Am I wrong, or are there a LOT of promising rookies on the 2021 Tigers team? A quick listing of rookies looks like this:
I feel like I am missing someone, but you get the idea. There are 11 contributing players who are rookies and doing various shades of promising play. I know that not all have contributed equally, but dang!
Even if we limit it to Mize, Skubal, Manning, Funk, Baddoo, Haase and Hill that would be an extremely large set of talented and cost controlled players to build around.
The obvious hole in this group is a lack of infielders other than at catcher, but that is being overly picky. If you combine this group with our promising young players from a year or two (Alexander, Soto, Cisneros, Candelario, Reyes) before and look ahead to who is in the minors still, we have the core that we need to build around for a competitive team. This list here represents about a quarter of a 40 man roster.
Sure, we won't keep them all, but between future Tiger regulars or trade pieces we have some talent assets to work with. A far cry from where we were 5-6 years ago before the teardown began. And, we can expect to get several rookies on the team next year with any luck at all.
Obviously, Tork and Greene would be awesome, but they may not be ready yet. I would expect that at least a couple of pitchers get their rookie chances next year and hopefully an infielder or two gets their shot and sticks.
From where I sit, I can envision our pitching, outfield, catching and corner infield being set, but I believe we may need to supplement the middle infield with free agency. This could happen this off season, but if not this off season, surely the following. I would prefer that they add free agents last in the build process. Too soon is not my preference.