Guest post by Travis Leonardi
(All GIFs courtesy of @domhunt18 on twitter)
Stellar defense and a bright personality made JaCoby Jones a fan favorite in Detroit since his debut in 2016. He has shown flashes of the power-speed prospect that was advertised when the Tigers traded Joakim Soria to acquire him in 2015. However, Jones’ offensive production left much to be desired in his first few years as a professional. After leading MLB in defensive runs saved in 2018, Tigers GM Al Avila stated Jones could be a future All-Star if his hitting improved.
More after the jump
Yesterday, the Detroit Tigers signed Cuban outfielder Roberto Campos for a reported $3 million bonus, the largest international bonus in club history. The $3 million bonus comes off of last year’s signings of outfielder Jose de la Cruz and shortstop Adisino Reyes, the #15 and #19 ranked prospects on MLB.com’s Top 30 International Prospects list for 2018-2019. Those signings were complemented by the $1 million bonus given to shortstop Alvaro Gonzalez in the 2017-2018 International Free Agent class.
More after the cut
That’s right, welcome Travis to the Glass Half Fulmer team! Travis already has some ideas in mind for future Glass Half Fulmer pieces, and will be hanging around on the twitter account from time to time. Go say hi and/or give him a follow!
With the first ten rounds of the 2019 MLB Entry Draft in the books, the Tigers have bucked their trend of pursuing hard throwing SEC pitchers in favor of bats. Given that this class, shallower than most, was deep in good college bats, that was probably a wise decision. Combined with the Tigers’ weak pool of position player prospects, the emphasis on offense and power made total sense. But what about the individual players themselves? How did the Tigers do overall? Let’s take a look at each of the ten picks Detroit made in the draft this year, and look at their overall strengths and weaknesses.
With the 47th overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft, the Detroit Tigers selected third baseman Nick Quintana, a right-handed hitter out of Arizona State. Quintana is an elite college bat with plus power and plus defense at third base. He does have some issues with making contact, but he’s a high-upside player who has a real chance to start.
Of note, Quintana helps fill a major gap in the system, which is currently weak on corner infield bats and power.
Breaking a trend of selecting hard-throwing pitchers, the Tigers have selected prep outfielder Riley Greene at #5 overall in the MLB draft.
Greene, a left-handed hitter, is the impact bat Tigers fans have been craving. At 18 years old, he’ll take a little more time to develop than one of the college bats might have. Currently, he has elite contact skills and possesses an advanced approach at the plate, with plate discipline beyond his years. Greene projects to hit for power to all fields, though he still has to grow a bit more into his frame, as he’s more a line drive hitter right now.
Greene’s biggest weakness is on defense, where his athleticism and weak arm project him to either left field or first base. Granted, if he hits his ceiling with regard to power and patience, his defensive home won’t matter so much, but don’t expect Greene to be a wizard in the field.
As a high-school hitter, Greene will take some time to reach Detroit, but if all breaks right, expect an elite power threat who can hit in the center of the lineup for years to come.
More at MLB.com
Scouting Report at Bless You Boys
This was originally scheduled for June 1st, but since it’s an offday I decided to release it into the wilds a little early.
Your friends at Glass Half Fulmer decided it was time high time to bring back the GHF schedule wallpapers. After making these, I have a new appreciation for old friend MonkeyWrench32 and his graphic skillz.
Get yer wallpapers here! We have a couple different sizes to choose from:
And a Thing of note:
Your Glass Half Fulmer team is welcoming on longtime friend of the blog, tokarzontigers, as a contributor. Let’s give Tokarz a friendly welcome and don’t forget to check out his piece on Niko Goodrum here!
The Tigers’ offense has been abysmal this year. Detroit ranks 29th in fWAR and wRC+, and 28th in wOBA, all metrics used to roughly evaluate raw offensive output. Offensive black holes like Josh Harrison and Grayson Greiner litter the diamond, and with Miguel Cabrera showing his age and Nicholas Castellanos not flashing any power, the position players look anemic at the plate. But there has been one bright spot in Niko Goodrum.
Goodrum, of course, doesn’t look like he’s done particularly well, hitting .213/.311/.341 in 190 plate appearances. He’s defensively useful, since he can play both outfield corners as well as either first or second base, but a cursory look at his 0.1 fWAR makes Goodrum look like yet another scrub in a bad lineup.
So why is the young utility player a bright spot? A deeper examination of Goodrum’s hitting stats shows that he’s been very unlucky, and that he’s not only due for a rebound, but hitting the ball better than last year. Let’s dive into some numbers and see why.
More after the cut
Kansas City Royals
Jorge Lopez (R)
1. Whit Merrifield (R) RF
2. Adalberto Mondesi (S) SS
3. Alex Gordon (L) LF
4. Jorge Soler (R) DH
5. Frank Schwindel (R) 1B
6. Chris Owings (R) 2B
7. Hunter Dozier (R) 3B
8. Martín Maldonado (R) C
9. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
Matt Moore (L)
1. Josh Harrison (R) 2B
2. Nicholas Castellanos (R) RF
3. Miguel Cabrera (R) 1B
4. Niko Goodrum (S) DH
5. Jeimer Candelario (S) 3B
6. Christin Stewart (L) LF
7. Mikie Mahtook (R) CF
8. Grayson Greiner (R) C
9. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
The Tigers look to claim another series early on this season, as they send veteran Matt Moore to the mound against the Kansas City Royals. Moore looked good in his first Tigers start; he gave up just two hits, walked one, and struck out six in seven innings.
Enjoy it while it lasts.
The Tigers, who sit at 5-3 at the start of the day, are essentially tied for first place with the Minnesota Twins. That’s what everyone expected to see even eight or nine days into the 2019 season. Right? Right!
OR: Fun With Small Sample Sizes
April 5th was the Detroit Tigers’ first offday of the 2019 season. The Tigers, as one might expect, sit at 5-3 and are currently in second place behind only the Minnesota Twins despite a -4 run differential. It’s what we all expected, right? Right!
How have the Tigers done it? Most fans expected a dismal start to the season, considering the Tigers did next to nothing to improve on a team that staggered to a 64-98 season the year before. So, what gives? Well, the starting rotation, which one might reasonably expect to be terrible, especially with the absence of Michael Fulmer due to Tommy John surgery, has been carrying the team this first week.
More after the cut!