while No. 23 propsect Alfredo Rodriguez was 1-for-3.

NL West

D-backs (Salt River)
The D-backs' No. 3 prospect, Jazz Chisholm, reached base three times, tallying two hits and a walk, and scored a run from the leadoff spot in the Rafters' lineup. D-back's No. 5 prospect Daulton Varsho finished 0-for-2, then was substiutted out. Pavin Smith (No. 4) finished the day 0-for-3 with a walk, and Drew Ellis went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts

Giants (Scottsdale)
Chase Johnson tossed his eighth consecutive scoreless appearance, allowing one hit in two innings, while striking out four. Giants No. 28 prospect CJ Hinojosa was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Padres (Peoria)
Padres No. 23 prospect Hudson Potts was 0-for-2.

Dodgers (Glendale)
Dodgers No. 20 prospect Errol Robinson and Cody Thomas each had 1-for-4 performances. Jared Walker finished 1-for-3 with a walk.

Rockies (Salt River)
Josh Fuentes launched a two-run home run, his only hit of the day (1-for-4), to put the Rafters ahead 2-0 in the top of the first inning. Rockies No. 9 prospect Sam Hilliard went 0-for-4.

Woodrow reaches base four times in AFL action

MLB.com

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Wednesday:

• Gameday: Salt River 4, Glendale 3 | Mesa 10, Surprise 6 | Scottsdale 10, Peoria 3

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Wednesday:

• Gameday: Salt River 4, Glendale 3 | Mesa 10, Surprise 6 | Scottsdale 10, Peoria 3

AL East

Blue Jays (Surprise)
Blue Jays No. 9 prospect Cavan Biggio went 2-for-4 with a double, a single, an RBI and two strikeouts.

Orioles (Glendale)
Orioles No. 12 prospect Ryan McKenna went 1-for-3 with a single, two RBIs, a walk and a run scored. Steve Wilkerson went 0-for-3 with a walk. Tyler Erwin allowed an unearned run on one hit in one inning of relief.

Rays (Peoria)
Brandon Lawson struggled in his start, giving up four runs on six hits, and lasted only one inning. Phoenix Sanders didn't fare much better, as he gave up two runs in two innings. Dalton Moats gave up one run in one inning.

Red Sox (Mesa)
Red Sox No. 10 prospect Josh Ockimey went 0-for-5 with an RBI and two strikeouts. Bobby Dalbec (No. 6) went 2-for-2 with a double, an RBI, a run scored and two walks.

Yankees (Glendale)
Steven Sensley was the only Yankees prospect with a hit in a 1-for-3 afternoon. Yankees No. 2 prospect Estevan Florial went 0-for-3, but he walked, stole a base and scored a run. Thairo Estrada (No. 16) went 0-for-4. Matt Wivinis struck out the only batter he faced to get Glendale out of a jam in the eighth.

AL Central

Indians (Glendale)
Catcher Li-Jen Chu went 1-for-4.

Royals (Surprise)
Meibrys Viloria went 2-for-4 with a single, a triple, a walk and two runs scored. Nick Heath was 1-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Royals No. 2 prospect Khalil Lee went 1-for-5 with an RBI.

Tigers (Mesa)
Daniel Woodrow went 2-for-4 with two singles, two walks and a run scored. Jake Rogers went 2-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored.

Twins (Salt River)
Twins No. 18 prospect Travis Blankenhorn raised his Fall League average to .224 with three hits while also walking and scoring a run. Jaylin Davis went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to four games.

White Sox (Glendale)
Tanner Banks rebounded from a shaky outing in his last start with five strong innings, allowing one run on six hits with one strikeout. White Sox No. 4 prospect Luis Robert went 1-for-4 and stole both second and third base after his second-inning single. No. 9 prospect Luis Alexander Basabe and No. 28 prospect Laz Rivera were a combined 0-for-8.

Tweet from @MLBPipeline: Another look at Robert's 106.7 mph single and two stolen bases. The #WhiteSox OF prospect registered a 28.5 ft/sec sprint speed on the first, 29.5 on the second. Also reached 31.0 ft/sec on a groundout. pic.twitter.com/yKvxqMPlFU

AL West

A's (Mesa)
A's No. 30 prospect Skye Bolt went 1-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.

Angels (Mesa)
Angels No. 4 prospect Jahmai Jones went 2-for-6 with a home run, an RBI and two runs scored. Roberto Baldoquin went 1-for-3 with a homer, two RBIs, two walks and two runs scored.

