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FHC Sports Report

The Detroit Tigers are struggling, how could they improve?


The Detroit Tigers are in the midst of quite a struggle offensively, something needs to change with the day-to-day lineup. The bats need to come alive and right now no one except Kerry Carpender, Colt Keith, and Andy Ibanez are hitting with somewhat consistency and that is a big issue.

However, the Tigers have a solution. They have four of their top-hitting prospects at Triple-A Toledo, one step away from being called up.

Outfielder Justice Bigbie, catcher Dillon Dingler, and infielder Jace Jung were drafted by the Tigers within the past four years, but outfielder Justyn-Henry Malloy was acquired nearly one and a half years ago in a trade. They’re all ranked in the top 12 on MLB Pipeline’s Tiger’s top 30 list, led by Jung at number 3, Malloy at 6, Bigbee at 11, and Dingler at 12.

Jung ranks as the No. 47 prospect in baseball on MLB Pipeline’s top-100 list. He was selected No. 12 overall in the 2022 draft; his older brother, Josh, plays for the Texas Rangers. As mentioned, there are solutions for struggling offensive production. Here is some more in-depth information on Malloy, Bigbee, Dingler, and Jung

Justice Bigbee, OF:

Bigbie is hitting .250 with one home run, 18 walks (10.7% walk rate), and 32 strikeouts (18.9% strikeout rate) in 41 games, spanning only 169 plate appearances. He has a .708 OPS. Bigbie, who jumped from High-A West Michigan to Toledo last season, hits the ball as hard as anyone in the organization while making above-average contact on pitches in the strike zone. Bigbee does struggle to pull fastballs, however. He needs to develop as an all-around hitter before he joins the Tigers. 

Dillon Dingler, C:

Dingler is hitting .269 with four home runs, eight walks (6.6% walk rate), and 27 strikeouts (22.3% strikeout rate) in 31 games, spanning 121 plate appearances. He has a .740 OPS. He was viewed as an athletic, offense-first catcher when selected No. 38 overall in the 2020 draft, but has developed into a defense-first catcher who works from a one-knee setup. His lack of a hit tool profiles him as a backup catcher in the big leagues, but because of his raw power and arm strength, could be a starter depending on his game-calling abilities. He is the third catcher on the 40-man roster, so he could join the Tigers if there’s an injury or underperformance.

Jace Jung, 2B/3B:

Jung is hitting .275 with eight home runs, 28 walks (15% walk rate), and 51 strikeouts (27.3% strikeout rate) in 42 games, spanning 187 plate appearances with a .892 OPS. A better second baseman, but transitioned to third base because Colt Keith–who signed a long-term contract extension–needed to play second. Jung has played 221 innings at third base and 101 innings for the Mud Hens, getting charged seven errors at third and one error at second. He won’t join the Tigers until he is steady at the hot corner. Jung, however, is a guy who could be pulled up within the next few weeks with Gio Urshela struggling.

Justin Henry-Malloy, OF:

Malloy is hitting .274 with five home runs, 35 walks (21.6% walk rate), and 45 strikeouts (27.8% strikeout rate) in 36 games, spanning 162 plate appearances. He has a .932 OPS, but the strikeouts are concerning. Malloy, who used to play third base, has spent six games as the designated hitter and the rest of his games in left field (161 innings) and right field (89 innings) as he continues trying to improve on his below-average defense, but he is approaching 1,000 innings in the outfield in his minor-league career. He would probably not join the Tigers unless there’s an injury to Mark Canha or Kerry Carpenter.

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About the Contributor
Jackson Traughber
Jackson is a junior entering his second year on the FHC Sports Report staff. He loves to watch any type of sport, especially football and baseball. He makes sure to attend any school events and sports that he can. He also loves to write about a variety of different subjects especially sports. He would love to one day be in immersed in the world of sports journalism. Favorite food: Tacos Hobby: He loves to golf whenever he can Favorite sport: Baseball Dream vacation: Greece

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