Well, that didn’t take long. After a bit of curious speculation about his status over the past week, Detroit Tigers fans got their wish; the Tigers promoted shortstop prospect Isaac Paredes to Double-A Erie on Thursday.
Paredes, 19, had an excellent half-season at High-A Lakeland. He hit .259/.338/.455 with 12 home runs and 19 doubles in 84 games, many of which were spent at shortstop. While his .793 OPS doesn’t look too impressive on paper, it came in one of the most pitcher-friendly environments in the minor leagues. Their league average OPS is just .692, over 20 points lower than the Eastern League, where Paredes debuted in on Thursday evening. His High-A production resulted in a 126 wRC+, an especially impressive figure considering he was regularly playing against opponents almost five years older than him.
Now, Paredes will be playing against even older competition. The average player on Erie’s roster is 23.8 years old, a full four years older than Paredes. He is one of two teenagers currently playing in the league, and one of three to play in the Eastern League in 2018.
The others are Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Juan Soto, respectively.
If you think that company is exclusive, consider what Paredes has already accomplished this season. According to TigsTown’s Chris Brown, Paredes is one of three teenagers in recent memory to hit more than 10 home runs in the Florida State League. The others are Matt Dominguez — not the best comparison, admittedly — and super slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Paredes won’t become a physical behemoth like Stanton, but he should continue to develop a bit more in-game power from his stocky 5’11 frame.
While we will be closely watching Paredes’ offensive numbers — he’s already 2-for-2 with a walk and three RBI in his debut — his defensive home will also be of interest. Paredes mostly played shortstop for the Flying Tigers, but also played some second base. Many believe he will eventually have to move away from short as he gets older, and no-doubt shortstop prospect Sergio Alcantara is already on Erie’s roster. Paredes started at second base in his SeaWolves debut, and will hopefully stick there going forward.