30. Wladimir Pinto – Right-Handed Pitcher
Signed as a 16-year old out of Venezuela, Pinto showed promise in his first professional season in 2015, despite walking more than a batter per inning through 16 relief appearances. In 2016, now with the GCL Tigers, Pinto is showing mid-90s heat that has touched 97 mph with plenty of life, and an intriguing breaking ball that could miss bats down the road. His ability to generate velocity stems from his exceptional arm speed and ability to generate drive with his body. Pinto projects as a reliever all the way, but he could be the next big-armed pitching prospect in the Tigers pipeline.
29. Eduardo Jimenez – Right-Handed Pitcher
Still working his way back from Tommy John surgery, Jimenez has looked every bit as good as he did before the injury bug bit him. Working exclusively in relief – a role he is well-suited for long-term – Jimenez is back pumping mid-90s fastballs with excellent life, along with a promising breaking ball that could be a swing-and-miss pitch down the line. Jimenez has several years of development remaining, but with his stuff coming back quickly and his new role in relief, he could emerge as a serious prospect by this time next year.
28. Kevin Ziomek – Left-Handed Pitcher
Ziomek’s stock had continued to slip entering the 2016 season as his stuff wasn’t as good as previously reported, despite the results in Low-A. Since that time, his fastball backed up further and his secondary offerings were not as crisp, leading many to speculate about injuries. In the end, Ziomek underwent surgery to correct Thorasic Outlet Syndrome and will miss the remainder of the 2016 season. With a limited ceiling before injury, Ziomek will have some work to do if he wants to regain his prospect stock as a back-end starter.
27. Grayson Greiner – Catcher
A high round pick of the Tigers out of South Carolina, Greiner is a big, physical kid with strength throughout and some modest potential on both sides of the ball. Though he will never hit for average, Greiner has made more contact this season, and that improved contact has resulted in an ability to show his strength in games more frequently. Defensively, Greiner has average potential behind the plate, making him a candidate to reach the Major Leagues as a backup catcher in the near future.
26. Sandy Baez – Right-Handed Pitcher
Scouts remain split on Baez at this point, with some believing his future lies in the bullpen, while others have seen enough to project him as a starter down the line. As his control and command continue to develop, Baez’s ability to utilize his plus fastball and secondary pitches continues to improve. If he can sustain the improvements, however inconsistent they have been, seen this year, he could be a mid-rotation starter with power stuff. That said, he more realistically projects as a power reliever with late game potential.
25. Jairo Labourt – Left-Handed Pitcher
The Tigers acquired Labourt as the third piece to the David Price trade with Toronto last summer, adding a high-octane lefty to their bereft system. Labourt has trouble throwing strikes at times, but he’s found some consistency since moving to the bullpen this season. At his best, Labourt can run his fastball up to 96-97 mph with some deception, and will flash an above-average slider. If the control improves and he finds anything resembling modest command, he could be a dangerous lefty reliever.
24. Bryan Garcia – Right-Handed Pitcher
The Tigers sixth round pick this summer, Garcia left Miami as the school’s all-time leader in saves, and enters pro ball as a polished relief prospect with a surprisingly broad arsenal. Owner of a plus fastball that reaches 94-95 mph while maintaining life, Garcia keeps hitters off balance with a plus slider that may be his best overall pitch. He will mix in a changeup and curveball at times, but both offerings lag behind his primary two pitches. Garcia profiles more as a 6th or 7th inning reliever, but could max out as a setup guy if everything develops perfectly for the young right-hander.
23. Zac Shepherd – Infielder
Shepherd has been a hard prospect to read for fans not privy to detailed, behind the scenes scouting reports. His performance has appeared to lag behind his peers at nearly every level, including this season, but scouts remain positive on his long-term potential. Blessed with strong bat-to-ball ability and some thump in his stick, Shepherd is a potential bat-first prospect with good all-around offensive ability. To make that work, though, Shepherd must find a defensive home, likely in left field where his arm strength and rough footwork will be mitigated.
22. Spencer Turnbull – Right-Handed Pitcher
Turnbull was a budding star heading into the 2016 season thanks to a fastball that has reached triple digits in the past. Turnbull flashed enough ability last year, along with enough improvement in his changeup and control, that he projected as a mid-rotation starter for some scouts. Injuries this year have derailed Turnbull’s progress and until he’s back on the mound in full-season ball, there’s no telling exactly where he is developmentally. If healthy, Turnbull could become a strong prospect with near elite velocity.
21. Myles Jaye – Right-Handed Pitcher
Jaye was acquired as part of the deal that sent Bryan Holaday to the Texas Rangers earlier this season, joining the Tigers as his third team in the last calendar year. Blessed with only an average fastball that will touch a half tick higher, Jaye works through lineups thanks to strong command of his fastball and solid-average slider. Jaye’s changeup has made strides this year, and that improvement has resulted in more consistency from start to start throughout the season. With a profile as a back-end starter, at best, Jaye has little margin for error, but he should get a shot in the big leagues in some capacity in 2017.