Prospects Malloy, Keith headline Tigers non-roster invitees
DETROIT -- Tigers fans looking to see what newly acquired prospect Justyn-Henry Malloy can do wearing the Old English D won’t have to wait long. The sweet-swinging third baseman/outfielder was one of 22 players announced Monday as non-roster invitees for Major League camp in Spring Training next month in Lakeland, Fla.
Malloy, acquired from Atlanta in last month’s Joe Jiménez trade, ranks No. 7 on the Tigers' most recent MLB Pipeline Top 30 Prospects list. Others on the list invited to big league camp include infielder Colt Keith (No. 6), catcher Dillon Dingler (11), reliever Elvis Alvarado (28), plus unranked relief prospects Angel De Jesus and Adam Wolf. Tigers prospects already headed to camp as part of Detroit’s 40-man roster include infielder Ryan Kreidler (8), right-hander Reese Olson (10), infielder Andre Lipcius (23), left-hander Joey Wentz (25) and Rule 5 Draft pick Mason Englert (26).
Malloy, who turns 23 on Feb. 19, likely won’t compete for an Opening Day spot, not with just one full Minor League season under his belt. But a strong Spring Training could put him in line for an in-season callup if he can show polish at the plate and in the field, especially at third base. The former sixth-round Draft pick batted .289 (138-for-478) with 28 doubles, 17 home runs and 81 RBIs at three different Minor League levels last year, culminating at Triple-A. Just as impressive, he drew 97 walks for a .408 on-base percentage, resulting in an .862 OPS. He also hit .306 (22-for-72) in the Arizona Fall League with one homer, seven RBIs, 16 walks, 20 strikeouts and an .883 OPS.
At the other end, the invites list includes a handful of seasoned veterans led by infielder César Hernández, signed by the Tigers to a Minor League contract last week. His 10-year Major League career included two seasons in the AL Central with Cleveland and Chicago, seasons that the 32-year-old will be trying to recapture after a down year last season with the Nationals. Andy Ibáñez, the Rangers’ Opening Day third baseman last year, will try to win the same role in Detroit; the 29-year-old Cuban was claimed off waivers in November, outrighted to Triple-A Toledo soon afterwards and then signed back on a Minor League contract. He hit .218 (26-for-119) last year for Texas with one home run, nine RBIs, nine walks and 21 strikeouts in 40 games.
Also added was former Blue Jays, Yankees and Brewers outfielder Jonathan Davis, who provides a right-handed hitter and speed. The 30-year-old hit .224 (17-for-76) with four RBIs last year for Milwaukee, but he stole seven bases in eight attempts.
Here’s the full list of non-roster invites:
Pitchers: Elvis Alvarado, Kervin Castro, Angel De Jesus, Miguel Del Pozo, Miguel Diaz, Brenan Hanifee, Zach Logue, Chasen Shreve, Trey Wingenter, Adam Wolf
Position players: Brendon Davis, Jonathan Davis, Dillon Dingler, Mario Feliciano, César Hernández, Andy Ibáñez, Colt Keith, Andrew Knapp, Justyn-Henry Malloy, Jermaine Palacios, Michael Papierski, Julio E. Rodriguez