2021 Detroit Tigers and Their Future


Detroit Tigers

The 2021 Detroit Tigers game schedule

Nick McDonald, Asst. Editor

After a few rough years for the Tigers, fans have many questions for what the future may hold. Missing the playoffs the last six years and finishing last in the AL Central in four of those years makes many fans pessimistic for the future of the team. But the hiring of former World Series Champion Manager AJ Hinch and some successful draft picks makes the future bright. Although this season and maybe even the next two or three may not end up in any championships, it shouldn’t be long before the Tigers are raising pennants again.

This offseason wasn’t a big splash for Detroit, but they made solid and underrated pickups that will work for now and allow the young guys to develop. To start, bringing in Hinch  to succeed Ron Gardenhire will help develop some of the younger players. This came as a surprise to many because Hinch carries some controversy with him from the Astros cheating scandal, when they used cameras to steal pitchers signs. Even though some Tigers fans don’t like Hinch, he’s a winner and will play a big part in advancing the team’s rebuild. Three of the bigger signings were OF Robbie Grossman, C Wilson Ramos, and 1B Renato Nunez. Grossman will provide much-needed outfield depth and be a good veteran presence for the team. Ramos is another veteran added and will likely be splitting time behind the plate with Grayson Greiner and Jake Rogers. Nunez is a young power bat added to the lineup and may be a part of the team long-term. They also added OF Nomar Mazara to compete for a spot as well as adding pitching depth with Jose Urena, Erasmo Ramirez, and Derek Holland. The offseason was mostly focused on getting effective, short=team deals to allow the young guys to develop.

This will probably be another rough season for the Tigers, but will be important in the development of the farm system. It will be a season of allowing the young guys to get comfortable and adjust to the major league level and get ready for the future. After some solid years last season from Jeimer Candelario and Willi Castro, if they can have breakout seasons, it may show hope that they can speed up the rebuild. Candelario hit .297 with 55 hits and 29 RBIs in 52 games, and in 36 games Castro hit .349 with 45 hits, 6 homeruns, and 24 RBIs. If they can show consistency and keep improving, they will find a long term spot in Detroit. Adding Pitching Coach Chris Fetter from the University of Michigan is another huge signing and will help their amazing young pitchers develop. Young pitchers Matt Manning, Casey Mize, and Tarik Skubal, all ranked in the top 25 of MLB’s prospect rankings, should all benefit greatly from Fetter. I project the Tigers to finish last in the AL Central and bottom five in the MLB, but this season will show a lot for what the future holds for the Tigers.

Although 2021 looks rough for the Tigers, the future is bright. They have a top-tier farm system with five prospects in the top 25 of the MLB’s rankings. Those five prospects being #3 3B/1B Spencer Torkelson, #11 P Casey Mize, #21 OF Riley Greene, #24 P Tarik Skubal, and #25 P Matt Manning. The three pitchers will likely see a lot of time in the majors this year, but Torkelson and Greene are likely a year or two away.. As a top 10 farm system, they also have 3B Isaac Paredes, P Alex Faedo, and C Dillon Dingler, who could all be future starters. Development of these players and adding more through the draft will be crucial for the Tigers to return to their once winning ways. The past farm systems have been quite unexciting and weak for Detroit. They were bottom 5 in the MLB from 2013-2017, and did not provide many winning seasons or productive players, so to see so much improvement in this area is exciting. The future is not now for Detroit, but the team is moving in the right direction and the farm system is talented to make for an optimistic future for Tigers fans.