Astros (Scottsdale)
Astros No. 21 prospect Abraham Toro continued his recent hot stretch with a 2-for-5 performance. Toro doubled, drew a walk and scored a trio of runs. Ronnie Dawson also picked up a pair of hits, finishing 2-for-5 with two RBIs. J.B. Bukauskas (No. 8) had a rough start, giving up three runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings. Trent Thornton (No. 24) fared much better, striking out four and yielding only one hit over 2 1/3 innings.

Mariners (Peoria)
Mariners No. 20 prospect Ian Miller went 1-for-2 and Joe DeCarlo went 0-for-3.

Rangers (Surprise)
Charles Leblanc went 1-for-4 with a single and a walk.

NL East

Braves (Peoria)
Ray-Patrick Didder and Izzy Wilson each went 1-for-4. Braxton Davidson finished 0-for-4.

Marlins (Salt River)
Marlins No. 12 prospect Brian Miller had two hits in his second consecutive game, including a two-run single in the eighth inning. The knock scored No. 2 prospect Monte Harrison, who entered as a pinch-runner and stole third. No. 27 prospect Bryson Brigman was 0-for-5. More »

Video: Miller on his big game vs. Glendale in Fall League

Phillies (Scottsdale)
Phillies No. 11 prospect Arquimedes Gamboa and Austin Listi combined to go 3-for-10. Gamboa was 1-for-5, while Listi collected two hits in his five trips to the plate.

Nationals (Salt River)
Nationals No. 15 prospect Tres Barrera had two hits for the first time since Oct. 25, while Jake Noll went 1-for-3 while playing both third base and left field. Jordan Mills earned his first win of the AFL season after he struck out two in a scoreless eighth.

Mets (Scottsdale)
Mets No. 2 prospect Peter Alonso broke out of his 5-for-42 slump with a massive night. He hit a three-run homer in the first inning and kept hitting, finishing 4-for-5 with six RBIs, the most by any player in a Fall League game this season. Joe Zanghi and Matt Blackham combined to throw three scoreless innings in relief. Zanghi gave up one hit over two innings, while Blackham struck out one in his lone inning. More »

Video: Peter Alonso discusses his big game against Peoria

NL Central

Brewers (Peoria)
Brewers No. 1 prospect Keston Hiura hit his fifth homer of the AFL season, which brings him into a tie for third place. He later doubled to finish 2-for-4. Trent Grisham (No. 19) hit his first Fall League homer and finished 1-for-4. Miguel Sanchez gave up three runs on six hits in three innings. Jon Olczak finished the game with a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.

Tweet from @MLBPipeline: Keston Hiura continues to rake in the @MLBazFallLeague. The #Brewers No. 1 prospect hit his fifth home run, which is tied for third in the AFL. Gameday: https://t.co/tTRyx6FBJa pic.twitter.com/qQugNgwjBY

Cardinals (Surprise)
Tommy Edman went 2-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Andy Young started at designated hitter and went 0-for-5 with an RBI. Evan Kruczynski started for the Saguaros and took the loss, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

Cubs (Mesa)
Cubs No. 5 prospect Trent Giambrone went 1-for-5 with a single in the first inning. D.J. Wilson (No. 16) went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, a run scored and two stolen bases.

Pirates (Surprise)
Pirates No. 5 prospect Cole Tucker went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and a run scored. Bryan Reynolds (No. 8) went 1-for-4 with a single, a walk and a run scored.

Reds (Scottsdale)
Reds No. 2 prospect Taylor Trammell boosted his average to .298 with a three-hit performance. Trammell tripled, drew a walk and scored a trio of runs. Shed Long (No. 8) finished 1-for-4 with an RBI and Mark Kolozsvary went 1-for-2.

NL West

D-backs (Salt River)
D-backs No. 9 prospect Drew Ellis hit his fourth double of the fall before he was lifted for a pinch-runner in the eighth. Daulton Varsho (No. 5) was intentionally walked as a pinch-hitter following the double and swiped second as part of a double steal. No. 4 prospect Pavin Smith went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored, while catcher Dominic Miroglio (No. 30) went 0-for-3. Kevin Ginkel allowed a run, but picked up his first save of the fall, while Tyler Mark pitched an inning and allowed an unearned run.

