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Detroit Tigers top 2023 predictions list: Leading Jess Jung, plus another Wilmer Flores

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Major League Baseball is in full swing, and that means everyone is thinking about the future. In most cities, this means next season; Sometimes, that means the bigger picture, the next three to five years. The old adage says you either sell the gains or you sell the hope. We here at CBS Sports want to offer as much hope as we can this time of winter by evaluating each team’s farm system.

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Of course, this doesn’t mean that every team has an equally good farm system – some, as you’ll discover along the way, lack that connection. This does mean, however, that CBS Sports will spend the next few weeks studying the top three prospects in each organization. We define “odds” as retaining their rookie eligibility for the 2023 season, so if a young player misses out, that’s probably why.

These rosters and ratings are formed after conversations with scouts, analysts, and player development types. There is also direct evaluation and bias in the mix. Keep in mind that rating a player is a difficult task, and it’s okay if you disagree with the ranking. These are opinions, and they have no real impact on the future. You can check out our list of the top 20 winter ones by clicking here.

With that in mind, let’s get to it by dissecting a Detroit Tigers.

1. Jess Jung, 2b (2023 SAM: 22)

The Tigers featured Jung with the 12th pick in the draft this past July by Texas Tech. (His older brother, Josh, is a rookie third baseman with the notice.) Jung (pronounced as “young”) has a good feel for both the barrel and the strike zone, but scouts have expressed reservations about his power output and defensive ability. He’s got good raw juice, but he’s got the style of whacking over the slug in the plate. His issues on the field aren’t a matter of choice: He’s not just a blessed athlete. Competitive evaluators believe he’s a second baseman in the mold of Max Muncy, meaning he’ll need to be pitched properly to avoid the reruns he makes with his bat. Jung’s offensive polish should allow him to quickly climb the organizational ladder.

2. Jackson Jobe, RHP (2023 Seasonal Age: 20)

The Tigers took a big risk when they recruited Jobe, a draft right fielder, with the third pick in the 2021 draft — especially with Marcelo Meyer still on the board. Simply put, right-handed people are never successful, so much so that they come close to a losing show when taken in the top ten. Unfortunately, Detroit’s gamble did not pay off. Jobe has been described as more progressive than your typical high school arm, all the while having a banana-quick combination, as judged by his Trackman output. Unfortunately, he struggled out of the gate in his first professional season, giving up nearly six runs per nine innings in 18 A-ball starts. Jobe seems to have repaired the ship a little late in the year, and his youth and elevation make him worthy of being given a wide berth.

3. Wilmer Flores, RHP (2023 Seasonal Age: 22)

In case you were wondering, yes, this Wilmer Flores is the younger brother of Wilmer Flores San Francisco Giants crook. The Tigers signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2020, and he has since put himself on the map as a potential starting quarterback. Flores is a physical right-hander with three middle pitches or better: a low to mid-90s fastball, a cutter, and a breaking ball. His long arm motion should, in theory, frustrate his ability to control a baseball; So far, though, he’s been able to land a lot of blows. Provided he keeps it up, he can graduate to the majors as soon as this summer.

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