The Detroit Tigers promoted top prospects Daz Cameron, Parker Meadows, and 10 (!) other players up the minor league ladder on Friday morning. Cameron will finish out the season at Triple-A Toledo after starting the year in High-A ball, while Meadows will reach Low-A Connecticut in his first professional season.
Here is the full list of moves, per the Tigers’ official blog:
- OF Daz Cameron to Triple-A Toledo
- RHP Alfred Gutierrez to Toledo*
- OF Troy Montgomery to Double-A Erie
- INF Herlis Rodriguez to Erie
- INF Kody Clemens to High-A Lakeland
- OF Brock Deatherage to Lakeland
- INF Wenceel Perez to Single-A West Michigan
- INF Reece Hampton to West Michigan
- OF Parker Meadows to Rookie Level Connecticut
- INF Jose King to Connecticut
- LHP Alfredo Silva to Connecticut
- OF Matthew Jarecki to GCL West
As you can see, there is a lot to unpack here. Cameron is an obvious headliner, and is now knocking on the door of the major leagues (no, he’s not getting a September call-up). He hit .259/.346/.370 in 246 plate appearances at High-A Lakeland to start the year, and kept on rolling with a 133 wRC+ in 226 plate appearances at Double-A Erie. His strong defense up the middle also helps, and he’s looking more and more like a true “center fielder of the future.”
Daz in AAA is interesting. I saw quite a bit of him in Lakeland. Consistent hard line drive contact to RF. Lot of swing and miss for a lead off hitter. May grow into plus power. Has a good feel at the plate. Will lose himself sometimes and give ABs away. Plus defense. #Tigers— Jason Woodell (@JasonAtTheGame) August 17, 2018
Meadows moving up to Connecticut is also a nice bump. The 18-year-old hit .284/.376/.500 in the Gulf Coast League, not an easy feat for a recently drafted prep player. He struck out in 29.4 percent of his plate appearances and was riding a .378 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) so it will be interesting to see how he closes out the season. We may even see the Tigers challenge him with an early promotion to Single-A West Michigan next season.
Kody Clemens and Brock Deatherage were both deserving of promotions, but we shouldn’t read too far into them. Both players are advanced college bats from big programs — Clemens came from Texas, obviously, and Deatherage starred at NC State — and should be hitting well against pitching in the lower minors. Clemens posted a 144 wRC+ in 174 plate appearances for the Whitecaps, while Deatherage hit .313/.369/.443 in 46 games.
Two other names to watch are shortstops Wenceel Perez and Jose King. We have been on the Perez bandwagon for a couple years now, and he has started to receive some national attention for his performance this year.
Perez hit .383/.462/.543 in 20 games down in the Gulf Coast League, good enough for a 183 (!) wRC+. His performance dropped off after moving up to Connecticut, but I like that the Tigers are challenging him with a brief promotion to West Michigan. He’s still only 18, so odds are we see him back in Connecticut next season. King, meanwhile, has shown that the GCL is no match for him. In 95 games there this year, he has hit .314/.372/.477. He hit well in rookie ball over the past couple years as well.
*Gutierrez actually made his Triple-A debut on Thursday, and it did not go well.