Dodgers (Glendale)
Nolan Long struck out a pair in a scoreless sixth, while Dodgers No. 26 prospect Jordan Sheffield took his first loss of the fall after giving up two runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Giants (Scottsdale)
Giants No. 28 prospect C.J. Hinojosa went 1-for-4.

Padres (Peoria)
Padres No. 25 prospect Austin Allen went 2-for-4 and scored a run. Buddy Reed (No. 13) went 0-for-2 and Hudson Potts (No. 23) went 0-for-4.

Rockies (Salt River)
Rockies No. 10 prospect Ryan Castellani struck out seven, tying his most in AFL play, as he pitched five innings and held Glendale to one run on two hits. No. 11 prospect Tyler Nevin hit a game-tying, pinch-hit RBI single, and Mitch Horacek struck out the side in the sixth.

Cameron among Fall League standouts

MLB.com

The final week of the Arizona Fall League provides an early opportunity to reflect on some of its top players and performances. The MLB Pipeline crew has been present for more games this year than ever before, with our team alternating stints covering up to two games per day throughout the six-week season. While my two-week tour of AFL recently came to an end, many of the players that I saw while in Arizona left an indelible impression.

Here are thoughts on some of them, both hitters and pitchers, who stood out the most. And for those wondering about the omission of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., MLB Pipeline's No. 1 prospect and clearly the best player in the Fall League, and Forrest Whitley, MLB Pipeline's top-ranked pitching prospect, please understand that this article is designed to take a deeper dive, looking at impressive AFL performances by prospects who don't carry the hype and widespread fanfare such as the aforementioned names.

The final week of the Arizona Fall League provides an early opportunity to reflect on some of its top players and performances. The MLB Pipeline crew has been present for more games this year than ever before, with our team alternating stints covering up to two games per day throughout the six-week season. While my two-week tour of AFL recently came to an end, many of the players that I saw while in Arizona left an indelible impression.

Here are thoughts on some of them, both hitters and pitchers, who stood out the most. And for those wondering about the omission of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., MLB Pipeline's No. 1 prospect and clearly the best player in the Fall League, and Forrest Whitley, MLB Pipeline's top-ranked pitching prospect, please understand that this article is designed to take a deeper dive, looking at impressive AFL performances by prospects who don't carry the hype and widespread fanfare such as the aforementioned names.

Daz Cameron, OF, Tigers' No. 8
Cameron was raw and viewed as a developmental project when the Astros selected him in 2015. Flash forward three years and the 21-year-old outfielder's game has really rounded into form in the AFL after a regular season in which he reached three levels, including Triple-A. Though the approach leaves something to be desired, Cameron has cleaned up his swing while also advancing his spin recognition to the point where he now consistently puts together good at-bats, consistently finds the barrel and is able to tap into his above-average raw power.

Tweet from @GoldenSombrero: After falling behind 0-2, #Tigers Daz Cameron worked the count full, fouled off a bunch of pitches and then unloaded on this 2-R HR @MLBPipeline pic.twitter.com/FeihHB4qVO

Jon Duplantier, RHP, D-backs' No. 1 (No. 80 overall
Duplantier turned in one of the Fall League's better starts on Nov. 6, when he racked up nine strikeouts and recorded over 32 percent of his 51 strikes via swings and misses. The right-hander held his velocity throughout the start, topping out at 97 mph while sitting consistently at 94-95, and used the fastball to effectively set up his secondary pitches. What impressed me in this particular outing, however, was his feel for creating separation between his low-80s curveball, a more vertical-breaking pitch, and his power slider at 85-88 mph. 

Tweet from @GoldenSombrero: #Dbacks Jon Duplantier allowed a two-out 2B (to Taylor Trammell) but struck out the side (all swinging) in the first inning. Here���s his K of Peter Alonso on an 87 mph slider @MLBPipeline pic.twitter.com/CmoOSsJPJP

Nico Hoerner, SS, Cubs' No. 6
The Cubs' 2018 first-rounder's inexperience has been a non-factor in the AFL, where he's hit .321 and looked like a player straight out of Double-A, and one possibly even on the cusp of the Majors. That's not to say that Hoerner will springboard up the ladder in such fashion in 2019 -- but he certainly could. At the plate, he has a knack for barreling the ball to all fields, can handle velocity and adjust to secondaries, and he has more juice in his bat than you'd expect. His arm stroke is a little stiff at shortstop, but it plays up because he creatively finds ways to achieve a good slot, has sound footwork and consistently follows his throws with his body. He's a very, very solid ballplayer. 

