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Former MLB GM Eyes Tigers Prospect Who’s Major League Ready

Numerous top prospects made their teams out of spring training. Jackson Chourio of the Milwaukee Brewers, Jared Jones of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Wyatt Lanford of the Texas Rangers all did so. Prospects such as Paul Skenes and Jackson Holliday have since been promoted when the season started. Some prospects have either seen early success or others have struggled in their first taste of major league action. Several other big-name prospects will make their way to the majors later on this season. One former MLB general manager of 16 years has eyes on a prospect from the Detroit Tigers, infielder Jace Jung.

Jace Jung On the Verge of a Major League Promotion

According to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, he picked Jung as one of six prospects who are worthy of a promotion.

“A 2022 first-round pick, Jace Jung, the younger brother of Rangers third baseman Josh Jung, is knocking on the door for the Tigers. He has played both second and third base in the minors so he’s ready for a call-up if they have an injury at either position. Last year, Jung posted a .376 on-base percentage with 27 doubles, 28 home runs and 82 RBIs between High-A and Double-A. This year, in Triple-A, he’s reached base at nearly a 39 percent clip and knocked 17 extra-base hits in 13 at-bats. He is considered one of the best power-hitting second base prospects in all of baseball. Although, he’s viewed as a below-average defender at second and third base.”

The Buzz Around Jung

Jung is hitting .275 with eight home runs, with a 27.3 percent strikeout rate and a 15 percent walk clip. He’s considered a better second baseman but transitioned to third base due to Colt Keith and his long-term extension. In comparison, Jung has played 221 2/3 innings at third over 101 2/3 innings at second for Triple-A Toledo. He won’t join the Tigers until he continues to develop at third base. However, it’ll be intriguing if Detroit promotes him in the second half of the season or in September. If not, they’ll have to wait until Opening Day 2025.

Ryan Garko, the Tigers vice president of player development, talked on a recent episode of the “Days of Roar” podcast about the development of Jung and other prospects.

“The position change part, or just having some versatility where he can play third and second, it’s going really well,” said Garko. “He’s playing a lot of third base, and the one thing he needed to do was just play third base. We can hit a million ground balls, and as much as we try to simulate game speed before the game, it’s nothing like playing the game. I think the plays where he’s learning the most on are the ball off the end of the bat that’s got some spin to it or the high chopper where he needs to come and get it. The clock is a little different at third than it is at second. That’s exactly what Triple-A is for. Every inning we can get there over at third, I think he learns something and gets better. The second defense remains really good.”

Other Top Hitting Prospects in Tigers Farm System

Three other top-hitting prospects are playing for the Mud Hens. The Tigers drafted outfielders Justice Bigbie, Justyn-Henry Malloy and catcher Dillon Dingler within the last few seasons. Including Jung, they all rank in the top 15 on MLB Pipeline’s list of Detroit’s top 30 prospects. Here’s how their seasons are shaping out in the minor leagues this season.

Justice Bigbie, OF

Age: 25

Stats: .245/.345/.358, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 174 plate appearances in 42 games

Justyn-Henry Malloy, OF

Age: 24

Stats: .273/.431/.500, 5 HR, 23 RBI, 167 plate appearances in 37 games

Dillon Dingler, C

Age: 25

Stats: .274/.318/.478, 6 HR, 21 RBI, 126 plate appearances in 32 games

Main Photo: © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK


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