Predicting the future is fun. As for the state of the Detroit Tigers, maybe not so fun. But there are always positives, and after looking through the pipeline, the Tigers may have their infield of the future already intact. Let’ highlight these 5 players to see just how bright the potential future infield of the Detroit Tigers might be.
C, Dillion Dillinger
Detroit Tigers catcher Dillon Dingler scores ahead of the tag by Philadelphia Phillies catcher Logan Hoppe during sixth inning action at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on Friday, March 18, 2022, in Lakeland, Florida.
Photo Credit: Detroit Free Press
Although he is the number 10 ranked prospect in the Tiger organization according to MLB Pipeline, the hype on Dillon Dingler has seemed to die down. Dillinger torn it up at West Michigan last year, posting a 925. OPS. He would struggle upon his call-up to Erie, hitting just 202. with a 578. OPS.
But the 23-year-old had bounced back in 2022 hitting 14 home runs, giving him an impressive 778. OPS. Dingler even represented the Detroit Tigers in the Futures Game this year, as well.
The Tigers have Tucker Barnhart under contract for just the 2022 season, so it is likely that Dingler will get the chance to start every day in 2023, hopefully proving himself as the future everyday catcher for the Detroit Tigers.
1B, Spencer Torkelson
Jul 8, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson (20) and third baseman Jeimer Candelario (46) celebrate after the game against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Yes, Torkelson was awful at the big league level in 2022, but to judge a player of his caliber this early into his big-league career is just not feasible. Torkelson’s track record speaks for itself, as he has hit everywhere he has played in his minor league career.
Torkelson is currently playing for the Toledo Mud Hens to end the 2022 season, posting a 740. OPS, disappointing but he has heated in the last week or so.
It would be foolish to give on a such a talented young player this early in his major league career, so while many fans have soured on the former number one overall pick, in time they could very well be eating their words in the years to come.
2B, Jace Jung
The 2nd highest ranked prospect in the Detroit Tigers organization, as well as the 74th best prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, Jung has tigers fan hopeful for the future of their middle infield.
Jung hit his first professional home run on August 27th, and has already collected 18 hits in just 21 games for West Michigan. The 12th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, has been praised for his bat, as MLB Pipeline described him as a guy that “may hit 300. with 30 homers on an annual basis.”
The Tigers need offense and Jace Jung has the potential to be a top of the order impact bat for the Detroit Tigers much to the likes of Ian Kinsler seasons ago. The 21-year-old is still years away from impacting the Tigers, but if he continues to hit, we could see him sooner rather than later in the motor city.
SS, Peyton Graham
The Tigers selected Peyton Graham with their second-round pick in 2022, filling their potential long term need for a shortstop. The question for the 21 year-old, will no-doubt be his bat, as he has a lot of improvement to make on the offensive end. Graham has yet to homer in 68 at-bats at Lakeland, also striking out 18 times.
Defensively, Graham’s quickness and strong arm should make him a reliable defender at the major league level. He will have to mature physically, but the former Oklahoma Sooner has a long path to the big leagues.
The Tigers shortstop situation is complicated, with Javier Baez under contract until 2027. But if Graham continues to develop and show he can be an everyday shortstop at the major league level, the Tigers will be forced to make room for him.
3B, Izaac Pacheco
Pacheco has a strong chance at being the future everyday third basemen for the Tigers because of his hitting ability, as well the potential to hold down the hot corner.
The third baseman was the Tigers 2nd round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, signing for $2.75 million. Pacheco has hit well in 2022 posting a 757. OPS at Lakeland, and then hitting even better upon his call-up to West Michigan.
Pacheco is just 19 years old, but he has the makings of a impact bat at the major league level. The Tigers just need to be patient, as the left-handed hitting third basemen could round out the Tigers infield nicely one day.