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Matt Manning Finishes On A High Note



BEST PLAYER

Shortstop Isaac Paredes was the lesser known player acquired in last season’s trade deadline swap with the Cubs for reliever Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila, but he showed big potential in 2018.

The 19-year-old Paredes hit .278/.359/.456 with 15 home runs in 123 games between high Class A Lakeland and Double-A Erie. He showed an advanced approach at the plate and high-level bat speed while stepping up to the challenge of an in-season promotion. He has distinguished himself as the organization’s highest-ceiling offensive prospect.

Paredes is still finding his way physically--he must lose weight to stay in the middle of the infield--but the Tigers exposed him to third base, which could be his future major league destination.

BEST PITCHER

This season, righthander Matt Manning went a long way toward ironing out some of the inconsistencies that lingered in the 2016 first-rounder's first two pro seasons.

That inconsistency was not a surprise. The 20-year-old Manning was a two-sport athlete when the Tigers selected him ninth overall out of high school in Sacramento. The Tigers focused on improving the extension in the 6-foot-6 Manning's delivery this season, which paid dividends. He sits in the low-to-mid-90s with an unhittable-at-times 12-to-6 curveball.

Manning pitched for two Class A affiliates this season and finished the season at Double-A Erie with eight strikeouts in six shutout innings. In total, he went 7-8, 3.29 in 22 starts, striking out 154 batters in 117.2 innings.

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Eastern League Top 20 Prospects For 2019

Looking for potent arms? The Eastern League had plenty. Nate Pearson, Casey Mize and Matt Manning are among those ranked.

KEEP AN EYE ON

Shortstop Wenceel Perez was one of the Tigers’ top international signings in 2016. The wiry Dominican middle infielder put himself on the prospect map in 2018 by hitting .312/.363/.429 in 57 games, beginning in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and concluding at low Class A West Michigan for 16 games.

Perez, who turns 19 in October, is a switch-hitter with above-average grades across the board. The Tigers expect more development as he gets bigger and stronger, perhaps adding more power to his repertoire.

Perez is a true shortstop and could move quickly because of his tools. He can reach high Class A next season and has the opportunity to establish himself as one of the Tigers’ top prospects by midseason.

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