Diamonds in the Rough, Welcoming the Newcomers Part 1: Hitters

Hello Everyone!

It has been a while since I have posted, and I wanted to walk through a bunch of prospects that are enticing once more. This year has been full of disappointment for the Tigers, and based on their peripherals, they certainly won’t be making much of a comeback. Now is the time to start thinking about what value the organization has, and who may be eligible to bring back international pool money and prospects.

This experiment is going to analyze non-Top 30 Prospective hitters from around the league, showing what makes them tick, and what a trade would look like with those teams from a Tigers perspective.

David Villar, IF, San Francisco, AAA, 25

There are a lot of players that get left under the radar. Whether it be for age, athleticism, or draft position, prospects constantly hit the big leagues out of the top 30. Although this is no longer the case, because as of late the Third Baseman has played himself into the 30th spot in the Fangraphs Giants system. The 25-year-old was a three-year collegiate athlete out of Pembroke Pine, Florida. During his tenure at USF, Villar hit for both average and power, and decided to continue that trend through his minor league career. Not to mention, and honor roll player of the week in his junior season while a student of criminology. At 6’1", 215, the Floridian has the tools necessary for longstanding success. He has size, consistency, and enough intellect to make the honor roll.

This year, Villar is slashing .282/.402/.626 with 16(!) home runs in 209 AAA plate appearances. Following his 20 homerun season the year before, and 13 the two before that, the kid can hit for power. There are two concerns, looking at the numbers. First, the strikeout rate has been consistently below average. On average, Villar has about a 27% K%, two strokes below the mean. That’s not a HUGE concern, but big-league pitchers are better after all, so I would expect that to increase. His swing is great, built for all planes with strength and quickness though. I would say that we’re looking at a mix between Trevor Story and Ketel Marte.


The second concern may be a little more problematic. At 3rd base and 1st base last year, Villar accumulated 19 Errors, and has seven so far this season. There is hope it seems within the organization that he can play second base. His fluidity at second is decent, and he may have some promise there based on his double play turns and quickness.


Trade Idea: The Giants are an older team but still very much in contention. They have plenty of hitting depth, and I doubt they would want to bring in more fielders. Estrada and La Stella are negative defenders at second base, so maybe there are a few opportunities! The Tigers are in desperate need for power, so trading for an infield prospect like this could pay some dividends. Contending teams could always use defense and bullpen help, so a package surrounding Schoop would fit this quite nicely. He's currently Detroits best player and should regress towards the mean with his offense. He has incredible defensive numbers this season while being on an expiring contract. That kind of depth piece would prove useful to the Giants, and he may find himself in the starting lineup. I am including Will Bednar, which you should check him out here:

Giants Receive: Jonathan Schoop, Derek Hill

Tigers Receive: Will Bednar, David Villar

Alex De Jesus, SS/3B, Dodgers, A+, 20

(I see that de Jesus is now in the Top 30)

Personally, I am glad a Dodgers player managed to enter this list, and one that will be on the Loons when I watch them take on the Fort Wayne TinCaps this coming week. De Jesus has put together a very interesting minor league career so far. The young infielder out of the Dominican Republic has put together quite the minor league career! At 6’2", 170 lbs, De Jesus has a minor league career .813 OPS with 24 homeruns and 8 stolen bases. This year, in Midland, he has stood out with 9 homeruns on .269/.356/.817. There are more developmental green flags than red flags. He hits to all fields with all types of batted balls. 22% of his fly balls become home runs, and he has put together consistently above average walk rates.

Here is my in-person scouting report for the Fort Wayne-Great Lakes game on Wednesday the 22nd:

De Jesus is a thick, tall, quick infielder with a good arm and some pure power. Although he tends to swing under pitches, his swing is strong and quick. He uses his lower half in his wide stance to create a strong base but may be limiting a little bit of power from lack of load or flexibility. De Jesus hit a line drive double straight off the top of the 25-foot wall in right field during his game against the TinCaps, showing both his opposite field hitting ability and his power potential. His quick feet allow him to play third and short, but I got an opportunity to see him play third. His arm plays at that position, and De Jesus will not have to stress to make outs at the big-league level.

