Inside the Article:
Continuing the depth of the 2023 Detroit Tigers, we will dive into the second base position where there will not be a position battle but there will be some solid depth players and even a top prospect who will be in the Minor Leagues.
Why it Matters
With Jonathan Schoop looking to rebound and new additions in Cesar Hernandez and prospects Wenceel Perez and Jace Jung, the Tigers have a lot of potential at second base.
Detroit Tigers Second Base depth
Major League Options:
Jonathan Schoop – Bats: R / Throws: R
2022 Stats (MLB): 510 PA, .202/.239/.322, 11 HR, 38 RBI, 57 wRC+, .245 wOBA
Jonathan Schoop enters the 2023 season looking to rebound off a terrible 2022, where he struck out the fourth most on the team and missed 31 games. Schoop will be looking to post numbers as he did in 2021 when he hit 22 home runs and 84 RBIs while posting a .278/.239/.322 slash line and he also had a 107 wRC+. That is the kind of season the Tigers need to turn 2023 into a better season than 2022 was. However, Schoop's job is secure as the starting second baseman for the beginning of the season.
Cesar Hernandez – Bats: B / Throws: R
2022 Stats (MLB): 617 PA, .248/.311/.318, 1 HR, 34 RBI, 79 wRC+, .283 wOBA
Hernandez played last season with the Washington Nationals and on January 25th he signed with the Tigers to a minor league contract that included an invitation to spring training. Hernandez’s contract is worth $1.5 million dollars if he makes the Tigers out of spring with additional bonuses.
Hernandez posted his best season back in 2019 with the Philadelphia Phillies, his last season with the team when he posted 14 home runs, drove in 71 runs, and posted a slash line of .279/.333/.408, which he parlayed that offseason signing with Cleveland. This season he will enter his age 33 season and his addition could be a nice clubhouse and veteran experience move for the Tigers no matter where he ends up after Spring Training.
Down In The Minors:
Wenceel Perez – Bats: S / Throws: R
2022 Stats (AA): 171 PA, .307/.374/.540, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 143 wRC+, .391 wOBA
Perez is a name to watch for the Tigers in the Minor Leagues. He had some success last season and also had some great numbers in High A playing for the West Michigan WhiteCaps. For the WhiteCaps, Perez posted 236 plate appearances, a slash line of .286/.364/.529, hit nine home runs, driving in 38 runs, posting 143 wRC+, and a .394wOBA.
Perez is currently listed as the number 15 prospect for the Tigers according to MLB.com, and will most likely play for Toledo to start the 2023 season. He could be someone to keep an eye on for a September call-up or even be someone to watch as a potential option at shortstop depending on how things play out this season.
Jace Jung – Bats: L / Throws: R
2022 Stats (A+): 134 PA, .231/.373/.333, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 106 wRC+, .335 wOBA
Jung is currently listed as the Tigers' number two prospect and is listed as the number 71 overall prospect according to MLB.com. Jung was selected by the Tigers 12th overall in the 2022 Amateur Draft out of Texas Tech.
Jung had a successful season at Texas Tech before being drafted by the Tigers appearing in 61 games hitting 14 home runs and driving in 57 runs, Jung’s slash line at Texas Tech was .232/.373/.333 all leading Texas Tech to the NCAA tournament. Expect this season for Jung to appear in AA with the Erie Seawolves to start the season.
The Big Picture for the Tigers at Second Base
Detroit Tigers have multiple options at second base, with a mix of experienced players and up-and-coming prospects, making for an interesting battle during Spring Training. Schoop will have a lot to prove in 2023, not only for himself but for the Tigers as they look to improve upon a disappointing season. The Tigers' future at second base could be in the hands of prospects Wenceel Perez and Jace Jung, as they look to prove themselves in the Minor Leagues.