The Detroit Tigers‘ recent top-30 prospect list update was dropped on Wednesday. Jason Beck detailed some of those who have been on the rise and others who have fallen. One of the names of note was Gage Workman, a former fourth-round choice of the Tigers organization who has been working his way towards the big leagues.
It has not been the best summer for Gage Workman, who has struggled with plate discipline and selectiveness with the Detroit Tigers Double-A affiliate. He has not moved up or down from the Double-A Erie Seawolves, but the strikeout issues have continued to grow.
When drafted, there was a lot of projectability, even for a guy coming out of the NCAA ranks after his time with the Arizona State University program, where he was teammates with Spencer Torkelson. He was dubbed a shortstop as he was drafted, but the long-term projection seems to point to a corner-infield spot.
It feels like he's destined to be a third baseman. He's spent a lot of time as a shortstop in the Tigers organization with the affiliates he's played for but has also logged 36 games at the hot corner in 2022 with the Seawolves. The Tigers need to get his in-the-box performance straightened out first.
Detroit Tigers prospect Gage Workman's struggles are concerning.
While a prospect can develop and get better, things can certainly change. The strikeout issues with Workman leave great concern for his long-term plans. Workman has logged 99 games for the Seawolves with 364 at-bats under his belt. He's slashed .217/.270/.385 with 22 doubles, nine home runs, and the unfortunate 162 punchouts.
Workman has been punched out in 45% of his at-bats in 2022. This number is up 10% from a 35% strikeout rate in the summer of 2021 between his time with both Tigers affiliates he played for. There is a lot to like with Workman, but the punchouts are something that has to be taken care of before he keeps moving up the organization's ranks.
He's a switch hitter. From the right side, he keeps the hands high and uses a big leg kick that starts his front side, keeping his hands back and loaded. t heel strike, his hips and torso are beginning to work through the zone, allowing him to get his hands through the zone quickly. I will say, it seems like he keeps his hands back too long sometimes, which has them lagging at times on the kinetic sequencing of his swing.
From the left side, Workman shows a similar swing. Another big leg kick that helps him get in sync, only from the left side; his hands do not seem to stay back as long; Workman often gets the bat into the zone quick, helping him drive the ball and getting a good path to it.
The issue with Workman is the punchout. The athleticism is there, the swings from both sides can be really impressive at times, and the future at third looks bright. But the massive roadblock of plate discipline stands in the way. There has to be some hope that Workman can get things back on track in the coming months to finish off 2022.
This offseason is going to require Workman to turn a new page and get the plate discipline struggles under control. Another season of 35% (or even worse like he has been in 2022) of his at-bats leading to strikeouts will not bode well for his future with the organization.