By Brad Faber @Brad_Faber on May 24, 2014
Although we are less than two months into the 2014 campaign, it is never too early to start looking ahead to next season. The Tigers have certainly assembled a winning group of guys, but the team they have next season may look considerably different. After all, Max Scherzer, Torii Hunter and Victor Martinez are all set to hit the free-agent market this winter. Here are five prospects who might find themselves playing in Motown next season.
Daniel Fields has been a highly thought of member of the Tigers' organization since he was drafted back in 2009. In 2013, he had a stellar campaign in Double-A Erie in which he hit .284 with 10 home runs, 24 stolen bases, 58 RBIs and a solid .791 OPS. However, he scuffled a bit in Spring Training, and he is off to just a .234/.284/.371 start in Triple-A Toledo. But he should not be ruled out as a candidate to compete for an outfield spot in 2015.
Steven Moya was very impressive in Spring Training of 2014 as he hit .333/.364/.524 through 13 games. However, the 6-foot-6, 230-pound left-handed swinger is off to just a .234/.259/.424 start in Double-A Erie. Despite that, he still has enough talent to turn it around and he, along with Fields, could very well be vying for an outfield spot in 2015 that will be created if Hunter decides to move on.
Tyler Collins made the Tigers' opening day roster this season, but he was quickly demoted to Toledo after receiving only 14 at-bats. Although he has scuffled a bit, he is still having a better season than both Fields and Moya. His slash line currently stands at .254/.305/.434, and he has hit five home runs and driven in 20 runs for the Mud Hens. He could potentially add a lot of left-handed thunder to the Tigers' lineup.
Eugenio Suarez was recently promoted from Double-A Erie to Triple-A Toledo, and there are many who believe he will be playing shortstop for the Tigers before the end of 2014. However, things may get complicated for him next year when Jose Iglesias returns to rightfully reclaim shortstop. The Tigers might find Suarez's bat attractive enough, though, where they are willing to look for another spot for him. He has played a little OF in the minors.
Although he is now back in Triple-A, Robbie Ray has already made three starts for the Tigers this season and the first two were very impressive. Ray is widely considered to be the leader in the clubhouse to slide into the Tigers' rotation next season should Scherzer leave via free agency. He may have shown signs of being a rookie in his last start, but he has the raw talent and potential to be a star in the big leagues.
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