3 Detroit Tigers prospects to keep an eye on

The Detroit Tigers’ 2022 season has been far from what they expected. The wheels have fallen off the wagon, and it’s just dragging on, and it’s only June. However, the Tigers have more prospects in the minors working toward the big leagues.

It’s not just the big-name prospects like Riley Greene and Jackson Jobe that are getting press too. Other prospects have looked like they might be quality additions to the Tigers, too, not just the big-name guys. While some of these guys are pretty far away from the big leagues, there’s plenty to like.

The Tigers do not have the most stocked farm system with the best of their prospects making their debuts over the last few years, but they do have a few guys left in the tank. They also have some prospects who are not top-tier but are still future leaguers in the tank as well.

As the summer continues, the Tigers need to ensure that they start to work on their rebuild plans and ensure they can shift the timeline around and possibly incorporate some of these prospects who are shining. Do not run from the facts; the rebuild appeared it was coming to an end, but it just renewed its subscription for another year, so buckle up and embrace it.

Buying some time is not the worst thing in the world, especially if some of these prospects get to a point where they are more major league ready than they are now. Mainly because they can be of benefit to the Tigers, either on the field or in trade packages.

Here are three Detroit Tigers prospects to keep an eye on.

Reese Olson, starting pitcher, Double-A Erie Seawolves

First up is a right-handed pitcher who has started to look like a possible big leaguer that the Detroit Tigers could call on sooner than some would expect for a Double-A guy like Reese Olson. Some seem to think that Olson’s stock is trending up, hinting at the idea that Olson could be the next man up in the pitching prospects race for the Tigers.

The author of the linked article above, Trevor Hooth, suggests that Olson has refined his mechanics, and it has helped him make significant strides. He goes into great detail about the mechanics and how Olson has worked to alter his delivery, making for a great read if you enjoy pitching mechanics.

Olson has managed a 3.54 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP over 53.1 innings of work in 2022. He’s started all but one of his 12 outings, collecting 81 punchouts while issuing only 13 walks for the Seawolves. The right-hander has been effective, and Hooth’s suggestions about his mechanics appear to be onto something.

Toning things down and getting away from being a max-effort guy has allowed him to work more efficiently (mechanics-wise) and develop from there. He’s got a good pitch mix; there’s no doubt about that. There are four distinct pitches; he has to continue cleaning up the mechanics to get a handle on his control.

His breaking balls will produce whiffs, miss bats, and induce weak contact; he has to continue to develop them. If there’s a player to keep an eye on while the Tigers search for starting pitching options, Olson is one of them. Next up is a former international signee who’s turned heads over the past two years.

Roberto Campos, outfielder, Single-A Lakeland Flying Tigers

A guy who has gotten plenty of buzz in the past is Roberto Campos. The Cuban-born signee has been with the Detroit Tigers organization for quite some time but has finally begun his journey towards the big leagues in affiliated ball. He made his affiliate debut in 2021 and has advanced to Single-A Lakeland for the 2022 season.

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In 2022, Campos has posted a .271/.340/.396 slash line with 15 extra-base hits and 22 RBI for the Flying Tigers over 215 plate appearances. He may only be 19 years old as of June 14th, but there is much to like about what he brings to the table.

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First of all, he’s filling out his 6-foot-2 frame and has a few years to keep building up some strength and looking like a real superhuman. But the youngster has some serious power in his swing, and he’s shown the ability to drive the ball to both sides of the field, finding ways to work backside as well, which is impressive at any level.

Campos has the ability to lift the ball and has shown quality bat speed during his at-bats. He’s got a slightly open stance, using a leg lift to get his weight back as he loads up. He’s explosive from heel strike through his swing, and the strength shows when he barrels the ball up.

He’s also looked good in the outfield, playing both center and right field. There’s just a lot to like with Campos’s tools. He’s got a bright future ahead of him, and with how well he is performing in Lakeland, the young outfielder is someone to keep an eye on. Lastly, a COVID year draftee who’s finding his way with the Tigers affiliates.

Colt Keith, infielder, High-A West Michigan Whitecaps

With their final pick of the 2020 MLB First-Year Amateur Player Draft, the Detroit Tigers took a flier on Colt Keith, a two-way prep player from Mississippi. While the last pick of the draft was a fifth-round pick any other year, Keith had a bit of a chip on his shoulder coming in as a two-way prep guy.

Keith was on a tear going into June until an injury derailed his hot start. He’s since abandoned pitching and honed in on his offensive skills and worked his way from rookie ball up to High-A with the West Michigan Whitecaps. Keith has slashed .301/.370/.544 with 26 extra-base hits, including nine home runs which have helped him produce 31 RBI.

Keith swings it from the left side and had been seeing the ball well for the Whitecaps before an injured shoulder has put a stop to his season for the time being. He was able to avoid surgery but will miss some time. So keeping an eye on him now may not do much, but he’s someone to watch for the long haul.

He’s got an open stance and sinks into his load, but the swing produces power. He’s shown the ability to lift the ball and produce the long ball. After all, he was an Arizona State Sun Devils commit before getting drafted, so the talent was there; it was more about his ability to keep developing.

Keith’s seen time in the field at second and third base. If he can settle into one of these positions, he could quickly become a middle-of-the-lineup power threat at the rate he is progressing. Again, the shoulder injury hinders his performance right now, but the future looks bright for Keith.

Detroit Tigers lose Eduardo Rodriguez for an undisclosed amount of time.

Tigers fans need to keep their eyes on all three of these prospects, among many others. The rebuild is not over, and it will be another year of rough performance, as we’ve found out, so stick with it and buy-in on some of these prospects.

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