Over at The Athletic, Emily Waldon breaks down notes and top players in the Detroit Tigers farm system this week. For Triple-A Toledo the top player is the veteran player Chad Huffman.
While his strikeout rate sits a bit high at 21.9 percent this season, Huffman compensates with raw power, evidenced by his .257 ISO. This week, Huffman hit three home runs and racked up 21 total bases. In Thursday’s game at Columbus, Huffman homered twice — including a grand slam — with seven RBIs and three runs.
Huffman doesn’t qualify as a fix at the major-league level, but he brings stability to the Toledo clubhouse.
Christin Stewart pulled in his 12th home run of the season yesterday as the Mud Hens fell to the Norfolk Tides. The Detroit Tigers aren’t rushing to call up the hot prospect just yet as beat writer Jason Beck points out:
“He has a lot of work to do,” Gardenhire said. “We know he can hit, but there’s a lot more to it. We want him to be a full player.”
That patience was evident in Spring Training, when Stewart was not given a non-roster invite. He made a few appearances in Grapefruit League games as an extra player and made an impression on hitting coach Lloyd McClendon and others.
Stewart, the 24-year old prospect has had one of the hottest bats in the Tigers farm system. But the outfielder hasn’t been playing as well defensively and the Tigers have been fine-tuning his defensive skills down in Toledo. Toledo’s outfield is bigger and more akin to the one in Comerica Park. The Tigers are being patient defensive while the 24-year old slugger is raking in runs for the Mud Hens.
The Tigers, including skipper Ron Gardenhire, have made it clear they’re waiting until Stewart is a complete player before calling him up to the bigs. It’s all a part of the rebuild plan and hopefully, Stewart rewards the Tigers patience.