Tweet from @GoldenSombrero: More loud contact by #Cubs Nico Hoerner. Dude barrels everything. pic.twitter.com/BUV21SyKxV

Connor Jones, RHP, Cardinals' No. 30
Jones seems poised to jump on the fast track to the Majors as a reliever in 2019 just as Jordan Hicks did after his eye-opening AFL turn last year. Jones, like Hicks, had worked mostly as a starter before the AFL, where he's shown dominant stuff in short bursts with an upper-90s heater and plus breaking ball. It's a dynamic pairing that could have him logging key innings out of the Cardinals' bullpen next season.

Justin Lawrence, RHP, Rockies' No. 17
Lawrence blew the save in the Fall Stars Game, but anyone watching in person or at home saw a guy with premium big league-caliber stuff and movement. Working from a low three-quarters slot, Lawrence dials up a 96-99 mph two-seamer with late, darting arm-side life that nets him both whiffs and ground balls. He pairs his heater with a hard, late-breaking slider at 82-84, and together they give the right-hander a two-pitch mix that will be a clean fit in a big league bullpen, likely sometime in '19.

Tyler Nevin, 3B/1B, Rockies' No. 11
In my first look at Nevin he enjoyed his first career two-triple game, with exit velocities of 105.8 and 101.2 mph, as part of a 3-for-4 game. What's more, he hit both triples to the opposite field. I didn't get a look at Nevin again until Nov. 3, when he was just 1-for-4 but also produced 100-plus-mph exit velocities in all four trips to the plate, including three at 104-plus. Right now, at age 21, Nevin still is more hit over power. However, it's easy to envision the 6-foot-4, 200-pounder tapping into his plus raw power during games moving forward, which also would help to offset any concerns about his long-term defensive home.

Video: MSS@SRR: Nevin puts glove on display in Fall League

Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays' No. 4 (No. 90 overall)
After leaving his 2018 debut after just 1 2/3 innings with a fractured right ulna that he suffered on a comeback line drive, Pearson was understandably rusty early in the AFL, showing little feel for repeating the arm action on his triple-digit fastball, and even less so with his secondary offerings. He turned the corner in the Fall Stars Game, when he absurdly (and legitimately) topped out at 104 mph while striking out the side, and he was brilliant in his subsequent start, tossing four perfect frames while mixing an elite heater with a plus slider and above-average curveball. Between the two outings, he showed the highest ceiling of any pitcher I saw this fall. 

Video: EAST@WEST: Pearson flashes 101 mph+ with regularity

Luis Robert, OF, White Sox No. 4 (No. 44 overall)
Robert still has a ways to go in terms of his approach, plate discipline and pitch recognition, but his pure tools and overall ceiling are both tantalizing. His bat speed is among the best in the Fall League, which speaks to his high average there despite a pull-heavy approach that has him hunting fastballs and consistently well out in front of most pitches, and he showed at least above-average wheels on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, that he's started getting to his raw power during games -- like he did on Nov. 8, when he hit a ball that still hasn't landed (see below) -- is a significant development for Robert, who failed to jump the yard in 50 regular-season games but possesses enormous strength and explosiveness in his 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame.

Tweet from @GoldenSombrero: #WhiteSox Luis Robert with an absolutely mammoth home run. Good lord. Nobody on the field moved. Make sure your volume is turned up. @MLBPipeline pic.twitter.com/OuukA6mfEV

Cole Tucker, SS, Pirates' No. 5
Few players made a greater impression on me than Tucker, and not just because he hung around on the field after every day game, signing autographs and chatting with fans until there was no one left. He's a good dude. He's a quick-footed, plus defender at shortstop with a plus, versatile arm and great feel for crashing on balls in front of him. It's not like Tucker picks up scratch hits at the plate, either. He hits the ball hard -- he hit a triple with a 109.1 mph exit velo in one of my looks -- and does so across the entire field, especially from the left side of the plate. He's less advanced as a righty, but still puts together strong at-bats and makes solid contact. Altogether, it's the profile of an above-average regular at shortstop. 