Organizationally, De Jesus is behind a few prospects of his position, and making it into the big leagues with that roadblock will prove immensely hard, unless he finds an organization through trade. I am looking forward to getting a chance to watch his at bats and see his defense in person. There is little video on him now so I will report back in the Halfway update.

Trade Idea: The Dodgers are a perennial contender with depth and stars. The only possibility to extracting a young infielder with short stop potential. All their highest paid players are also producing, and the only other three teams that have a better bullpen include Detroit. So, here is my suggestion.

The Dodgers acquire Michael Fulmer and cash considerations in exchange for David Price, Jose Ramos, and Alex de Jesus.

The Tigers have a plethora of pitching in their lineup, and the Dodgers are always in win now mode. I’m assuming that the Tigers would waive Price in this situation or keep him on to take on other salary, but the kittens are not looking to compete. Bringing Price back into the mix would add much needed veteran depth with starter potential, while also saving the Dodgers a bunch of money they can put towards the trade market for players that may intrigue them. Adding a top 10 prospect and a below 30 prospects for a top tier reliever in a top bullpen is something that allows teams like this to win championships, and the Tigers could throw in any slew of players to sweeten the pot otherwise.

Kyler Fedko, MIN, A-A+, OF, 22

Obviously, when it comes to scouting some people tend to have trends in who they like and do not like. As a scout, I am generally not a fan of guys that strike out a ton, regardless of the power potential. Player development does not stop when players reach individual levels, and they can always adjust. There are a few universal truths. First, If a player walks more than they strike out, they are a good hitter. Second, if a pitcher has bad peripherals on his pitches, he can only make it so far in the Majors. Kyler Fedko could be that type of hitter, and as an corner outfield prospect with above .150 isolated power in the Midwest High A league. Between Low A and High A this year, the corner outfielder has a 16% walk rate, paired with a 17% average strikeout rate. Not to mention, if you added him to the Tigers lineup right this second, he would be second fastest recorded player on the roster behind Daz Cameron. I will never claim that I know everything about roster construction and even scouting. What I do know is that the Tigers are second to last in walk rate, bottom 10 in strikeout rate, last in isolated power, and second to last in team speed. Suffice to say they do not get anyone on base, cannot extend singles, cannot steal bases, do not hit for power, and have the second lowest speed rating in the league. That does not equate to a mediocre team either.

The only solution is finding players like this that can do at least a few of those things, and Fedko can. If you put Fedko among all affiliated minor league outfielders in the Detroit Tigers organization, he would rank third among under 30-year-olds that have above a 6.0 speed rating, over .100 ISO and over 100 wrc+ in the minors. The only others are Carlos Mendoza (who has a .121 Isolated Power number), and Lazaro Benitez.

Trade Idea: Minnesota is winning the division right now and is poised to try and make some moves. They have the 10th best offense, and the 21st best pitching staff. Trading into a division rival is never the best option, but let’s think about this logically. The Tigers are not competing this year and are in dire need of positional depth within the organization so they can rebuild from their rebuild. They are at an impasse, where they have a ton of fringe talent and young major leaguers on decent contracts. Building around Byron Buxton and trying to keep Correa would be wise, to say the least. They have a young rotation as well! I’ve already written about Alex Isola but here is what I am thinking for the Tigres.

Tigers acquire a package of Dylan Bundy, Nick Gordon, Kenta Maeda, Spencer Steer, Alex Isola and Kyler Fedko from the Twins in exchange for Andrew Chafin and Michael Fulmer.

With Maeda sidelined this may not work out exactly but adding depth in Bundy as a needed veteran arm may benefit a staff befuddled with injuries. Nick Gordon is a prospective major league utility player, with a much better career than either Castros or Baddoo, Spencer Steer is an older second basemen minor leaguer with power and adding Isola and Fedko as depth pieces would be a steal.

Thank you for reading so far!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the <em>Bless You Boys</em> writing staff.