The Detroit Tigers vice president of player development Dave Littlefield, is in Lakeland Florida preparing for an onslaught of Tigers prospects to begin offseason development. This after there was no minor league baseball played due to COVID-19.
Detroit Tigers top prospects Spencer Torkelson , Riley Greene and Parker Meadows all where chosen to participate in Toledo as part of the Tigers shuttle during the 2020 MLB regular season. Those top prospects will be in Lakeland as will 16 of the organizations top 30 prospects.
Some players are training for the first time since spring training. “They are shaking the rust off, there’s no doubt about it, Guys are in different levels of shape. It’s going to take a little time to get some of the timing back for the hitters, even the conditioning that’s necessary to play defense, or to be ready to throw off a mound,” Littlefield said during a ZOOM call.
It is a needed activity for all prospects. To further development and to get back to baseball. It is safe to say because on the lengthy layoff players will be brought along slowly at the start.
For the prospects it is also a way to bond and create some chemistry as they had into fall ball or the offseason depending on each players developmental needs. Something that is needed in sports. Good chemistry leads to a better culture which in a perfect world leads to winning down the line.
It will be worth monitoring for fans and media. The Detroit Tigers have a top 10 prospect pool, those players are looking to take the next step in hopes of finding their way to the major leagues soon. For a city who’s sports teams are either just bad (Detroit Lions) or rebuilding Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons, prospects, drafts and free agents are about the only enjoyment until the teams are set to win again.
Embed from Getty Images In an attempt to prepare top prospects to take the next step. The Detroit Tigers are tutoring pipeline players in Florida. It starts now. It has to.
For the rebuilding Detroit Tigers, player development is taking center stage. Tigers player development manager Dave Littlefield is spearheading the charge. Noting that this is what is best for the players and the organization. Littlefield should know, He oversaw a Pittsburgh Pirates minor league that went on to push the parent team to solid play.
Growing pains come with every team in every sport. Players come, players go. But when a team is rebuilding and it is all hands on deck. It is paramount development takes place and players begin to play fundamental ball.
In his short call up outfielder Christian Stewart missed the cut-off man and a run scored. Manager Ron Gardenhire was less than happy. Gardenhire said the minor leagues need to get back to basics.
Gardenhire, had seen his fair share of sloppy fundamental ball. And was the one who was voicing both his concern and displeasure. He wondered out loud just what the Detroit Prospects were learning. As the major league manager Gardenhire is well within his rights to have his voice heard.
While there is not enough days to work with and teach all of the Tigers prospects in one offseason. Ron Gardenhire said next season nothing is off the table. That includes in-game benchings.
It is not that mistakes were and are made. That is life. It is and was the fact that players made no adjustments. Sometimes good old fashion tough love is needed. These are the tough love time for the Tigers.
These are the right steps for the Detroit Tigers to take. Better player development as well as tough love. Something needs to break through to the players. The Tigers never really did in-depth player development in the past. It is high time that changes.
The team traded top prospects to win division titles. That is the old way of doing business not only for the Tigers but all MLB teams. Teams have started to put a premium on prospects in order to win and stay on top longer.