We’re only a week and some change into the 2018 season, but there have been some early standouts in the Detroit Tigers’ farm.
As we mentioned in our season preview, we will provide mid and end-of-month reports on the Tigers’ farm system, highlighting some of the more touted prospects’ development along with some of the lesser-heralded players performing at a high level.
[Note: Number next to player denotes prospect ranking within the organization (MLB prospect ranking)]
TOP PROSPECT UPDATES
- Dawel Lugo, Triple-A | No. 12
- STATS: .366/.381/.439 since April 5 (41 ABs) / 1 E in 31 chances, 3.80 range factor at second base
- OUTLOOK: Dawel Lugo has gotten off to an encouraging start to 2018. He’s recorded a hit in each of his first nine games at Triple-A Toledo with multiple hits in six of those nine. The Mud Hens have Lugo tabbed as the full-time second baseman but can slide over to shortstop and third if need be, given his prior experience on the left side.
- Mike Gerber, Triple-A | No. 11
- STATS: .257/.316/.514 with 2 HR, 5 RBI since April 6 (35 ABs) / 70 of 71 defensive innings in CF
- OUTLOOK: Mike Gerber started off red-hot for the Mud Hens, going 8 for 18 in his first four games. He’s cooled off since then and may even be pressing at the plate some (12 K in last 23 ABs). Gerber has shown off some pop early on with five of his nine knocks going for extra bases and appears to be playing a real solid center field. Should he maintain this trend, he could be a prime candidate for a mid-season call-up, should injuries and/or lack of production arise with the Tigers.
- Alex Faedo, High-A | No. 3
- STATS: 10.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER in two starts since April 5
- OUTLOOK: So far, so good for Alex Faedo down in Lakeland. The Tigers’ top draft pick from 2017 allowed two homers in his very first professional inning of work but has really settled in since then. Command has been good too for Faedo, striking out nine and issuing no walks. However, some have noticed early on that there isn’t much difference in velocity between his pitches so far.
- Matt Hall, Double-A | No. 24
- STATS: 6.2 IP, 8 H, 4 BB, 6 R (4 ER) in three relief appearances since April 5
- OUTLOOK: Converted starter Matt Hall has gotten off to a bit of a bumpy beginning in his new role. The Tigers have opted to bump the lefty to the bullpen with the overflow of starting pitching prospects in the minors. He still has quality stuff, particularly his curveball, that allows for him to rack up strikeouts.
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES
- A.J. Ladwig, Triple-A
- STATS: 2-0, 0.77 ERA in two starts since April 5
- OUTLOOK: A.J. Ladwig has allowed just one run on five hits over 11.2 innings in his first two starts of 2018. It’s refreshing to see, considering the former 11th-round pick in 2014 had an ERA north of 5.00 last season.
- Eudis Idrogo, Low-A
- STATS: 0-1, 0.82 ERA in two starts since April 5
- OUTLOOK: Eudis Idrogo has been Tigers’ property since 2012. The 22-year-old in recent years has shown considerable improvement with the West Michigan Whitecaps and is doing so again early on. Continuing even a fraction of this impressive trend to start will warrant a call-up to Lakeland down the road.
- Blaise Salter, High-A
- STATS: .350/.366/.575 with 6 XBH and 7 RBI in 10 games since April 5
- OUTLOOK: First baseman Blaise Salter is scorching the baseball early on, to put it lightly. The former Orchard Lake St. Mary’s product and Michigan State grad had never slugged higher than .446 in any of his first three pro seasons entering this year.
- Derek Hill, High-A | No. 13
- STATS: .194/.275/.278 in nine games since April 5
- OUTLOOK: We know it’s early, but this is most definitely not the start Detroit wanted to see from its once top prospect. Not only is Derek Hill fighting it at the dish — striking out in a third of his ABs — he’s also now losing time as the everyday center fielder to another fellow top organizational prospect in Daz Cameron.
- Spencer Turnbull, Double-A
- STATS: 0-1, 6.00 ERA in two starts since April 5
- OUTLOOK: Spencer Turnbull is sort of in the same boat as Matt Hall, in the sense that the clock is ticking with him as a starter. Turnbull is essentially filling in for the injured Franklin Perez (Tigers’ No. 1 prospect) to start 2018 and he has not taken advantage of his chances early on. Again, it’s very early but already on a short leash, Turnbull needs to turn it around sooner than later.