Tweet from @GoldenSombrero: Another knock for Cole Tucker #Pirates @MLBPipeline pic.twitter.com/gz77RLC4aR

Daulton Varsho, C, D-backs' No. 5
Varsho takes impressively loud batting practice. He compensates for being undersized with a combination of strength and athleticism (including above-average speed) that fuels his profile as a dual-threat backstop. That he's spent most of the AFL leading off for Salt River is a testament to his advanced eye and patient approach -- qualities that also portend a potential 55-hit/55-power future.

Tweet from @GoldenSombrero: #Dbacks Daulton Varsho BP pic.twitter.com/y0CcU9elpq

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Inbox: How will Cabrera fare in '19?

Beat reporter Jason Beck answers questions from fans
MLB.com @beckjason

It's time to clear out the leftover questions in the Tigers' Inbox ahead of Thanksgiving.


I've always thought that Miguel Cabrera's ability to hit for average and contact would age better than his power thanks to his ability to hit to the opposite field, similar to how Magglio Ordonez remained a .300 hitter through age 36. The ruptured biceps tendon that ended Cabrera's 2018 campaign as well as the surgery to repair it create some questions as to what his swing will look like in the aftermath.

It's time to clear out the leftover questions in the Tigers' Inbox ahead of Thanksgiving.

Tweet from @LeeHarrison93: If Cabrera stays healthy all year and gets 500 AB���s, what do you realistically expect his AVG, HR���s, and RBI #���s to be?
I've always thought that Miguel Cabrera's ability to hit for average and contact would age better than his power thanks to his ability to hit to the opposite field, similar to how Magglio Ordonez remained a .300 hitter through age 36. The ruptured biceps tendon that ended Cabrera's 2018 campaign as well as the surgery to repair it create some questions as to what his swing will look like in the aftermath.

Submit a question to the Tigers Inbox

Cabrera was having a nice bounceback season before the injury, batting .299 with an .843 OPS despite the miserable early-season weather. His average launch angle had dropped from the 12-degree range to 7.3, according to Statcast™, but his hard-hit rate jumped to 54.6 percent, his highest since Statcast™ started tracking such things in 2015. His strikeout rate, which rose in 2017 as he struggled to reach fastballs off the plate, returned close to his career norms.

Steamer projections via Fangraphs predict a .282 average for Cabrera with 25 home runs and 88 RBIs in 649 plate appearances over 150 games next season. The Bill James Handbook projects Cabrera to hit .301 with 21 homers and 78 RBIs in 530 plate appearances. We'll see what PECOTA projects from Cabrera later this offseason. I still think Cabrera's capable of hitting .300 with 20-25 homers and an .886 OPS. What he does in terms of run production depends on the lineup around him.

Tweet from @CAwlJacKs: Does Miguel Cabrera have more to offer the @Tigers than Albert Pujols has to offer the @Angels?
Pujols is three years older, but has been healthier than Cabrera the last couple years. Cabrera has a litany of injury concerns following him, but he has been the more productive player when healthy. I think Cabrera has more to offer based on age and productivity, but with both players, health is such a major factor.

Tweet from @AndrewPieschke: Does anyone anticipate Daniel Woodrow fitting into the Tiger's future? I didn't really know anything about him until he started popping up in AFL reports.
Woodrow has opened some eyes in the Arizona Fall League, both with his hitting (.370 entering Monday) and his speed (11-for-11 in stolen bases, including a steal of home). His lack of power is a detriment, but with his speed and contact, plus the ability to play across the outfield, he could have a chance to compete for a spot on the Tigers' roster down the road. The style of play manager Ron Gardenhire is trying to instill in Detroit favors Woodrow's skill set. For 2019, his future is at Triple-A Toledo.

Tweet from @YoungGreekOpa: Do you see Jimenez taking over the closers role at the start of the season and using Greene as a 8th inn/fireman role like 2017?
First, we have to see if Shane Greene remains a Tiger next spring or if he's traded. (My guess is that he stays.) If he stays, I don't see a change in the closer's role at the start of the season. I do think Joe Jimenez is the Tigers' closer of the future, but it's not necessarily the immediate future. I also think the Tigers would like to see how Greene is throwing in Spring Training and into the season, for both competitive reasons and for potential trade value.

