Detroit Tigers: With Farm System in Trouble, Tigers Need to Win Now
Mike Ilitch has made it no secret that his focus is to win right now.
The Detroit Tigers' 83-year-old owner is clear that he and general manager Dave Dombrowski aren't focused on the future but are more interested in bringing a championship back to Detroit as soon as possible.
On Feb. 5, for ESPN Insider, senior baseball writer Keith Law released his list for the top 100 MLB prospects, which prompted Law to rank each team's farm system as a whole.
In the last several years, the Tigers have made a concerted effort to get as much talent on the major league club as possible, which has worked to the tune of back-to-back American League Central Championships and a World Series appearance last season.
But because Detroit has swapped over 20 minor leaguers the past few years in deals for major league players, the Tigers' farm system has been left relatively bare.
According to Law, phenom third basemen Nick Castellanos is the highest-ranked Tigers prospect, followed by Avisail Garcia and Bruce Rondon.
But with Garcia likely to make the team out of Spring Training and Rondon going into the spring as the Tigers' closer, Castellanos is the only notable Detroit minor leaguer who is expected to make a major league impact in the next couple years.
The next seven players rounding out the Tigers' top-10 prospects are "a lot of lottery-ticket types in the lower minors, some of whom are really intriguing but very far away," according to Law.
Those players are:
4. Tyler Collins, OF
5. Danry Vasquez, OF
6. Eugenio Suarez, SS
7. Austin Schotts, CF
8. Jake Thompson, RHP
9. Casey Crosby, LHP
10. Montreal Robertson, RHP
Because the cupboard is so bare in the minor leagues, the Tigers desperately need to win now.
If the Tigers don't win a World Championship this season, are they in trouble in the future?
The Tigers are favored again to win the AL Central and are among the favorites to win the World Series.
With the lineup and pitching rotation the Tigers boast, anything less than than a World Championship would be a disappointment in Detroit.
But because the Tigers are relatively old at several key positions, if they fall short this season, the next several years could go downhill.
The Tigers haven't won a World Series since 1984 and would like to give Ilitch and the fans a World Championship.
If they don't soon, it could be awhile before they have a chance again.
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