Whatever thoughts you have about the Detroit Tigers rebuilding, it’s hard to argue that a rebuild can’t be successful without a strong farm system.
The last five years for the Tigers have seen farm system ranked 25th, 22nd, 27th, 28th, 30th, and 26th in the last five years. During this period the Detroit Tigers were contending, followed by 2017 that saw them lose 98 games. The team went into an overhaul last season as they traded away Justin Verlander, J.D. Martinez, Alex Avila, Justin Wilson, and Justin Upton into seven of their top thirty prospects on MLB.com’s Pipeline. They’ve also added prospects such as Alex Faedo, enough to make them a top-five improved farm system according to Jim Callis of MLB.com
Signs of the rebuild began last season when the Tigers traded away key veterans J.D. Martinez and Justin Verlander. Once the season was over, General Manager Al Avila admitted that the franchise was in full rebuild mode. The team has already begun stacking up on prospects and making low-level veteran signings to bridge the rebuild gap (see Derek Norris).
With a top five improved farm system, the Detroit Tigers are moving towards a plethora of high upside talent that can push them towards contending for a World Series in the near future.
The Tigers farm system was ranked 26th last season, with the acquisitions last year and the drafting of Alex Faedo will greatly improve the ranking of the Tigers farm system this season. It shouldn’t be a surprise if the Tigers climb as high as 15th when Baseball America releases their 2018 organizational rankings.
The rebuild isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to take time, the Astros and Cubs rebuilt on a 3-5 year plan. The Brewers are in year two of their rebuild and just missed out on a playoff spot last season. In a short time though, the Tigers have greatly improved their farm system. These guys won’t be playing in Comerica park in 2018, maybe not 2019 but the pains will be worth it. Sticking with the team through the rebuild will reward itself. If the Tigers follow the 3-5 year plan you can expect exciting baseball to start trickling into Comerica Park by 2020.
(Top Photo: Detroit Athletic Co.)