Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tigers Get Their Young Shortstop in Jose Iglesias

The Tigers biggest long-term need has been to acquire a young shortstop who can play defense.  With the news that Jhonny Peralta is likely to get suspended for 50 games for Performance Enhancing Drug Use, the future need became an immediate emergency.  The Tigers have filled that hole with the acquisition of defensive whiz Jose Iglesias in a three-team trade with the Red Sox and White Sox.  The other major parts of the trade are reportedly Jake Peavy going to the Red Sox and outfield prospect Avisail Garcia to the White Sox, but there will be more prospects involved.  

The 23-year-old Iglesias was hitting .330/.370/.410 for the Red Sox, but he is not that kind of hitter.  In fact, he has an OPS of .457 in July.  He will likely be more Adam Everett than Alan Trammell with the bat as his career minor league line is .257/.307/.314.  By all accounts, his fielding is exceptional though.  Here are what some of the experts are saying:

Mark Anderson, Baseball Prospect Nation:
He is the best defensive infielder in the minor leagues, and frankly, it’s not very close. Iglesias is a jaw-dropping defender and he is worth of a big-league roster spot thanks to those skills alone. 
Baseball Prospectus Annual:
Iglesias shows great range , a strong arm, quick reflexes, incredible fluidity,. soft hands, amazing body control, and the ability to turn water into wine.  Scouts hurried to grade his fielding an 80 (the highest possible using the 20-80 scale).
Baseball America Prospect Handbook
Rated as the International League's top defensive shortstop for two years running, he has exceptionally quick hands and feet.  His arm is strong and former manager Bobby Valentine said Iglesias has more range than Rey Ordonez, the gold glover he had with the Mets. 
Assuming he is indeed suspended, Peralta's bat will be missed.  He is currently batting .308 and is surprisingly second on the team in OPS at .823.  However, with the slow-footed Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder at the corners, defense at shortstop is important and Iglesias will provide a lot more of it than the steady but immobile Peralta. 

Even if he turns out to be another Everett-type hitter, Iglesias will probably remain as Tigers shortstop next year and beyond.  If nothing else, his speed and defense certainly changes the dynamic of the roster.  It's going to fun to see how this develops. 

1 comment:

  1. Well rather than go into a long rant about this particular trade, I'm just going to leave it as I'm very, very, very upset about this trade. I was pretty mad yesterday with the last trade, but this one has really pissed me off. Not much reason to go into analysis of the trade considering many will already be doing that and I don't think many people want to hear a detailed rant, but suffice it to say I'm really disappointed. We have now hit about 9 out of 10 on the scale of my worst fears from a roster changeup from our beginning season position. I was anticipating at some point we would deal some future for a reliever as well as give up guys like Castellanos or Garcia, and now both of those things have happened. Now the Tigers just need to go for a Trifecta of losing trades.

    On a positive note, congrats to Avila for picking up the slack recently with his first grand slam ever and another homer just moments ago. We certainly need him to step up the offense, and sounds like he has recently tweaked his batting approach once again, so it's nice to see the effort to become better.


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