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In a media session prior to Monday's game, Detroit Tigers President of Baseball Operations Scott Harris talked about the progress of Colt Keith, who has been tearing it up at Double-A Erie. As a 21-year-old third baseman/second baseman, Keith has been a force to be reckoned with, boasting impressive numbers (.325 batting average with 14 home runs). With the Tigers' struggles at the big-league level, fans have eagerly anticipated Keith's potential promotion.
Scott Harris talks about chance of Detroit Tigers calling up Colt Keith
However, Harris tempered expectations, emphasizing the importance of Keith's development and his young age relative to his competition. Despite missing playing time due to injuries, Keith's focus should remain on continual improvement and refining his defensive skills. Harris expressed excitement about Keith's future but made it clear that there were no immediate plans for promotions.
“Colt has been very fun to watch,” Harris said. “In many ways he’s embodied the offensive approach we’re trying to build around in this organization. He’s swinging at the right pitches. He’s accessing his power almost every night. But if you don’t catch yourself, it’s easy to forget he’s the youngest player on the team and one of the youngest players in all of Double-A.”
“I see all the speculation about promoting him,” Harris said. “But the best thing Colt can do right now is focus on getting better every day. The standard he is setting at that level, being obsessed with getting better every day, is the standard we want to have at all levels.
“The development goals for him right now are to continue to see different types of pitching, working to refine his defense at third base and second base and making up for some of those lost reps he had. If he continues to do that, he’s going to be just fine.
“We’re really excited about his future, but there’s nothing really to report on promotions or anything like that.”
The Gap Between Triple-A Pitching and the Major Leagues is Huge
He highlighted the significant disparity in pitching quality between different levels and emphasized the need for Keith to face varied pitching styles and game situations to further his growth.
“As a general point, we’re going to prioritize in this organization seeing different types of pitching,” he said. “We’re going to prioritize getting as many reps in as many different game situations and against as many different pitchers as possible.
“If you study offensive performance around the game right now, especially over the last four or five years, this level is littered with players who raked throughout the minor leagues and got to this level and struggled. The gap between Triple-A pitching and big-league pitching has never been wider than it is now.”
- Colt Keith, the Tigers' fourth-ranked prospect, has excelled in Double-A Erie.
- His offensive performance has been impressive, with a .325 batting average and 14 home runs.
- Tigers fans have been eager for Keith's promotion, given the struggles of the big-league team.
- Scott Harris emphasizes the importance of Keith's development and his young age relative to his competition.
- Keith's focus should be on continual improvement, refining his defense, and gaining valuable experience.
- Harris points out the significant difference in pitching quality between different levels, highlighting the need for Keith to face diverse pitching styles.
Bottom Line – Patience and Growth
As the anticipation for Colt Keith's potential promotion continues, it is crucial to recognize the Tigers' commitment to his long-term development. Scott Harris's insights shed light on the organization's strategic approach to player progression, prioritizing experience, and skill refinement. By acknowledging the challenges posed by different levels of pitching, the Tigers are ensuring that Keith is adequately prepared for the demands of the major leagues. While immediate promotions may not be on the horizon, the focus remains on Keith's continuous improvement and the long-term success of the team. With the Tigers' patient and deliberate approach, Colt Keith's journey to the majors promises to be a carefully crafted and impactful story for the Detroit Tigers organization.