In this week’s Detroit Tigers notes, a look at where the Tigers top prospects landed on various publications, Chris and I talk to two up-and-coming prospects in the system and spring training is just two weeks away.
Over the last several weeks, the major publications have released their top prospects lists. The most recent one was MLB Pipeline Preseason Top 100, which featured three Detroit prospects. Here’s how Pipeline ranked them:
For Baseball America, Jobe was the lone representative at number 83. While numerous fans may be upset on the number of prospects on the national lists, the Tigers farm system appears to be more on the upswing. Prospects like INF Izaac Pacheco, Keith, and Wenceel Perez are in position to make themselves known more in 2023.
Speaking of Detroit Tigers prospects
Last week, we had the opportunity to talk to two players in the system. Justyn-Henry Malloy and Colt Keith. Here are some snippets from the interview with Malloy. Malloy, who moved up three levels in the Braves system last season, when asked what was his favorite experience so far, here’s what he said:
I would say my favorite, so far had to be Triple A. The few days that I got to spend in Triple-A. I got to spend the last 10 or so days there and then going into the AFL, and I’m a big learner, I like being able to ask other guys questions and just be a sponge.
And then going over to the AFL league and learning from guys in different organizations. And those are now guys that are, around my age. And those guys in AAA were a lot older on that team is a very older team, but now, being surrounded by guys my age who’ve, achieved so much in college and pro ball and like picking their brain and allowing that to transfer over into my game as well.
Keith on his AFL numbers, in which he batted .344/ .463 /.541 after missing the rest of the season after mid-May due to shoulder injury.
Yeah. And it was awesome. I know I was nervous at the beginning just cuz I haven’t seen a baseball in four months. Got, I thought it was gonna be hitting, was gonna hurt me and I wasn’t gonna be able to hit and it was gonna take an adjustment period.
But I hit the ground running, hitting and just slowly, got better and better as the fo the fall they went on. And by the end I had all the power I needed. I could put balls outta the yard. I was.
It’s good. Oh, there we go. And I was seeing it easy and seeing curve balls and staying on my backside and I was crushing baseballs, I was hitting lasers. It was easy, it was fun. Especially playing those guys, it was great. But, what killed me is, not seeing those ground balls or seeing any, type of live balls off the bat.
I don’t know what it was, but when I would, the ball would be hit to me a third and my eyes would just go blurry for some reason. Like I couldn’t see the ball. It was so weird, and it got better and better because I just took ground balls every day and then, it would get really good.
Towards the end I started getting a little better and I was seeing it better and being able to make first moves. But when I first went out there, I think just the four months of seeing nothing off a live bat, I think that really hurt me. Defensive. So I definitely didn’t have my best showing, but hitting wise, I felt great.
I think that’s because during the rehab process I was able to swing with no problems. So I was, I kept swinging the entire time, but defensively, not being able to throw and obviously not playing games out there, I think that took a toll defensively.
Check out the rest of the interview, in which he talks about how much Hall of Famer Alan Trammell worked with Keith on his defense and Malloy’s approach at the plate.