MLB Pipeline released its annual top 100 prospects list on Saturday, and the Detroit Tigers were well-represented. The Tigers placed four prospects on Pipeline’s rankings, one fewer than were named to Baseball America’s recent list.
While the Tigers “only” landed four players on MLB Pipeline’s list, all four were fairly high up the rankings. Lefthander Tarik Skubal was the lowest rated of the four, at No. 46 overall. Outfielder Riley Greene followed at No. 31, his highest ranking so far. Righthander Matt Manning, who came in at 17th on Baseball America’s top 100 list, placed 24th at MLB Pipeline. And Casey Mize, the Tigers’ top prospect and former No. 1 overall pick, topped the group at No. 7 overall.
That these four prospects are all so highly regarded comes as no surprise. Throughout the past couple weeks, Pipeline has been naming the top 10 prospects at each position group; Mize, Manning, Greene, and Skubal all appear on these lists. Mize was named the top right-handed pitching prospect in baseball, while Manning landed at No. 7 on that particular list. Tarik Skubal was ranked fourth among left-handed pitching prospects, trailing only a trio of players — Mackenzie Gore, Jesus Luzardo, and Brendan McKay — that were all among MLB Pipeline’s top 15 overall prospects. Greene was named the ninth-best outfield prospect in baseball, just behind fellow 2019 draftee J.J. Bleday.
Mize was ranked as high as No. 2 overall by Pipeline last year, but slid back somewhat as the season progressed — likely due to his late-season injury concerns. It was the third time in the past four years that Mize has dealt with some sort of knock late in the year, leaving some worried about his ability to handle a full season’s workload at the MLB level. Meanwhile, Manning earned a slight bump from where he finished last season, at No. 27 overall. Skubal was ranked 74th overall by MLB Pipeline at the end of 2019. Like other players drafted last summer, Greene did not make Pipeline’s 2019 rankings. He is sixth among 2019 draftees on the 2020 list, the same as where he finished on their pre-draft rankings last summer.
Tampa Bay Rays infielder Wander Franco topped MLB Pipeline’s rankings as the top overall prospect in baseball. He also landed first overall on Baseball America’s list, and should top every major prospect list throughout baseball this year. Baseball America gave Franco’s hit tool an elite (80) grade, only the second one they have ever handed out. Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux, White Sox outfielder Luis Robert, Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman, and Padres lefthander Mackenzie Gore rounded out the top five.
The Minnesota Twins landed five prospects on Pipeline’s top 100, most among AL Central opponents. Shortstop Royce Lewis (9) and outfielder Alex Kirilloff (33) were their only two top-50 players, with three others ranked in the 80s. The Tigers and Chicago White Sox tied with four prospects apiece, all in the top 50. The Sox have the most top-heavy group of the bunch, boasting three top-20 prospects — first baseman Andrew Vaughn and righthander Michael Kopech are 16th and 20th, respectively. Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. was one of three Royals prospects on the list, and the only one in the top 50. The Cleveland Indians have two players on the list, headlined by third baseman Nolan Jones, at No. 42 overall.