Tweet from @therealjklebba: Seeing how TV ratings were down and we could use a boost, if the cubs wanted to go for Harper and need to move Schwarber, do you think we could trade a guy like Boyd in a trade for Schwarber?
The Cubs would need to do a lot more than trade Kyle Schwarber to create payroll space for Bryce Harper. And while I think Schwarber is an exciting player, I don't think trading for him would do nearly as much for fans as winning would.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers

Tigers re-sign Kozma, adding depth at SS

Infielder, who filled in for Iglesias in 2018, among 12 Minor League contracts offered
MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- The Tigers re-signed a free-agent shortstop on Friday, but it had nothing to do with Jose Iglesias. Nor, for that matter, does Pete Kozma's return on a Minor League contract fill the void left by Iglesias' expected departure in free agency this winter.

But by bringing back Kozma, among a dozen Minor League contracts announced by the team on Friday, the Tigers protected themselves in case Iglesias' eventual successor is either injured or ineffective. Based on what the Tigers saw from Kozma in his two big league stints last season, they'll be happy with that.

DETROIT -- The Tigers re-signed a free-agent shortstop on Friday, but it had nothing to do with Jose Iglesias. Nor, for that matter, does Pete Kozma's return on a Minor League contract fill the void left by Iglesias' expected departure in free agency this winter.

But by bringing back Kozma, among a dozen Minor League contracts announced by the team on Friday, the Tigers protected themselves in case Iglesias' eventual successor is either injured or ineffective. Based on what the Tigers saw from Kozma in his two big league stints last season, they'll be happy with that.

Other Minor League contracts announced Friday included left-handers Liarvis Breto, Eudis Idrogo and Caleb Thielbar; right-handers Johan Belisario, Christian Binford, Anthony Castro, Jose Cisnero, Fernando Perez and Andrew Schwaab; catcher Chace Numata and infielder Harold Castro. Other than Kozma, Harold Castro was the only one to see time in Detroit last year, going 3-for-10 in six games as a late September callup.

While most of the signings help supplement the Tigers' farm system while the organization continues to replenish its prospect ranks, Kozma is the recognizable name for most fans. The 30-year-old, signed as a non-roster invite last winter, filled in for an injured Iglesias in May and again in September.

What Kozma provided fit his career profile. Though he struggled at the plate despite a home run in his Tigers debut May 9 at Texas, his value is in the field with a sure glove and strong arm. Kozma converted all 39 opportunities he had at shortstop, according to FanGraphs, including two even-chance plays and an unlikely one. His four Defensive Runs Saved in 105 innings topped several Major League regulars, including Iglesias (1 DRS in 1,055 innings). Kozma also posted a 2.8 Ultimate Zone Rating, compared with an 8.2 UZR for Iglesias.

Given the priority general manager Al Avila is placing on defense at short for 2019, it made sense to bring back Kozma as a fallback option.

"For our young pitchers, we're hoping to get a guy that can play good defense at a premium position," Avila told reporters Wednesday at MLB's GM Meetings. "You want a good defensive player that can make the plays for your pitchers, particularly our young pitchers. That's important to us. At the same time, if you get a little offense out of your shortstop, that would be great."

Video: DET@MIN: Castro singles in the 8th for 1st career hit

Kozma and Castro both received invites to Major League camp. So did Cisnero, an Astros reliever for parts of the 2013 and '14 seasons who has battled injuries since, including Tommy John surgery that cost him this past season. He boosted his market with a solid early showing in the Dominican Winter League.

Cisnero has appeared in 10 games for Escogido, striking out 13 batters over 10 1/3 innings with three earned runs allowed on four hits and four walks. One scout who watched him pitch in consecutive games for Escogido last month tracked his fastball from 95-99 mph.

That doesn't guarantee anything, especially for a 29-year-old reliever who hasn't pitched in affiliated Minor League ball since 2015. But it's the kind of low-risk, high-upside signing the Tigers are likely to repeat this offseason as they try to find undervalued players.

Thielbar rejoins the Tigers system after posting solid stats between Triple-A Toledo and Double-A Erie. The 31-year-old lefty went 7-1 with a 2.05 ERA in 57 innings over 39 appearances. Left-handed batters actually hit him for a better average (.246) and OPS (.669) than right-handed hitters (.216/.533).

Anthony Castro posted a 9-4 record and 3.34 ERA between Class A Advanced Lakeland and Double-A Erie, striking out 105 batters over 126 2/3 innings in his age-23 season. Similarly, the 25-year-old Breto racked up 73 strikeouts over 61 2/3 innings and 19 appearances between Lakeland and Erie.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Harold Castro, Pete Kozma

Who will be dealt? Each team's top trade chip