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Detroit Tigers News: The international free agent signing period has arrived!

Give Christin Stewart a chance, Alan Trammell’s assessment of the farm, Jordy Mercer returns, and more.

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MLB: Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest news for the Tigers in recent days has been the five international prospects that they signed when the market officially opened on Tuesday. While they did happen to make a big splash by signing a 16-year-old to a $2.85 million dollar contract, there is still time for more developments on that issue.

Meanwhile, there are still some other new topics of discussion for Tigers fans. Christin Stewart is getting better despite his criticisms, Alan Trammell speaks his piece, Jordy Mercer returns to the lineup, and then on to international signing day.

Christin Stewart is figuring things out

On a team starving for power, the potential in Christin Stewart’s bat is a sorely needed presence in the lineup. But the player who twice led his respective leagues in the minors for home runs has yet to truly produce what his prior performances suggest that he is capable of.

So far this season, Stewart is hitting .225/.312/.697 for a paltry 83 wRC+. Additionally, in 247 plate appearances, he has only hit six home runs while striking out 54 times. But it should not be forgotten that this rookie is still quite wet behind the ears, and there is plenty of room for him to grow during this “rebuild” period.

It is possible that the young greenhorn has finally turned a corner in 2019, according to this article from Forbes. After hitting a more respectable but still modest .244/.320/.389 with an 89 wRC+ in June, the former prospect just might be figuring things out at the major league level. The article goes in-depth with visual data that helps show his improvements.

Given his defensive liability in left field, Stewart is going to have to find a way to be more productive at the plate, sooner than later if he is going to stick in the big leagues. The good news is that his adjustments came while returning from injury, so it seems that he is learning how to maximize his downtime as well as instilling diligence into his routine.

Alan Trammell’s prospect report

Alan Trammell — the legendary Hall of Fame shortstop who played his entire career with the Detroit Tigers, in case you forgot — is a man with an expert eye for baseball, but is also very down-to-Earth when it comes to interacting with the young players today. In between bouncing around between various corners of the organization and sharing a post-game spreads with the boys, Trammell truly has his fingers on the pulse of the franchise’s future.

The Detroit Free Press published an article on this very topic, discussing with the former star what he sees in the current Tigers system. Among the topics are Isaac Paredes, Willi Castro, Sergio Alcántara, Kody Clemens, Brock Deatherage, and Daz Cameron. Give the link a click and see what the legendary Tiger had to say about these heralded prospects.

Jordy Mercer returns

Even though he did not get a chance to take the field Tuesday night thanks to a rainout in Chicago against the White Sox, Mercer is back on the 25-man roster and taking back his starting job at shortstop. The 32-year-old veteran is coming off a quadriceps injury, which has caused him to miss nearly two months.

While the absence of Mercer’s bat was not exactly missed — hit just .206/.275/.317 in 19 games before his injury — his competent glove was visibly absent as the merry-go-round of replacements had the constant din of “Yakety Sax” playing in the background. Even though he is essentially a placeholder for this season, his defensive acumen will at least be an upgrade for now. Any thoughts of using the “sign-and-flip” strategy with him, however, are all but dead at this point.

Tigers sign international players

International prospect signing day is here! And while the event gets far less fanfare than the amateur draft or the trade deadline, the future of many players and major league organizations are up for grabs during this prospect feeding frenzy. While the Tigers have often stayed in the background during this signing period, this year they made a bit of a splash.

The biggest news of the day for Tigers fans was inking 16-year-old Cuban defector Roberto Campos to a $2.85 million dollar contract, the largest international signing bonus ever handed out by the franchise. Interestingly, the teenage prospect is represented by former Tiger Alex Sánchez, who stole 44 bases in the miraculous 2003 season for the team. There are reports that the Tigers have come to agreements with eight total players, but only the five listed above have been confirmed.

Rest in peace, Tyler Skaggs

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs passed away on Monday in a Houston hotel room. The initial reports state that natural causes is the current explanation for his early passing. Further forensics will be performed to rule out any other possibilities. He was 27 years old and leaves behind a wife along with a team full of friends.

Around the horn

While the international prospect signing period began on Tuesday, trainers and teams are unhappy with the current signing system. Let us find some Clayton Kershaws with FanGraphs. Ken Rosenthal takes a look at how nine teams may be approaching the trade deadline. The Detroit Free Press opines on what Jake Rogers must do to get to the majors. The Tampa Bay-Montreal plan is just a bluff to get a new stadium built. ESPN’s Mike Trout Tracker, the June edition.

Baseball is awesome: catcher’s edition