MLB Pipeline’s midseason update of the top 100 prospects in baseball was released on Monday. For the first time in quite a while, the Detroit Tigers made their presence felt. Each of their last three first round picks cracked the list, with righthander Beau Burrows checking in as the 100th ranked prospect in the game.
For the 20-year old Burrows, this speaks to his strong turnaround in 2017. An outstanding early campaign in High-A ball earned him plenty of notice, including a sharp appearance in the MLB Futures Game. Burrows has struggled to acclimate to the Double-A level thus far, but at 20, he is still running ahead of schedule on the season.
Matt Manning’s stock held strong, as the Tigers’ 2016 first round selection was ranked at number 72 overall. The Tigers have built Manning up carefully thus far, keeping him in extended spring training for the first half of the season. He has done well for the Connecticut Tigers in short season A-ball. This ranking is a touch of validation that the Tigers’ cautious approach hasn’t spooked observers at all.
The other new addition to the top 100 was Alex Faedo, who the Tigers selected with the 18th overall pick this year. The righthander makes his debut at number 78 on the list. The consensus seems to be that the Tigers got excellent value out of their mid-round position in the draft.
While Faedo was regarded as one the top college pitchers in the country as late as the fall of 2016, his offseason knee surgeries sent his stock slumping a bit as the college season began. Faedo erased doubts about his health, building strength and velocity throughout a fine season. He ultimately led the University of Florida to their first College World Series championship with a pair of dominant outings that reasserted him as one of the best pitching prospects in the 2017 draft.
This certainly isn’t a huge coup for the organization, but it does represent a return to normalcy. Three top 100 prospects is basically the minimum for a respectable farm system. Better yet, prospects like Christin Stewart and Kyle Funkhouser aren’t too far off the list. Still, without anyone in the top 50 and only three ranked in the top 100, the Tigers’ development pipeline is still a bit choked. While rankings don’t ultimately mean all that much, it’s still a positive sign that the farm system is finally rebounding.