Batting .826 in triple A with equal strikeouts to walks. A contact hitter with low power, runs the base paths super well. Here is my scouting report from my time in Low A.
"Role: Major-League Above Average 2B
WAR: 1.47 WAR/YR or 7.3875 WAR over 5 seasons.
Fermin is a MIF-type with above-average to plus zone control and plus potential speed. He didn’t show much over-the-fence power but didn’t make soft contact and hit a lot of ground balls. Isn’t fooled often by pitches and meets balls out front. All fields swing. A good athlete, Fermin averages a 4.17 with one recording of 3.91. Has good footwork in the field. Made accurate throws but doesn’t appear to have the arm to consistently make the long throws at third or short. Overall a solid player with some plus tools and a long-term future at second base in the big leagues."
Omar is an excellent pitcher. His three pitch makeup is tough to time and easy for him to control. Cruz has high spin rates, and never exceeded a 3.50 ERA in every level he has pitched so far. His career strikeout percentage is north of 30%. He has sound and easy mechanics, giving way to a great changeup and 12/6 curve ball that breaks a ton. Cruz has the makeup and build to be a long term backend starter, and part of a Pirates trade that gave them the best left handed pitching prospect in the Padres system at the time.
Otto Lopez (plus Michael Fulmer)
A top 30 prospect for the Toronto Blue Jays, something that I think the Tigers are missing in general is quality depth in the system. Although the pitching staff has a lot of players that are already available, hitting has always been a need for the organization. Players like Kreidler, Clemens, come to mind, but adding to that level of prospect would greatly benefit a team with expiring contracts and aging every day players. As a fan of a small market team, expecting the Tigers to have a blank checkbook is both irresponsible and ridiculous. Teams should never have a quote "blank checkbook." It should be a smart checkbook, which is what I personally see after this offseasons signings. Adding depth and potential is necessity through trading expiring contracts for fringe talent.
That being said, I think Lopez would be an amazing fit in Detroit with a larger outfield, allowing him to utilize his contact ability more. Not to mention, a good defender with an above average arm and quick feet. Toronto needs bullpen pieces and Detroit needs a Schoop replacement. Lopez would fit perfectly being a double-digit HR and SB candidate, with quick feet, a good arm, and enough flair to make the game fun.
Benson has the best pure power I’ve ever seen. He was taking batting practice and hit two balls so hard out that one hit the scoreboard in left field behind the fence and the other hit the roof of the practice facility that was 100 feet passed the fence in right. Absolutely crazy. In AAA this year, Benson has a .750+ OPS in over 100 PA with 3 homeruns and 5 extra base hits adding to six stolen bases. Now, I’ve always said that Benson is comparable to Joey Gallo, and if you side by side their minor league careers it is very similar. Here is what I said in 2019 for the 6’5" left handed outfielder.
"Role: Power-hitting corner outfielder.
Very well built, upper half is filled out more than lower half though. Hits the ball really hard, more often than not when making contact. Has more pull-side power but can drive the ball into the gap to the opposite side. Hits most of his contact in the air. Has good vision, drawing a lot of walks and swings come from mostly balls in the zone. Has good speed, both on the base-paths and in the field. Makes routine plays in the field and holds up runners with a respected arm. Ran through an infield pop fly to get a double on a misplay. Shows his hustle. Apparent leader in the clubhouse. Great personality usually gets accolades from those who have met him as being an outstanding person to talk to."
Although trades within the division rarely happen, especially adding prospects of this level, I think it would be worth considering when power hitting comes at a premium in Detroit…especially with an outfielder that has defensive potential and enough power to not let Comerica kill them.
Brito has started off in double AA striking out 28% of his batters faced, while also only walking 6.5%. A player development specialist with the Yankees said that he really liked Brito, mentioning if he can consistently be between 93-95 he will have a good shot at the big leagues after agreeing with my assessment found in my first installment of Diamonds in the rough.
Simon has three homeruns and 11 stolen bases so far in Bowling Greene, and trust me, it isn’t that easy to hit homeruns in that park. Simons strikeout and walk ratings are a bit discouraging, but he has kept his overall power and hit tools. I will expect Simon to reach double A at some point this season.
Florencio has been a miss so far this season more or less. I think his overall pitching will improve, as he has only been bad in two games thus far this season. There are some encouraging numbers, however. His strikeout numbers are up, and the opposing hitters are not pulling the fall as much as they used to.
Isola still killing it with the Twins organization. Now, using advanced metrics for minor league players aren’t always advised, but isola has not had a below average year as a hitter thus far. His good plate discipline and average to above average power leaves a lot of wiggle room for him to continue up the levels. Although, I still am not certain on his abilities as a catcher, last year he only caught 6 stealing out of 65 chances, and this year it’s a 10 to 1 ratio. His future may be as a rotational catcher/first baseman with a bat that stays in the lineup.
Horwitz has spent most of his time at First this season, and has a .700+ ops through over 90 PA. Although his OPS is low, Horwitz has above average strikeout and walk rates, with 2 homre runs and 5 extra base hits. He’s stolen 2 bases as a first basemen, which puts him on pace to get to double digit steals. As discussed before in a potential Michael Fulmer trade with Toronto, as a baseball operations department I would ask for a player like Horwitz as a sweetener to an Otto Lopez deal. These are the under the radar trades that people don’t talk about on the Athletic or on ESPN, with headliners being major league players.
Doing incredibly well in his Triple A stint. In 116 plate appearances thus far, the 26 year-old is batting .877 with 2 home runs and 5 steals, putting him on pace for a career-leading steals number. His power numbers are still relatively low, but his ground ball rates are high, despite high home run to fly ball rates. Hensley would be an IDEAL swipe of a trade, especially for a team in need of good relief pitchers and a good outfielder.
Bermudez has seen better games in triple A. Although his numbers aren’t terrible, the left handed pitcher has struggled in 2 of his three outings. Although his numbers are largely because of one game, his strikeout rates are down thus far, and is still walking batters at an alarming rate.
If I were the Tigers, the Astros would be an ideal trade candidate for the expiring contracts that are in the organization to help the Astros make a playoff push. Something revolving around fringe major leaguers like Hensley and Bermudez will add depth and potential to positions that are in need for the organization.