Well today’s game was a mess, but the Detroit Tigers had some big news as the entire organization has an off day tomorrow. After the game, they announced that top prospects Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson have been promoted to Triple-A Toledo along with rising shortstop prospect Ryan Kreidler.
The Greene promotion in particular isn’t much of a surprise. After cooling off briefly in July, the 20-year-old outfielder, ranked the 8th highest prospect in baseball by FanGraphs, has been on an absolute monster tear for the Double-A Erie SeaWolves. Greene has six home runs and a 1.255 OPS in August. All six homers have come in the last eight games he’s played, making clear that adjustments have been made, and Greene is ready for the next step.
Spencer Torkelson is a similar tale. The 21-year-old, currently ranked the 3rd best prospect in baseball, has been rolling recently. His OPS dipped in July a bit, though it would have to after June’s crazy 1.391 OPS pace, but Torkelson has gotten hot again in August. He has four homers, a .389 OBP, and a 1.006 OPS this month.
As for Kreidler, he’s really having a surprisingly good season after an aggressive promotion to Double-A. The Tigers 4th round pick in 2019, the 23-year-old barely got a look at pro ball before COVID shut things down in 2020. It hasn’t phased him much. Kreidler holds a .765 OPS and has spent the whole season to date with the SeaWolves. Defensively, Kreidler isn’t a standout, but may be able to hold his own defensively even to major league standards.
FanGraphs had Kreidler ranked 29th entering the season, with a 40 future value grade. That will need some re-evaluation now as Kreidler has done a pretty nice job. The big knock on him post-draft was a lack of in-game power, but he’s put some of those concerns to rest, cracking 15 long balls for Erie this season. He’s still not anywhere near Tork and Greene as a prospect, but as he plays a crucial position for the Tigers rebuilding effort, he’s worth keeping an eye on.
Arguably, none of this means anything for Greene and Torkelson’s timetable to the major leagues. They were always going to get a stop at Toledo, despite the fact that most of the advanced pitching prospects in the game tend to graduate quickly from Double-A to the major leagues. Still, a strong finish for the Mud Hens should give them an outside shot to compete for a 26-man roster spot next spring. More likely, the Tigers will give them a month or two in Toledo before deciding on a call-up. The outcome of the CBA negotiations this offseason may play into whether any gaming of service time is involved.
For now, the Toledo Mud Hens just became the hottest ticket in town. Ok, the second hottest, until Miguel Cabrera eventually lifts homer number 500 over the wall. But if you’re more interested in the future, getting to a Mud Hens game down the stretch should be on your list this season.