The Detroit Tigers farm system once again ranks in the bottom tier headed into the 2014 season, with only one potential impact prospect and a host of probable late-innings arms.
Headlining the organization’s crop of young talent is Nick Castellanos, who reached the major leagues in late 2013 after a quick rise through the minors. A natural third baseman, the 21-year-old was moved to the outfield in 2012 to expedite the arrival of his bat at the highest level. Although the decision ultimately panned out, Castellanos will return to the hot corner in 2014 following the departure of Prince Fielder and will compete for the Opening Day job this spring.
Beyond Castellanos, Detroit’s system thins out in a hurry, with a plethora of powerful arms but none that carries a favorable projection as a major league starter. They’ll have a bottomless supply of relievers to call on next season, such as Corey Knebel, Drew VerHagen and possibly even Jonathan Crawford. The Tigers could also give catcher James McCann a look behind the plate next season, and if all goes as planned, the right-handed hitter could potentially assume a platoon role opposite Alex Avila.
Here’s a look at the Detroit Tigers’ top 10 prospects for the 2014 season.