Tigers Rebuild: Mid-Season Update

We are less than a week away from the all-star break, and with this recent surge of success, the Tigers rebuild has been more than teasing fans with a glimpse into a hopeful future.

Pieces expected to bolster the starting rotation: Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and Matt Manning have already begun their careers in the motor city, each with some degree of success.

Now let’s find out where the offense of the future currently sits in their progression.

Spencer Torkelson

MLB Rank: #3

Tigers Rank: #1

Current Level: AA

ETA: 2022 

The Tigers locked up Torkelson with the number one overall pick in 2020 after an illustrious college campaign, which left him just outside the NCAA Top-Ten in career home runs (A feat he likely achieves had he played a full junior season).

Torkelson made the switch from 1st base to 3rd base and has wowed club officials at his progress, thanks in part to working with Tigers legend Alan Trammell. He has not manned the hot corner since high school, but club officials have been impressed with his athleticism at the position.

Although he had no qualms adjusting to minor league pitching, the power didn’t show until his 15th minor league game. Since, he has clubbed an additional ten home runs, including six since his promotion to Double-A Erie on June 13th.  

He’s 18 for his last 62 and currently on a 16-game on-base streak which includes eleven walks, highlighting his patience at the plate.

Furthermore, he’s only made five errors on the year after switching to the hot corner. 

Riley Greene

MLB Rank: #15

Tigers Rank: #2

Current Level: AA

ETA: 2022

The smooth and fluid left-handed stroke of Riley Greene has brought plenty of success to the former fifth overall pick. Scouts currently have Greene with a 60-grade hit tool with 55-grade power, but he has shown tremendous raw power in batting practice, especially to the pull-side.

He moves very well in the outfield (6.62 60 yd-dash) and thus far has held his own in center field, but scouts believe he may move to a corner position.

Over his last 30 games, he’s slashed a modest .276/.346/.466. Green’s balanced and advanced approach will allow him to continue to climb the minor league ranks quickly, potentially setting up a dual arrival ala-Guererro JR/Bichette of the Blue Jays.  

Green’s left-handed bat will provide the Tigers with a piece they do not have a deep history of in the middle of the order, save for two seasons of Prince Fielder.

Dillon Dingler

MLB Rank: N/A

TIgers Rank: #4

Current Level: AA

ETA: 2023

For better or worse, the Tigers always seem to be in the market for a catcher. Yet you can’t fault them for finding an athlete like Dillon Dingler to man the position. Had the pandemic not shortened Dingler’s final season at Ohio State, he might have gone in the first round.

His 6.6 60 yard-dash time put him in elite athletic company with the likes of Phillies backstop J.T. Realmuto. But his 65-grade arm will be his best asset as a catcher. The Tigers had him work specifically with Mize, Skubal, and Manning in camp to build that future rapport.

Despite his athletic frame and elite physical tools, the Tigers will exercise patience with Dingler as he gets accustomed to the position at the professional level.  

However, he has performed well enough to join future Tigers teammates Green and Torkelson at the Double-A Rank.

Similar to Green, he’s slashed a modest .266/.310/.422 over his last 30.

Daniel Cabrera

MLB Rank: N/A

Tigers Rank: #5

Current Level: A+

ETA: 2023

Cabrera already finds himself blessed with the best last name in baseball. A ten-year career. Minimum.

But the sweet-swinging left-handed hitter has a stroke made for the spacious gaps at Comerica Park. His lack of standout speed does not hinder his exceptional baserunning skills, which granted him 20 steals in 23 attempts in the college and summer circuit.

Club officials predict that due to his advanced approach (notice a trend?), the LSU product should rise through the ranks quickly. Potentially earning an everyday left field starting job.  

Early impressions have drawn comparisons to Andy Dirks and his contributions to the 2012 World Series team, but with a much more impactful bat.

After a solid month of May (.276/.347/.460) Cabrera cooled off slightly in June (.255/.288/.378)

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