Detroit Tigers Outfield Depth: How Riley Greene and Austin Meadows can lead the Tigers to success

A Look at the Promising Future of the Detroit Tigers Outfield

Continuing on the depth of the 2023 Detroit Tigers we will talk about the outfielders, with Riley Greene having his first full season in the big leagues and some solid prospects who will be in the minor leagues and can contribute to the future for the Tigers.

Why It Matters:

There are some solid prospects in the Tigers organization, but they will have their first full season of Greene in the big leagues, Austin Meadows is back healthy and ready to go. There are a lot of young faces in the minor leagues who could play a role this season but there’s also a name who could be a part of this team’s bright future in a few years as well.

Detroit Tigers Outfield Depth

Major League Options:

Riley Greene – Bats: L | Throws: L

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2022 Stats (MLB): 418 PA, .253/.321/.362, 5 HR, 42 RBI, 98 wRC+, .303 wOBA

Riley Greene, Detroit Tigers

Greene is entering his first full season in the big leagues and may be the most exciting player to watch on this team entering 2023. Unfortunately, he couldn't break camp with the big club in 2022 due to a foul ball off his foot in Spring Training. He rehabbed in Toledo where he posted a slash line of .274/.338/.387. With the Tigers, he was a -1.1 WAR offensively and a -3.6 WAR defensively but overall, he had a 0.9 WAR. This season look for Greene to make great plays in the outfield and post some solid numbers at the plate.

Austin Meadows– Bats: L | Throws: L

2022 Stats (MLB): 147 PA, .250/.347/.328, 0 HR, 11 RBI, 101 wRC+, .307 wOBA

Austin Meadows

Meadows is expected to be the starting right fielder in 2023 after a difficult season in 2022 dealing with an Achilles injury, vertigo, and mental health issues. In 2023 he will look to put numbers up along the lines of what he did in Tampa Bay in 2019 when he had a 32.2 offensive WAR and a slash line of .291/.364/.558 hitting 33 home runs and driving in 89 runs. That would be welcomed production if Meadows can return to that form for the Tigers in 2023.

Akil Baddoo – Bats: L | Throws: L

2022 Stats (MLB): 225 PA, .204/.289/.269, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 65 wRC+, .256 wOBA

Detroit Tigers Outfield Depth,Riley Greene,Austin Meadows,Detroit Tigers
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In 2021, Baddoo burst onto the scene but in 2022 he had a down year that saw Detroit send him down to AAA Toledo to try to figure things out. There he posted a slash line of .300/.405/.500 forcing the Tigers to bring him back up. When he returned to Detroit, he would post a slash line of .225/.312/.285. Baddoo will look to have a similar season that he did in 2021 and be the Tigers' everyday left fielder in 2023.

Kerry Carpenter – Bats: L | Throws: R

2022 Stats (MLB): 113 PA, .252/.310/.485, 6 HR, 10 RBI, 126 wRC+, .342 wOBA

Detroit Tigers Outfield Depth,Riley Greene,Austin Meadows,Detroit Tigers

In 2022, Carpenter climbed his way all the way up the Tigers system. He started last season in Erie then after just 63 games he found his way to Toledo where he played in 35 games before heading to Detroit. In the minors, last season Carpenter posted a combined slash line of .313/.380/.645 hitting 30 home runs and driving in 75 runs over the combined 98 games in Erie and Toledo. In Erie, Carpenter had a .422 wOBA and 164 wRC+ when he got to Toledo, he had a .453 wOBA and 176 wRC+. Expect Carpenter to have a solid year for the Tigers in 2023, picking up where he left off in 2022.

Matt Vierling– Bats: R | Throws: R

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2022 Stats (MLB): 357 PA, .246/.297/.351, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 81 wRC+, .285 wOBA

Detroit Tigers Outfield Depth,Riley Greene,Austin Meadows,Detroit Tigers
Via Baseball Savant

Vierling came to the Tigers in the trade that sent Gregory Soto to Philadelphia. Vierling is expected to be a backup outfielder for the Detroit Tigers, but is a versatile defender and can be utilized elsewhere. He has appeared in 151 career major league games with 117 of those coming last season. Vierling was a -7.5 WAR offensively and a -4.9 defensively for the Phillies last season. He did post some decent numbers in 2021 with a slash line of .324/.364/.479, a .356 wOBA, and 121 wRC+. He also accumulated a 2.7 offensive WAR and a 0.4 defensive WAR. Vierling is not a power guy only hitting eight career big league home runs, he will be a solid contact bat off the bench for the Tigers in 2023.

