The Detroit Tigers have a loaded farm system.
In the midst of a rebuild, the 15-26 Tigers have the second-ranked farm in all of baseball according to MLB.com.
But like any deep farm system, some elite talent is bound to become underrated because there is so much depth.
Today, we’re going to give some attention to two future Tigers stars that fans might not know about, but should.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) September 2, 2020
Dillon Dingler – C
Dillon Dingler, a catcher, was drafted in the second round of the 2020 draft by the Tigers.
As a three-year starter at Ohio State, Dingler improved each year.
In his 2018 freshman season, Dingler was underwhelming, batting .244 with a .701 OPS and just 13 extra-base-hits in 53 games.
But it feels as if Dingler really turned a corner during summer ball that same year.
In 35 games with the Chillicothe Paints of the Prospect League, Dingler posted some absurd numbers, batting .374 with a 1.008 OPS.
He never looked back.
In his 2019 season with the Buckeyes, Dignler posted a slash line of .291/.392/.424, and in 2020, he really turned some heads with a slash line of .340/.404/.606.
So far, Dingler has spent the 2021 season with the West Michigan Whitecaps, Detroit’s Single A+ affiliate.
He’s been crushing the ball and has a 1.011 OPS through nine games.
At first glance, it’s easy to say that Dingler doesn’t seem to have much pop.
Over three seasons and 115 games with Ohio State, Dingler left the yard just 12 times.
But here’s the catch: Dingler’s final season with the Buckeyes was cut short due to COVID-19.
That season, OSU only squeezed in 13 games, but Dingler managed to homer five times.
And now, over his first nine games in the Detroit system at the Single-A level, Dingler has gone deep three times.
Put together, that’s eight home runs in 22 games, which far exceeds the pace at which he homered over his first two seasons at Ohio State.
Of course, this is a small sample size, but it’s encouraging nevertheless.
Dingler was originally an outfielder before heading to Ohio State.
His transition to catcher has been impressive. He has an above-average arm, throwing out a combined 35 percent of would-be base-stealers between his time playing summer league ball and his time at the Single-A level.
Dingler, 22, may be a couple years away from breaking into the bigs, but with any luck, he’ll be worth the wait.
Joey Wentz – LHP
It’s hard not to be excited about the potential of Joey Wentz.
Wentz, 23, was acquired in the Shane Greene trade in 2019, and has been largely dominant at the minor league level.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 31, 2019
Here’s the thing: Wentz is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery.
He underwent the surgery in March of 2020, and should be ready to return to the hill this summer.
The knock on Wentz is that his velocity doesn’t blow you away.
Instead, he beats you with his command.
He’s largely a three-pitch guy, working with a fastball, changeup and curveball.
Prior to his surgery, Wentz was in his fourth minor league season.
Hit totals are impressive, as the lefty has managed a 3.22 ERA and 1.17 WHIP across all levels.
The most exciting part is that we could see Wentz as soon as this season.
It’s looking like another non-competitive year for the Tigers, and we could see Wentz called up in September or sooner, as long as his recovery goes to plan.