Down In The Minors:

Parker Meadows – Bats: L | Throws: R

2022 Stats (AA): 489 PA, .275/.354/.466, 16 HR, 51 RBI, 122 wRC+, .359 wOBA

Meadows is the younger brother of Austin, and they are together at Spring Training for the first time. Parker was drafted by the Tigers 44th overall in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft, he debuted later that season in rookie ball. He is expected this season to start the year off with Toledo after playing most of last season in Erie. He started his season last year in high A playing for the West Michigan WhiteCaps and posted solid numbers after just 14 games with a slash line of .230/.288/.525 and 114 wRC+ which earned him the call to AA.

Jonathan Davis– Bats: R | Throws: R

2022 Stats (MLB): 91 PA, .224/.344/.237, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 77 wRC+, .278 wOBA

Davis comes to the Tigers on a Minor League deal after playing last season in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. He spent some time in the minors last season playing in a combined 49 games between AAA and high A. Davis is a solid defensive outfielder, last year he was a 2.8 defensive WAR. His bat had been one of his downfalls, but he posted a decent slash line in the minor last year .289/.390/.422. He will patrol center field for Toledo to start the year.

Justyn-Henry Malloy – Bats: S | Throws: R

2022 Stats (AA): 238 PA, .268/.403/.421, 6 HR, 31 RBI, 125 wRC+, .379 wOBA

Malloy comes over to the Tigers from the Atlanta Braves in a trade where the Tigers sent Joe Jimenez to Atlanta. Malloy is now ranked as the seventh prospect on the Tigers' Top 30. Last season Malloy moved up to AAA, appearing in only eight games and posting solid numbers in a short sample size hitting one home run and driving in six runs with a slash line of .280/.424/.440 all while posting a .390 wOBA and 136 wRC+. Malloy is also in play to be the Tigers' third baseman when the season starts but he most likely will play for AAA Toledo.

DJ Peters – Bats: S | Throws: R

2022 Stats (KBO): 354 PA, .228/.299/.402, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 94 wRC+, .321 wOBA

Peters signed on February 8th with the Tigers after spending last season in the Korean Baseball League and then ending the season playing in AAA for the Washington Nationals. Peters has seen time in the Majors appearing in 70 games in the 2021 season with 18 coming with the Dodgers and 52 with the Texas Rangers. In those 70 games, he posted a slash line of .197/.242/.422 hitting 13 home runs and driving in 38 runs. Peters is expected to start this season in AAA getting most of his playing time when Malloy plays third base.

Daniel Cabrera – Bats: L | Throws: L

2022 Stats (AA): 400 PA, .206/.288/.304, 5 HR, 33 RBI, 65 wRC+, .271 wOBA

Cabrera was drafted by the Tigers in the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft with the 62nd overall pick. Over the course of his first two pro seasons, Cabrera has jumped back and forth between high A and AA. Cabrera posted a solid season last year for high A West Michigan posting a slash line of .346/.386/.510 hitting three home runs, driving in 13 runs with a 146 wRC+ and a .399 wOBA. Cabrera will start the 2023 season playing in AA for the Erie Seawolves.

Roberto Campos – Bats: S | Throws: R

2022 Stats (A): 448 PA, .258/.326/.385, 5 HR, 50 RBI, 103 wRC+, .330 wOBA

Campos signed with the Tigers on July 2, 2019, and started his career with the FCL Tigers West team before last year playing for the Lakeland Flying Tigers Tigers A-level team. Campos is the Tigers' number 13th-rated prospect, and he continues to get better as he gets older. He is entering his age 20 season and is expected to play for high A West Michigan to start the season he may even potentially make it to AA and play for Erie this season. Campos is a prospect to watch, but he is not expected to make the Tigers roster until 2024 or even 2025.

The Big Picture for the Tigers in the Outfield

The Detroit Tigers starting outfield may see a lot of changes throughout the season as this team will be looking to get all their players at-bats. Throughout the season you could see any name listed above, besides Campos, play for the Tigers. The Tigers' outfield group has a lot of potential, especially the big-league names. It will be Riley Green’s first full season and even seeing if Baddoo can return to his 2021 form. You will definitely want to check in on Justyn-Henry Malloy, Parker Meadows, and Roberto Campos as the season goes on.

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